A God and His Secret Number
My conclusion that the Olmec presence in the New World went back at least 5, 000 years, to circa 3000 B.C., was reached by many paths. The first one was an attempt to identify the great god of Mesoamerica, the Winged Serpent (Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs, Kukulkan to the Mayas), and the significance of his promise to return to those lands on the first day of a 52-year cycle, (AD 1519, when the Aztec king Montezuma believed that the appearance of the Spanish conquistador Cortez was such a Return, coincided with the anticipated sacred date).
The peoples of Mesoamerica employed in addition to a practical calendar of 365 days, called the Haab, also a Sacred Calendar (called Tzolkin) of 260 days. The two cyclical calendars were conceived as two wheels with meshing teeth that turned and returned to the same spot once in 52 years; and 52 was the Sacred Number of the Winged Serpent god?
Since 52 was also the Secret Number of the god known to the Egyptians as Thoth; since Thoth as Quetzalcoatl, was the god of science and the calendar; and since Thoth was exiled from Egypt circa 3100 B.C., I have suggested that it was he who took a group of his African followers to a new land, bringing the "Olmecs" to Mesoamerica.
Accordingly, I said, Olmec presence goes back to at least 3000 B.C. - a date twice as old as that conceded by established archaeologists.
The Mysterious "Day One"
By the time I was writing The Lost Realms, the book devoted to the prehistory of the Americas, I was sure that the arrival of the Olmecs with Thoth/Quetzalcoatl could be established with astounding precision. The key to unlocking the enigma was the Olmec Calendar.