Accurate Ancient Calendars

by on March 7th, 2015
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Thousands of years ago ancient man would look to the skies for answers to their questions. In doing so, many different cultures and civilizations began tracking, plotting and recording the movements of our sun, moon and planets. Their methods and attention to finite details produced calendars that are, in some cases, more accurate than the Gregorian calendar used worldwide today.

The Maya

The ancient Aztecs derived their calendar system from the Maya. They simply changed the names of dates and days to fit in with their particular culture. Borrowed or not, it does not change the fact the Maya created three separate calendars and that one of those calendars concludes that a solar year consists of 365.242036 days, making it more accurate than the calendar we use today.

Interestingly, the Maya Pyramid of Kulkulcan at Chichen Itza, located in Yucatan, Mexico and built around 1050 AD, contains four separate sets of stairs with 91 steps a piece that all reach a single, central platform. The platform plus the four sets of 91 steps equals 365, or the number of days in a year.

Ancient Bulgarians

Said to have been created around 5500 BC, the ancient Bulgarians based their calendar on the movements of Jupiter and the sun and is also more accurate than the Gregorian calendar. It is comprised of a 365 day year with 52 weeks and 13 months where the 13 month only accounts for one day.

In the 1970’s scientists who had been studying the Bulgarian calendar system, and who were not of Bulgarian descent, asked whether this calendar should be used across the entire world, eliminating the use of the Gregorian calendar altogether.

Other Notable Calendars

4,000 years ago the Sumerians created a calendar that consisted of 365 days in a year.

The ancient Persian calendar, thought to date back to 1070 AD, also calculated a solar year as having 365 days.

Around 2,500 BC the Babylonians created a lunisolar calendar, based on both solar and lunar cycles, that was comprised of a 365 day year. The ancient Hebrew calendar is thought to have been borrowed from the Babylonians.

Around 500 BC the ancient Chinese also created a lunisolar calendar with 365 days in a year.

Created around 2,400 BC the ancient Egyptian calendar was based on the star Sirius and was comprised of 12 months at 30 days per month with an added 5 extra days to equal 365 days.

Without the use of telescopes or modern technology it is a wonder these ancient peoples from all over the world were able to create their calendars with such frightening accuracy. However they were calculated or whichever methods were used, all the cultures and civilizations mentioned were able to devise individual calendars that are, if anything, awe-inspiring.

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