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: 479

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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.

Maya E Groups

Calendars, Astronomy, and Urbanism in the Early Lowlands

Author: David A. Freidel,Arlen F. Chase,Anne S. Dowd

Publisher: Maya Studies

ISBN: 9780813054353

Category: Science

Page: 544

View: 3161

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-E groups- are not the fifth element but a group of structures in the temple complexes of Classic Maya City centers. In this volume from distinguished researchers of the Classic period, the E groups prove to be more than just records of the sun's passages through the years.

Before Kukulkán

Bioarchaeology of Maya Life, Death, and Identity at Classic Period Yaxuná

Author: Vera Tiesler,Andrea Cucina,Travis W. Stanton,David A. Freidel

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

ISBN: 0816537437

Category: Social Science

Page: 400

View: 7506

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This volume illuminates human lifeways in the northern Maya lowlands prior to the rise of Chichén Itzá. This period and area have been poorly understood on their own terms, obscured by scholarly focus on the central lowland Maya kingdoms. Before Kukulkán is anchored in three decades of interdisciplinary research at the Classic Maya capital of Yaxuná, located at a contentious crossroads of the northern Maya lowlands. Using bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and culturally sensitive mainstream archaeology, the authors create an in-depth regional understanding while also laying out broader ways of learning about the Maya past. Part 1 examines ancient lifeways among the Maya at Yaxuná, while part 2 explores different meanings of dying and cycling at the settlement and beyond: ancestral practices, royal entombment and desecration, and human sacrifice. The authors close with a discussion of the last years of occupation at Yaxuná and the role of Chichén Itzá in the abandonment of this urban center. Before Kukulkán provides a cohesive synthesis of the evolving roles and collective identities of locals and foreigners at the settlement and their involvement in the region’s trajectory. Theoretically informed and contextualized discussions offer unique glimpses of everyday life and death in the socially fluid Maya city. These findings, in conjunction with other documented series of skeletal remains from this region, provide a nuanced picture of the social and biocultural dynamics that operated successfully for centuries before the arrival of the Itzá.

Social Skins of the Head

Body Beliefs and Ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes

Author: Vera Tiesler,María Cecilia Lozada

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

ISBN: 0826359647

Category: HISTORY

Page: 288

View: 762

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The meanings of ritualized head treatments among ancient Mesoamerican and Andean peoples is the subject of this book, the first overarching coverage of an important subject. Heads are sources of power that protect, impersonate, emulate sacred forces, distinguish, or acquire identity within the native world. The essays in this book examine these themes in a wide array of indigenous head treatments, including facial cosmetics and hair arrangements, permanent cranial vault and facial modifications, dental decorations, posthumous head processing, and head hunting. They offer new insights into native understandings of beauty, power, age, gender, and ethnicity. The contributors are experts from such diverse fields as skeletal biology, archaeology, aesthetics, forensics, taphonomy, and art history.

The Future of Men

Men on Trial

Author: Jack Myers

Publisher: Inkshares

ISBN: 1941758665

Category: Social Science

Page: 327

View: 8189

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“Once again, Jack Myers has his fingers on the pulse of the very latest. Myers has clearly done his homework, and the result is this superb book.” —Ken Burns, documentary filmmaker of The Roosevelts and The Civil War After being told all their lives to “be a man” and “man up,” men are now rejecting the macho stereotype and instead developing empathy, getting in touch with their emotions, and becoming more sensitive in their relationships. Women are gaining ground in business, culture, education, relationships, and politics as traditional male and female roles disappear. The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century prepares men and women for this shift in gender norms. As the definition of a “real man” evolves, understanding the future of men in business, politics, sports, education, relationships, and parenting will be essential for men to maintain psychological well-being, strengthen their self-esteem and sexual self-confidence, and rewire their emotional lives. The Future of Men provides tools to help men, and especially younger men, recognize and embrace new behaviors that are required for health and happiness at work, at home, and in their relationships.

Comets

Nature and Culture

Author: P. Andrew Karam

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780238584

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 7137

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Radiating fire and ice, comets as a phenomenon seem part science, part myth. Two thousand years ago when a comet shot across the night sky, it convinced the Romans that Julius Caesar was a god. In 1066, Halley’s Comet was interpreted as a foreshadowing of the death of Harold the Second in the Battle of Hastings. Even today the arrival of a comet often feels auspicious, confirming our hopes, fears, and sense of wonder in the universe. In Comets, P. Andrew Karam takes the reader on a far-ranging exploration of these most beautiful and dramatic objects in the skies, revealing how comets and humanity have been interwoven throughout history. He delves into the science of comets and how it has changed over time; the way comets have been depicted in art, religion, literature, and popular culture; and how comets have appeared in the heavens through the centuries. Comprehensive in scope and beautifully illustrated throughout, the book will appeal not only to the budding astronomer, but to anyone with an appreciation for these compelling and remarkable celestial bodies.

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: 4155

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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.

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: 7238

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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.

The 8 Calendars of the Maya

The Pleiadian Cycle and the Key to Destiny

Author: Hunbatz Men

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1591439876

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 128

View: 6604

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Mayan daykeeper Hunbatz Men reveals the multi-calendar system of the Maya that guided the lives of his ancestors and how it can guide us today • The first book to reveal the secrets of the Mayan Pleiades calendar: the Tzek’eb • Explains how the Maya used their astronomical knowledge to guide their lives on Earth The Mayan Calendar has taken on special prominence with the imminent arrival of 2012, a date that many claim is the end of that calendar. However, as Mayan elder and daykeeper Hunbatz Men shows, the cosmological understanding of his ancestors was so sophisticated that they had not one, but many calendars, each based on the cycles of different systems in the cosmos. In this book he reveals for the first time the Tzek’eb, or Pleiades, Calendar of 26,000 years, which charts the revolution of our solar system around Alcyone, the central star of the Pleiades system. He also discusses the K’uuk’ulcan Calendar of the 4 seasons of the solar year and the wheel of the K’altunes Calendar, which is composed of 13 cycles of 20 years each that form a calendar of 260 years. In traditional Mayan culture the computation of time was not determined by simple economic or social motives. The calendars served the higher purpose of synchronizing the lives of human beings and their societies to the great cosmic pulsation, to the rhythm of the annual seasons, and to the other cycles that dictate changes upon Earth. Mayan understanding of the cosmic cycles was so exact that this knowledge could be used to influence all stages of life--from planning when to conceive (parents could choose not only the sex of their child but its vocation and future destiny) to plotting out the course of the entire society. Pyramids played a crucial role in applying this wisdom because, as Hunbatz Men shows, they were able to produce and transform energy in accordance with the cosmic cycles charted by the calendars. This book reveals for the first time the wisdom of the multi-calendar Mayan system and how it can help guide our modern world.

Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico

Author: Anthony F. Aveni

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780292775787

Category: Science

Page: 355

View: 9185

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Combining as it does the romance of space with the mystery of the past, the study of pre-Columbian skywatchers of the New World has drawn increasing scientific and popular attention in recent years. Aveni, one of the pioneers in this new interdisciplinary field, couples basic astronomy with archaeological and ethnological data to present a readable and entertaining synthesis of what is known of ancient astronomy in this hemisphere.

The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness

Author: Carl Johan Calleman

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1591438969

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 320

View: 1598

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Reveals the Mayan calendar to be a spiritual device that describes the evolution of human consciousness from ancient times into the future • Shows the connection between cosmic evolution and actual human history • Provides a new science of time that explains why time not only seems to be speeding up in the modern world but is actually getting faster • Explains how the end of the Mayan calendar is not the end of the world, but a path toward enlightenment The prophetic Mayan calendar is not keyed to the movement of planetary bodies. Instead, it functions as a metaphysical map of the evolution of consciousness and records how spiritual time flows--providing a new science of time. The calendar is associated with nine creation cycles, which represent nine levels of consciousness or Underworlds on the Mayan cosmic pyramid. Through empirical research Calleman shows how this pyramidal structure of the development of consciousness can explain things as disparate as the common origin of world religions and the modern complaint that time seems to be moving faster. Time, in fact, is speeding up as we transition from the materialist Planetary Underworld of time that governs us today to a new and higher frequency of consciousness--the Galactic Underworld--in preparation for the final Universal level of conscious enlightenment. Calleman reveals how the Mayan calendar is a spiritual device that enables a greater understanding of the nature of conscious evolution throughout human history and the concrete steps we can take to align ourselves with this growth toward enlightenment.

Ritual, Play and Belief, in Evolution and Early Human Societies

Author: Colin Renfrew,Iain Morley,Michael Boyd

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110854861X

Category: Social Science

Page: 356

View: 5538

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The origins of religion and ritual in humans have been the focus of centuries of thought in archaeology, anthropology, theology, evolutionary psychology and more. Play and ritual have many aspects in common, and ritual is a key component of the early cult practices that underlie the religious systems of societies in all parts of the world. This book examines the formative cults and the roots of religious practice from the earliest times until the development of early religion in the Near East, in China, in Peru, in Mesoamerica and beyond. Here, leading prehistorians, biologists, and other specialists bring a fresh approach to the early practices that underlie the faiths and religions of the world. They demonstrate the profound role of play ritual and belief systems and offer powerful new insights into the emergence of early societies.

Maya Political Science

Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos

Author: Prudence M. Rice

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292757840

Category: Social Science

Page: 376

View: 7108

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How did the ancient Maya rule their world? Despite more than a century of archaeological investigation and glyphic decipherment, the nature of Maya political organization and political geography has remained an open question. Many debates have raged over models of centralization versus decentralization, superordinate and subordinate status—with far-flung analogies to emerging states in Europe, Asia, and Africa. But Prudence Rice asserts that neither the model of two giant "superpowers" nor that which postulates scores of small, weakly independent polities fits the accumulating body of material and cultural evidence. In this groundbreaking book, Rice builds a new model of Classic lowland Maya (AD 179-948) political organization and political geography. Using the method of direct historical analogy, she integrates ethnohistoric and ethnographic knowledge of the Colonial-period and modern Maya with archaeological, epigraphic, and iconographic data from the ancient Maya. On this basis of cultural continuity, she constructs a convincing case that the fundamental ordering principles of Classic Maya geopolitical organization were the calendar (specifically a 256-year cycle of time known as the may) and the concept of quadripartition, or the division of the cosmos into four cardinal directions. Rice also examines this new model of geopolitical organization in the Preclassic and Postclassic periods and demonstrates that it offers fresh insights into the nature of rulership, ballgame ritual, and warfare among the Classic lowland Maya.

Maya Calendar Origins

Monuments, Mythistory, and the Materialization of Time

Author: Prudence M. Rice

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9780292774490

Category: Social Science

Page: 280

View: 407

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In Maya Political Science: Time, Astronomy, and the Cosmos, Prudence M. Rice proposed a new model of Maya political organization in which geopolitical seats of power rotated according to a 256-year calendar cycle known as the May. This fundamental connection between timekeeping and Maya political organization sparked Rice's interest in the origins of the two major calendars used by the ancient lowland Maya, one 260 days long, and the other having 365 days. In Maya Calendar Origins, she presents a provocative new thesis about the origins and development of the calendrical system. Integrating data from anthropology, archaeology, art history, astronomy, ethnohistory, myth, and linguistics, Rice argues that the Maya calendars developed about a millennium earlier than commonly thought, around 1200 BC, as an outgrowth of observations of the natural phenomena that scheduled the movements of late Archaic hunter-gatherer-collectors throughout what became Mesoamerica. She asserts that an understanding of the cycles of weather and celestial movements became the basis of power for early rulers, who could thereby claim "control" over supernatural cosmic forces. Rice shows how time became materialized—transformed into status objects such as monuments that encoded calendrical or temporal concerns—as well as politicized, becoming the foundation for societal order, political legitimization, and wealth. Rice's research also sheds new light on the origins of the Popol Vuh, which, Rice believes, encodes the history of the development of the Mesoamerican calendars. She also explores the connections between the Maya and early Olmec and Izapan cultures in the Isthmian region, who shared with the Maya the cosmovision and ideology incorporated into the calendrical systems.

The Measure and Meaning of Time in Mesoamerica and the Andes

Author: Anthony F. Aveni

Publisher: Dumbarton Oaks Pub Service

ISBN: 9780884024033

Category: Science

Page: 326

View: 7864

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Anthony F. Aveni gathers specialists from diverse fields to discuss temporal concepts gleaned from the people of Mesoamerica and the Andes. Essays address how they reckon and register time and how they sense time and its moral dimensions. To them, time is a feature of the process of perception, not just the sharp present ingrained in Western minds.

Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the Context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention

A Thematic Study

Author: Clive L. N. Ruggles,Michel Cotte

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780954086770

Category: Archaeoastronomy

Page: 304

View: 4295

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This joint venture between ICOMOS, the advisory body to UNESCO on cultural sites, and the International Astronomical Union is the second volume in an ongoing exploration of themes and issues relating to astronomical heritage in particular and to science and technology heritage in general. It examines a number of key questions relating to astronomical heritage sites and their potential recognition as World Heritage, attempting to identify what might constitute "outstanding universal value" in relation to astronomy. "Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy--Volume 2" represents the culmination of several years' work to address some of the most challenging issues raised in the first ICOMOS-IAU Thematic Study, published in 2010. These include the recognition and preservation of the value of dark skies at both cultural and natural sites and landscapes; balancing archaeoastronomical considerations in the context of broader archaeological and cultural values; the potential for serial nominations; and management issues such as preserving the integrity of astronomical sightlines through the landscape.Its case studies are developed in greater depth than those in volume 1, and generally structured as segments of draft nomination dossiers. They include seven-stone antas (prehistoric dolmens) in Portugal and Spain, the thirteen towers of Chankillo in Peru, the astronomical timing of irrigation in Oman, Pic du Midi de Bigorre Observatory in France, Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and Aoraki-Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in New Zealand. A case study on Stonehenge, already a World Heritage Site, focuses on preserving the integrity of the solstitial sightlines.As for the first ICOMOS-IAU Thematic Study, a international team of authors including historians, astronomers and heritage professionals is led by Professor Clive Ruggles for the IAU and Professor Michel Cotte for ICOMOS.

ANCIENT ASTRONOMERS

Author: AVENI A

Publisher: Smithsonian

ISBN: 9780895990372

Category: History

Page: 176

View: 8330

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Includes the development of astronomy in the Islamic empire, Asia, Africa, Mesoamerica, North America, the Andes, and Oceania.

The Power of Stars

Author: Bryan E. Penprase

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319525972

Category: Science

Page: 225

View: 2813

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Completely revised and updated, this new edition provides a readable, beautifully illustrated journey through world cultures and the vibrant array of sky mythology, creation stories, models of the universe, temples and skyscrapers that each culture has created to celebrate and respond to the power of the night sky. Sections on the archaeoastronomy of South Asia and South East Asia have been expanded, with original photography and new research on temple alignments in Southern India, and new material describing the astronomical practices of Indonesia, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries. Beautiful photographs of temples in India and Asia have been added, as well as new diagrams explaining the alignment of these structures and the astronomical underpinnings of temples within the Pallava and Chola cultures. From new fieldwork in the Four Corners region of North America, Dr. Penprase has included accounts of Pueblo skywatching and photographs of ceremonial kivas that help elucidate the rich astronomical knowledge of the Pueblo people. The popular “Archaeoastronomy of Skyscrapers” section of the book has been updated as well, with new interpretations of skyscrapers in Indonesia, Taiwan and China.With the rapid pace of discovery in astronomy and astrophysics, entirely new perspectives are emerging about dark matter, inflation and the future of the universe. The Power of Stars puts these discoveries in context and describes how they fit into the modern perspective of cosmology, which has arisen from the universal human response to the sky that has inspired both ancient and modern cultures.