About 2,885 years ago, a man was born in Mesoamerica, in what we now call Mexico. We know only two things about him: he died about 750 B. C., fighting against the Zapotec empire; his name was 1-Earthquake.
Among the tens of millions who lived in ancient times in the American hemisphere, 1-Earthquake is the earliest whose name we know.
It is apparent that the name was carved as two glyphs in the stone threshold of a temple in San José Mogote, near the city of Oaxaca. This is the earliest known writing in North or South America that can be accurately dated: 750 B.C.
|Urban site in Zapotec empire|
Note the date.. At about the same time as Rome was founded (753 B. C.), when the early Greeks were emerging from their own Dark Ages, and when much of Europe was populated by the “barbarian” Germanic and Celtic tribes, there were civilizations in the Americas like the Zapotec and the earlier Olmec, that had sophisticated cities, governments, organized religion, art, agriculture, commerce, astronomy and mathematics.
Source: Charles C. Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus (New York: Vintage Books, 2006), 243.
Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.