• Social Science

Archaeoastronomy and the Maya


Author: Gerardo Aldana y V.,Edwin L. Barnhart
Publisher: Oxbow Books
ISBN: 1782976434
Category: Social Science
Page: 176
View: 3636
Archaeoastronomy and the Maya illustrates archaeoastronomical approaches to ancient Mayan cultural production. The book is contextualized through a history of archaeoastronomical investigations into Mayan sites, originating in the 19th century discovery of astronomical tables within hieroglyphic books. Early 20th century archaeological excavations revealed inscriptions carved into stone that also preserved astronomical records, along with architecture that was built to reflect astronomical orientations. These materials provided the basis of a growing professionalized archaeoastronomy, blossoming in the 1970s and expanding into recent years. The chapters here exemplify the advances made in the field during the early 21st century as well as the on-going diversity of approaches, presenting new perspectives and discoveries in ancient Mayan astronomy that result from recent studies of architectural alignments, codices, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and calendrics. More than just investigations of esoteric ancient sciences, studies of ancient Mayan astronomy have profoundly aided our understanding of Mayan worldviews. Concepts of time and space, meanings encoded in religious art, intentions underlying architectural alignments, and even methods of political legitimization are all illuminated through the study of Mayan astronomy.

    • Social Science

Star Gods of the Maya

Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars
Author: Susan Milbrath
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292778511
Category: Social Science
Page: 382
View: 1325
Observations of the sun, moon, planets, and stars played a central role in ancient Maya lifeways, as they do today among contemporary Maya who maintain the traditional ways. This pathfinding book reconstructs ancient Maya astronomy and cosmology through the astronomical information encoded in Precolumbian Maya art and confirmed by the current practices of living Maya peoples. Susan Milbrath opens the book with a discussion of modern Maya beliefs about astronomy, along with essential information on naked-eye observation. She devotes subsequent chapters to Precolumbian astronomical imagery, which she traces back through time, starting from the Colonial and Postclassic eras. She delves into many aspects of the Maya astronomical images, including the major astronomical gods and their associated glyphs, astronomical almanacs in the Maya codices [painted books], and changes in the imagery of the heavens over time. This investigation yields new data and a new synthesis of information about the specific astronomical events and cycles recorded in Maya art and architecture. Indeed, it constitutes the first major study of the relationship between art and astronomy in ancient Maya culture.

    • Science

Archaeoastronomy

Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones
Author: Giulio Magli
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 331922882X
Category: Science
Page: 246
View: 6162
This book provides the first complete, easy to read, up-to-date account of the fascinating discipline of archaeoastronomy, in which the relationship between ancient constructions and the sky is studied in order to gain a better understanding of the ideas of the architects of the past and of their religious and symbolic worlds. The book is divided into three sections, the first of which explores the past relations between astronomy and people, power, the afterworld, architecture, and landscape. The fundamentals of archaeoastronomy are then addressed in detail, with coverage of the celestial coordinates; the apparent motion of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets; observation of celestial bodies at the horizon; the use of astronomical software in archaeoastronomy; and current methods for making and analyzing measurements. The final section reviews what archaeoastronomy can now tell us about the nature and purpose of such sites and structures as Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Giza, Chichen Itza, the Campus Martius, and the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento. In addition, a set of exercises is provided that can be performed using non-commercial free software, e.g., Google Earth or Stellarium, and will equip readers to conduct their own research. Readers will find the book an ideal introduction to what has become a wide-ranging multidisciplinary science.

    • History

The Apotheosis of Janaab' Pakal

Science, History, and Religion at Classic Maya Palenque
Author: Gerardo Aldana y Villalobos
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 230
View: 909
Takes up anew the riddles within a number of Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions first recognised by Floyd Lounsbury. Gerardo Aldana unpacks these mathematical riddles using an approach grounded in a reading of the texts made possible by recent advances in decipherment. Using a history of science methodology, he expands upon (and sometimes questions) the foundational work of archaeoastronomers. Aldana follows three lines of investigation: a reading of the hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Classic period (ad250-900), mathematical analysis to recover Classic Maya astronomical practice, and a historiography of Maya astronomy. During troubled times in Palenque, Aldana contends, Kan Balam II devised a means to preserve the legitimacy of his ruling dynasty. He celebrated a re-creation of the city as a contemporary analogue of a mythical Creation on three levels: monumental construction for a public audience, artistic patronage for an elite audience, and a secret mathematical astronomical language only for rulers-elect. Discussing all of these efforts, Aldana focuses on the recovery of the secret language and its historical context.

    • Body, Mind & Spirit

Secrets of Ancient America

Archaeoastronomy and the Legacy of the Phoenicians, Celts, and Other Forgotten Explorers
Author: Carl Lehrburger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 159143775X
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Page: 480
View: 8709
The real history of the New World and the visitors, from both East and West, who traveled to the Americas long before 1492 • Provides more than 300 photographs and drawings, including Celtic runes in New England, Gaelic inscriptions in Colorado, and Asian symbols in the West • Reinterprets many archaeological finds, such as the Ohio Serpent Mound • Reveals Celtic, Hebrew, Roman, early Christian, Templar, Egyptian, Chinese, and Japanese influences in North American artifacts and ruins As the myth of Columbus “discovering” America falls from the pedestal of established history, we are given the opportunity to discover the real story of the New World and the visitors, from both East and West, who traveled there long before 1492. Sharing his more than 25 years of research and travel to sites throughout North America, Carl Lehrburger employs epigraphy, archaeology, and archaeoastronomy to reveal extensive evidence for pre-Columbian explorers in ancient America. He provides more than 300 photographs and drawings of sites, relics, and rock art, including Celtic and Norse runes in New England, Phoenician and Hebrew inscriptions in the Midwest, and ancient Shiva linga and Egyptian hieroglyphs in the West. He uncovers the real story of Columbus and his motives for coming to the Americas. He reinterprets many well-known archaeological and astronomical finds, such as the Ohio Serpent Mound, America’s Stonehenge in New Hampshire, and the Crespi Collection in Ecuador. He reveals Celtic, Hebrew, Roman, early Christian, Templar, Egyptian, Chinese, and Japanese influences in famous stones and ruins, reconstructing the record of what really happened on the American continents prior to Columbus. He also looks at Hindu influences in Mesoamerica and sacred sexuality encoded in archaeological sites. Expanding upon the work of well-known diffusionists such as Barry Fell and Gunnar Thompson, the author documents the travels and settlements of trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific explorers, miners, and settlers who made it to the Americas and left their marks for us to discover. Interpreting their sacred symbols, he shows how their teachings, prayers, and cosmologies reveal the cosmic order and sacred landscape of the Americas.

    • Science

Skywatchers

A Revised and Updated Version of Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico
Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 9780292705029
Category: Science
Page: 411
View: 4435
Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico helped establish the field of archaeoastronomy, and it remains the standard introduction to this subject. Combining basic astronomy with archaeological and ethnological data, it presented a readable and entertaining synthesis of all that was known of ancient astronomy in the western hemisphere as of 1980. In this revised edition, Anthony Aveni draws on his own and others' discoveries of the past twenty years to bring the Skywatchers story up to the present. He offers new data and interpretations in many areas, including: The study of Mesoamerican time and calendrical systems and their unprecedented continuity in contemporary Mesoamerican culture The connections between Precolumbian religion, astrology, and scientific, quantitative astronomy The relationship between Highland Mexico and the world of the Maya and the state of Pan-American scientific practices The use of personal computer software for computing astronomical data With this updated information, Skywatchers will serve a new generation of general and scholarly readers and will be useful in courses on archaeoastronomy, astronomy, history of astronomy, history of science, anthropology, archaeology, and world religions.

    • Science

Songs from the Sky

Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World : Selected Proceedings of the "First International Conference on Ethnoastronomy : Indigenous Astronomical and Cosmological Traditions of the World" Held at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 5-9 September 1983
Author: Von Del Chamberlain,John B. Carlson,M. Jane Young
Publisher: Ocarina Books/Oxbow Books
ISBN: N.A
Category: Science
Page: 379
View: 510
This substantial collection of papers on indigenous astronomical knowledge is quite unequalled in its scope and extent. The authors are drawn from a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, astronomy, engineering, art history, history of science, history of religion, folklore, and mythology, and bring a variety of academic perspectives to bear upon aspects of celestial knowledge and perception in diverse social contexts from many different parts of the globe. The Americas provide the main geographical focus, with twenty of the 32 papers concerning indigenous north American groups such as the Navajo, Lakota, Zuni and Blackfoot, the Mixe and Tzotzil Maya of southern Mexico, the Andean highlands and the Amazonian region of Peru, and southern coastal Brazil. The remaining twelve articles extend to the Arab world, sub-Saharan Africa, southern India, Java, Melanesia, Australia and Polynesia, with a few addressing broader synthetic themes. For a number of the culture areas dealt with in some detail here, other published information about sky knowledge is extremely scant.

    • Astronomie - Histoire - Amérique centrale

The Sky in Mayan Literature


Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195068443
Category: Astronomie - Histoire - Amérique centrale
Page: 297
View: 437
This unique collection of essays investigates both ancient and modern Mayan texts and describes concepts of timekeeping and their role in Mayan culture. Including contributions from anthropologists, a mathematician, an art historian, and a linguist, the interdisciplinary approach in this innovative book offers a synthesis of past and present-day dialogue between people and the world of nature around, and especially above them. The celestial sphere is the place where ancient Mayan rulers derived their source of power and yet, it is the very same realm to which the modern peasant still prays for rain. Current research brought together in this volume attempts to portray skywatching and celestial worship as one aspect of Mayan cultural behavior that possessed an evolutionary history. It depicts the ever-changing function of the sky as revealed in the sacred books of the Classic period, intended for priestly eyes only, through to the documents, written in the foreign tongue of a conquering oppressor, that tell of a transformed world view in which time's calendar was nevertheless still celebrated.

    • Social Science

The Mythology of Venus

Ancient Calendars and Archaeoastronomy
Author: Helen Benigni
Publisher: University Press of America
ISBN: 0761860630
Category: Social Science
Page: 146
View: 4722
The Mythology of Venus is a collection of essays that summarizes the archaeoastronomy, calendar associations, religious and cultural icons and myths identified with the planet Venus. This book reveals the archetype of a goddess associated with the planet Venus who is identified with transformation, spiritual resurrection, and enlightenment.


    • Science

Archaeoastronomy in the New World

American Primitive Astronomy
Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521247314
Category: Science
Page: 219
View: 9203
This volume summarises the proceedings of a conference which took place at the University of Oxford in September 1981.

    • Science

Exploring Ancient Skies

A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy
Author: David H. Kelley,Eugene F. Milone
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441976246
Category: Science
Page: 614
View: 493
Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers--events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Exploring Ancient Skies provides a comprehensive overview of the relationships between astronomy and other areas of human investigation. It will be useful as a reference for scholars and as a text for students in both astronomy and archaeology, and will be of compelling interest to readers who seek a broad understanding of our collective intellectual history.


    • Social Science

Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica


Author: Anne S. Dowd,Susan Milbrath
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
ISBN: 1457193752
Category: Social Science
Page: 440
View: 8158
Cosmology, Calendars, and Horizon-Based Astronomy in Ancient Mesoamerica is an interdisciplinary tour de force that establishes the critical role astronomy played in the religious and civic lives of the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica. Providing extraordinary examples of how Precolumbian peoples merged ideas about the cosmos with those concerning calendar and astronomy, the volume showcases the value of detailed examinations of astronomical data for understanding ancient cultures. The volume is divided into three sections: investigations into Mesoamerican horizon-based astronomy, the cosmological principles expressed in Mesoamerican religious imagery and rituals related to astronomy, and the aspects of Mesoamerican calendars related to archaeoastronomy. It also provides cutting-edge research on diverse topics such as records of calendar and horizon-based astronomical observation (like the Dresden and Borgia codices), iconography of burial assemblages, architectural alignment studies, urban planning, and counting or measuring devices. Contributors—who are among the most respected in their fields— explore new dimensions in Mesoamerican timekeeping and skywatching in the Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacano, Zapotec, and Aztec cultures. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of anthropology, archaeology, art history, and astronomy.

    • Science

Echoes of the Ancient Skies

The Astronomy of Lost Civilizations
Author: E. C. Krupp
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 0486137643
Category: Science
Page: 416
View: 1757
Popular, authoritative look at the world of archaeoastronomy, the study of ancient peoples' observation of the skies and its role in their cultural evolution. 208 illustrations.

    • Social Science

Heaven and Earth in Ancient Mexico

Astronomy and Seasonal Cycles in the Codex Borgia
Author: Susan Milbrath
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292743734
Category: Social Science
Page: 174
View: 6114
The Codex Borgia, a masterpiece that predates the Spanish conquest of central Mexico, records almanacs used in divination and astronomy. Within its beautifully painted screenfold pages is a section (pages 29–46) that shows a sequence of enigmatic pictures that have been the subject of debate for more than a century. Bringing insights from ethnohistory, anthropology, art history, and archaeoastronomy to bear on this passage, Susan Milbrath presents a convincing new interpretation of Borgia 29–46 as a narrative of noteworthy astronomical events that occurred over the course of the year AD 1495–1496, set in the context of the central Mexican festival calendar. In contrast to scholars who have interpreted Borgia 29–46 as a mythic history of the heavens and the earth, Milbrath demonstrates that the narrative documents ancient Mesoamericans' understanding of real-time astronomy and natural history. Interpreting the screenfold's complex symbols in light of known astronomical events, she finds that Borgia 29–46 records such phenomena as a total solar eclipse in August 1496, a November meteor shower, a comet first sighted in February 1496, and the changing phases of Venus and Mercury. She also shows how the narrative is organized according to the eighteen-month festival calendar and how seasonal cycles in nature are represented in its imagery. This new understanding of the content and purpose of the Codex Borgia reveals this long-misunderstood narrative as the most important historical record of central Mexican astronomy on the eve of the Spanish conquest.

    • Archaeoastronomy

Empires of Time

Calendars, Clocks and Cultures
Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks
ISBN: 9781860646027
Category: Archaeoastronomy
Page: 371
View: 7747
Humanity has always felt a powerful need to impose scale and order on that most elusive and transient of elements: time. But what ends do our clocks and calenders really serve?

    • Archaeoastronomy

Stairways to the Stars

Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures
Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9780304349982
Category: Archaeoastronomy
Page: 230
View: 4446
Discusses England's Stonehenge, the Mayan Code, and the Incan city of Cuzco.

    • Science

Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy

From Giza to Easter Island
Author: Giulio Magli
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 0387765662
Category: Science
Page: 444
View: 1533
The book is divided into two parts. In the first, the reader is taken on an ideal ‘world tour’ of many wonderful and enigmatic places in almost every continent, in search of traces of astronomical knowledge and lore of the sky. In the second part, Giulio Magli uses the elements presented in the tour to show that the fundamental idea which led to the construction of the astronomically-related giant monuments was the foundation of power, a foundation which was exploited by ‘replicating’ the sky. A possible interpretive model then emerges that is founded on the relationship the ancients had with “nature”, in the sense of everything that surrounded them, the cosmos. The numerous monumental astronomically aligned structures of the past then become interpretable as acts of will, expressions of power on the part of those who held it; the will to replicate the heavenly plane here on earth and to build sacred landscapes. Finally, having formulated his hypothesis, Professor Magli returns to visit one specific place in detail, searching for proof. This in-depth examination studies the most compelling, the most intensively studied, the most famous and, until recently, the most misunderstood sacred landscape on the planet - Giza, in Egypt. The archaeoastronomical analysis of the orientation of the Giza pyramids leads to the hypothesis that the pyramids of Cheops and Chephren belong to the same construction project.

    • History

People and the Sky

Our Ancestors and the Cosmos
Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 252
View: 790
Explores the intimate relationship between historical civilizations and the cosmos, describing how people from ancient and pre-industrial times often relied on the skies for their survival, political decisions, and understanding of life.