By Gerardo Aldana y Villalobos, Edwin L. Barnhart
Archaeoastronomy and the Maya illustrates archaeoastronomical techniques to historical Mayan cultural construction. The e-book is contextualized via a background of archaeoastronomical investigations into Mayan websites, originating within the nineteenth century discovery of astronomical tables inside hieroglyphic books. Early twentieth century archaeological excavations published inscriptions carved into stone that still preserved astronomical documents, in addition to structure that used to be outfitted to mirror astronomical orientations. those fabrics supplied the root of a growing to be professionalized archaeoastronomy, blossoming within the Seventies and increasing into fresh years. The chapters right here exemplify the advances made within the box in the course of the early twenty first century in addition to the on-going range of ways, proposing new views and discoveries in historic Mayan astronomy that end result from contemporary reports of architectural alignments, codices, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and calendrics. greater than simply investigations of esoteric historic sciences, experiences of historic Mayan astronomy have profoundly aided our figuring out of Mayan worldviews. techniques of time and area, meanings encoded in spiritual artwork, intentions underlying architectural alignments, or even tools of political legitimization are all illuminated in the course of the research of Mayan astronomy
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Their arrival at the end of a journey ... is precisely the moment of the “weariness” of the gods. The new deities who in the same moment will take over the burdens of time will carry it on their backs until, overcome by fatigue, they arrive at another place of rest which is the completion of one cycle and the beginning of another. Understanding thus the measures of time as repose-completion, one of the roots from which the idea of cycles is derived may be perceived. (LeónPortilla 1988: 51) Chocolá’s eastern horizon aptly represents this burden of the sun: at the endpoints of its endlessly repetitive northern and southern journeys (the solstices), the sun rests before reversing course; at the equinoxes, when the sun appears to be moving horizontally more rapidly than at any other time of year, it may be perceived as racing up (or down) the south slope of Paquisís bearing its load.
The Road of Light: Theory and Practice of Mayan Skywatching. In The Sky in Mayan Literature (A. F. ). Oxford University Press, Oxford, 18–42. Thompson, J. , 1950. Maya Hieroglyphic Writing: Introduction. Publication 589. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington DC. Tichy, Franz, 1981. Order and Relationship of Space and Time in Mesoamerica: Myth or Reality? In Mesoamerican Sites and Worldviews (E. P. ). Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC, 217–245. Tichy, Franz, 1990 Orientation Calendar in Mesoamerica: Hypothesis Concerning their Structure, Use and Distribution.
The evidence from the Chocolá horizon affords both a specific and an astronomical explanation of how and where the 260-day pan-Mesoamerican “sacred” count may have originated. It is a more precise explanation than has been previously offered, but one that also benefits from and is consistent with earlier ideas put forward by Thompson, Malmström, and Aveni. While there is unlikely to be an “either/or” explanation for the origin of the 260-day count, a strong rationale for its adoption as the primary count disclosed by the Chocolá horizon data is that it is readily derived by observing the sun’s path along the horizon south of the zenith passage marker (the prominent gap between Cerros 2665 and Paquisis), between the two days of the year when the sun reaches the center of the cosmos.
Archaeoastronomy and the Maya by Gerardo Aldana y Villalobos, Edwin L. Barnhart