Author: Gerardo Aldana y V.
Publisher: Oxbow Books
Release Date: 2014-05-30
Genre: Social Science
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.
Author: A. Aveni
Publisher: American Philosophical Society
Release Date: 2007-12-01
Why do people orient buildings the way they do? That the depiction of the cardinal directions of space had something to do with events taking place in the sky is suggested by cosmological diagrams derived from the civilizations of ancient Mexico. Contents: The Orientation Problem & Categories of Explan.; The Orientation of Ceremonial Architecture in Ancient Mesoamerica; Alignment of Maya Sites; Puuc Building Alignments; Discussion of Individual Site Plans: Uxmal, Sayil, Kabah, Labna & Outliers, Oxkintok & Outliers, Chacmultun, Kiuic, & Xcalumkin, Xculoc, & the Puuc Sites in Campeche; The Question of Site Chronology; Calendrical Implications of Astronomical Orientation Hypotheses; & The Orientation Calendar in a Cultural Context. Tables. Illus.
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.
Author: Giulio Magli
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2009-04-09
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.
Author: Hugh Thurston
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 1996-08-29
Many civilizations produced astronomical texts, and many cultures that left no written records, left monuments ranging from rock paintings to Stonehenge, that show a clear interest in astronomy. This text is the history of such cultures along with the disc
Author: Carl Lehrburger
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2015-01-02
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
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.
Author: Susan Milbrath
Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
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.
Author: Anthony F. Aveni
Publisher: Univ of Texas Pr
Release Date: 2001
From reviews of the first edition: ". . . a clear, well-written introduction to archaeoastronomy [that] should be on the shelf of anyone interested in the subject." -Archaeology ". . . a splendid book, interesting both as science and as history." -Sky and Telescope ". . . a well-written, stimulating, and excellently illustrated book. Buy it or borrow it!" -Archaeoastronomy 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.
Author: Helen Benigni
Publisher: University Press of America
Release Date: 2013-06-03
Genre: Social Science
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. The book concentrates on Western Europe, the Mediterranean, the Near East, and the East from the Paleolithic Age to the Iron Age. It reveals the archetype of a goddess associated with the planet Venus who is identified with transformation, spiritual resurrection, and enlightenment. The characteristics of the goddess are steeped in sexual metaphors which contain images of birth and re-birth, and they reveal a pattern of symbols that follows the journey of the planet Venus through its cycles in the night sky. Moreover, the journey of Venus and the corresponding icons associated with the goddess are part of an intricate pattern of symbolic language that is seen on ancient monuments and on the ancient calendars of several cultures. Temples from France and Ireland to Greece and Malta trace the journey of the planet Venus and the story of the goddess of Venus.