Stone Writing Earliest Seen in Americas
The Cascajal block, pictured here, was found in Veracruz, Mexico, in 1999. Since then archaeologists have confirmed it bears the earliest known writing in the New World.
The arrangement and pattern of the symbols suggest the ancient Olmec civilization was using written language roughly three centuries earlier than previously proposed.
"We are dealing with the first, clear evidence of writing in the New World," said Stephen Houston, a Brown University anthropologist. Houston and his U.S. and Mexican colleagues detail the tablet's discovery and analysis in a study appearing this week in the journal Science.
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