The Maya, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars

August 30th, 2012 by
Categories: Mexico

El CaracolIn this year of the Maya, the obsession has been all about the Maya calendar and the media frenzy over the end date of their Long Count on December 21, 2012.

But obscured beneath this much-hyped date lies the core of Maya brilliance: their unfailing ability to accurately chronicle, assimilate and compute the calculations of eclipses, lunation and rotation cycles. Because of their fascination with the night sky they became known as naked eye astronomers.

The Maya were all about the sun, moon and the stars. Each major site had an observatory, and through the three remaining pre-Columbian codices (paperbark books) that survived the conquest it’s known that astronomical calculations were their strong suit. But why was the sky so all important to the ancient Maya?

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