Experts Find Incredible Similarities between Ancient Chinese and Maya Civilizations

These two ancient civilizations were separated by thousands of kilometers.


Astonishing Parallels Discovered

Recent archaeological excavations in Copan have unveiled remarkable similarities between the ancient Chinese and Maya civilizations. Despite being separated by thousands of miles and located on opposite sides of the globe, researchers have found that the Chinese and Maya cultures share more commonalities than previously thought.


Sculptural Evidence Links Cultures

Chinese archaeologists exploring the ancient Maya city of Copan in Western Honduras have discovered numerous connections between the two ancient civilizations. Experts have identified that sculptures unearthed at the site bear striking resemblances to those created by China’s Neolithic Liangzhu Culture. Archaeologists point to the depictions of the Mayan feather serpent God Kukulkan found at Copan, which display striking similarities to ancient Chinese dragon representations.

Workers performing restorative work at the archaeological site of Copan. Image Credit: Li Xinwei.
Workers performing restorative work at the archaeological site of Copan. Image Credit: Li Xinwei.

The China-Maya Continuum


The recent findings have drawn attention to the concept of the “China-Maya continuum,” first proposed by the late Chinese American archaeologist Kwang-Chih Chang in the 1980s. Chang’s theory suggests a link between Chinese and Central American cultures based on their shamanistic roots.

Calendrical Connections

In addition to the enigmatic sculptures, scholars have noted other shared features between the two ancient civilizations, including the ancient Mayan calendar and a section of the traditional Chinese calendar known as the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches.

The Shared Ancestral Connection

Despite the striking similarities, Li Xinwei, head of the Chinese archaeological team from the China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) Institute of Archaeology, explained in an email interview with the Global Times that there is no historical evidence of direct communication between the two civilizations. Li suggested that Central American culture developed independently after the migration of northern and eastern Asian humans to the Americas through the Bering Strait approximately 15,000 years ago. The resemblances between the two ancient civilizations could be a result of shared Paleolithic ancestors and cultural genes.


China’s First World-Class Archaeological Site Excavation

While the archaeological excavations at Copan are not China’s first overseas archaeological project, this mission marks the first time Chinese archaeologists have excavated a world-class archaeological site.

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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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