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The Mayas


  • 1. The Mayas
  • 2. The International Astronomical Union has honored the Mayas: Crater on Mercury Hun Kal Crater Hun Kal is a small crater on Mercury that serves as the reference point for the planet's system of longitude. The longitude of Hun Kal's center is defined as being 20 W, thus establishing the planet's prime meridian. ...
  • 3. Maya land, meso America
  • 4. Slave society, so a calendar was required to organize activities during the rainy and dry seasons.
  • 5. Sites served ritual, commerce and time keeping purposes, a well know example is Chichen-Itza
  • 6. Descent of Kukulkn
  • 7. Models Predict star alignments, shadows, eclipses.
  • 8. No animal transportation nor metal tools Edzn, Campeche Ekbalam, Yucatn
  • 9. No animal transportation nor metal tools Mayapan, Yucatn Tulum, Quintana Roo
  • 10. Great craftsmen Active Merchants A trade system existed through which salt, obsidian, jade, cacao, animal pelts, tropical bird feathers, luxury ceramics and other goods flowed.
  • 11. One of the five written languages of antiquity: Dresden Codex The Dresden Codex contains astronomical tables of great accuracy. It is most famous for its Lunar Series and Venus table. The lunar series has intervals correlating with eclipses. The Venus Table correlates with the apparent movements of the planet. The codex also contains almanacs, astronomical and astrological tables, and ritual schedules. The specific numen references have to do with a 260-day ritual cycle divided up in several ways. The Dresden Codex also includes instructions concerning new-year ceremonies as well as descriptions of the Rain God's (Chac) locations.
  • 12. Sculpture has been preserved
  • 13. Calendar The Haab cycle is 365 days, and approximates the solar year. The Haab is a nineteen month calendar. The Haab is composed of 18 months made of 20 days, and one month, made of 5 days. This 5-day month is called "Wayeb." Thus, 18 x 20 + 5 = 365 days. This image shows the hieroglyphs corresponding to the nineteen months of the Haab calendar. The Maya represented some of these months using more than one glyph. These glyphs are referred to as "variants." Variants of the same glyph are framed in a turquoise background.
  • 14. Calendar The Maya sacred calendar is called Tzolkin in Yucatec Mayan and Chol Qij in Kiche Mayan. This calendar is not divided into months. Instead, it is made from a succession of 20 day glyphs in combination with the numbers 1 to 13, and produces 260 unique days. Multiplying 20 x 13 equals 260 days. This image illustrates how the numbers 1 to 13, cycle through the 20 glyphs to form dates in the Tzolkin calendar. Any such combination, such as 1 Imix, repeats only after 260 days have passed. The length of the Tzolkin matches nine cycles of the Moon and the gestational period of humans. The Tzolkin is also related to the movements of the zenith Sun and the growing cycle of corn.
  • 15. Same calendar across Meso -America
  • 16. Alignments with constructions, flat land Sky/Kana Venus/Chak Ek
  • 17. Spring solstice
  • 18. Zenith pass Once or twice each year, people who live at lower latitudes (within 23.5 degrees of the equator) can see the sun reach the zenith, an imaginary point directly overhead. (If you poked a pencil straight into the ground when the sun was at its zenith, it would make no shadow at all.) The path the sun takes on these daysfrom sunrise through zenith, to sunsetis called the zenith passage. Right at the equator, the zenith passage coincides with the equinoxes. At Chichn Itz, the zenith passage is experienced on May 26 and July 20, give or take a day. These zenith events apparently played a key role in the development of the Mayan calendar.
  • 19. Ball game: social, religious, political, mythological and time keeping purposes
  • 20. Ball game: social, religious, political, mythological and time keeping purposes
  • 21. Ball game: social, religious, political, mythological and time keeping purposes
  • 22. Built observatories Snail: curving corridor with observation windows
  • 23. Bonampak
  • 24. Murals at Bonampak PacalKing or Ancient Astronaut?
  • 25. Milky Way as much venerated by the Maya. They called it the World Tree, which was represented by a tall and majestic flowering tree, the Ceiba. The Milky Way was called the Wakah Chan (Left Glyph). Wak means "Six" or "Erect". Chan or K'an means "Four", "Serpent" or "Sky". The World Tree was erect when Sagittarius was well over the horizon. At this time the Milky Way rose up from the horizon and climbed overhead into the North. The star clouds that form the Milky Way were seen as the tree of life where all life came from.
  • 26. Venus observations Venus platform at Chichen-Itza
  • 27. Venus transit was registered at Mayapan Seen from the earth, Venus moves in a tricky fashion, appearing, disappearing, then reappearing, first as a morning star, then as an evening "star." (Venus is a planet, of course, but observers in the pastpersisting in some cases to the presentmistook it for an unusually bright star.) So complicated is Venuss disappearing act that the ancient Greeks misconstrued it as two different stars. The Mayans knew better, and they recognized Venus in both the morning and evening skies as one and the same.
  • 28. Next Venus transit at the rising sun This rise and fall of Venus as a morning star takes 263 days. For the next 50 days, Venus disappears and cannot be seen in the sky at all. Then, Venus reappears in the evening sky, where it remains for another 263-day phase before disappearing below the horizon for 8 days. At the end of these 8 days, Venus reappears as a morning star, and the cycle begins again.
  • 29. MAYA TECHNOLOGY/INNOVATION Math based on multiples of 20 The Mayans had a number system consisting of shells, dots, an