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Ancient Mesoamerican Archaeoastronomy

For centuries civilizations have relied on stars in many aspects of their daily lives. Whether celestial bodies were used for navigation, ritual, understanding of agriculture, or socio-political reasons that often put celestial bodies at the center of their ideology. Many civilizations considered these celestial bodies so high that they united their entire society around certain celestial bodies and annual celestial events, such as the equinox and sunshine, and very often associated these bodies and phenomena with their gods. One such Mesoamerican seemed to have a strong fusion between archaeoastronomy and their daily lives. The purpose of this paper is to show how different people who were associated with Mesoamerica viewed celestial bodies and how they integrated certain celestial events into their architecture, ideology, and daily life.

First, the definition of archaeoastronomy is justified in order to provide a better understanding of what is being discussed here. AF Avenue identified archaeoastronomy in his article entitled “Archaeoastronomy in Mesoamerica and Peru: Commentary: How” is more than a study of ancient astronomy through the use of archaeological data and the use of ancient texts. Archaeoastronomy is an interdisciplinary meeting place for those who are concerned with the perception and concept of the natural world by people of ancient civilizations “(Avery; 165). Summing up, we can say that archaeoastronomy is not just what these ancient people saw and recorded when they looked at the sky as well as how they carried out what they saw and drew conclusions based on such conclusions that carried over to aspects of their lives such as religious, agricultural and even urban planning.Avery offers the argument that archaeoastronomy is more than obvious to archaeoastronomy. archaeoastronomy is not only scientific data, but also the context in which these findings are incorporated to form an ideology based on celestial bodies and events.in various facets of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican culture one can often find art, architecture and many records of rare religious practices that have survived using codes.Even though Avery is so itself may argue that Teotihuacan is special because its alignment corresponds to Serra Gordo (which was the main place where they drew water), which does not necessarily mean that archaeoastronomy has no scientific basis. stand further. In fact, proposing several theories of such an orientation stimulates new debates that may ultimately reveal new evidence about the specific reason that Theotihuacan orients as it is. While Avery is very harsh about the quarrel, many seem to think that Teotihuacan’s astronomical schedule is related to specific events. For example, some anthropologists seem to believe that the orientation of the Pyramid of the Sun at fifteen points to five degrees correlates with the setting of the Sun on August 13th. Moreover, the summit of the Pyramid of the Moon was associated with the narration of noon and midnight in its orientation. It is hard to believe that the orientation of these structures and the coincidence between celestial events are pure coincidences.

Next, it is unlikely that civilizations ignored the sky and what they saw in the night sky. There is so much data, on the contrary. Although Avery may not think that Teotihuacan’s orientation has anything to do with celestial events, he argues that many civilizations were aware of the heavens; their orientation in the sky and the ways in which they travel at night (and daily). According to an article Avery wrote entitled “Tropical Archaeoastronomy,” he argues that many of these civilizations have realized their celestial environment. He wrote: “In all ancient societies the sky and its content lay at the very base of human cognition. Early hunter-gatherers and later sedentary societies were greatly influenced by the reliable accuracy of the cyclical repetitions unfolding in the celestial canopy.” (Avery; 161).

Avery notes that celestial bodies and their positions (and paths) were valued by ancient civilizations and used in this way, for example, as an aid to sailors in navigation. In his work, Avery continues to explain some Mesoamerican astronomical concepts. He focuses on the Maya and commented on his advanced forms of writing, mathematics and astronomy. He goes on to talk about how they “also used the horizon system to monitor celestial events and to mark time.” (Avery; 162). For example, Avery tells of stone markers that were used to denote certain celestial events and their connection to earthly events. He writes: “The stone markers that continue behind Campo Santa to the top of a high hill west of the city. From Campo Santa to the top are about 1.5 km. The sun rises on the PS & OS line observed from the O&P stones on March 19, 1940. .2 “days before the equinox.” (Avery; 162-3). This information alone does not give anything extraordinary about stone markers, however it does provide a bit of background information and helps the reader to form a mental image. He sets the scene for the next quote. Avery then writes: “The sun rises on this day by 6 degrees 31.5 ms. Observation is observed with a simple adjustable compass. Observations on the stone today are performed by saccharins (shamans) for planting and harvesting.” (Avery; 162-3). This passage, though long and filled with scientific jargon, nevertheless shows that these stone marks that have been established can and have been used in conjunction with planting and harvesting. Think of these markers as an almanac of Mayan agriculture. Each year the shaman can go on the rocks and, using the simplest tools, make detailed calculations that will be used to ensure a positive impact on their agriculture. Without markers like these ancient Maya, it would be harder to figure out when to plant to ensure an optimal harvest and when to harvest to ensure the optimal quality of your crops.

Avery also wrote about architecture and its connection to celestial bodies in Mesoamerica. One such site that Averi talks about in detail is the Chichen Itza site. He and his associates discussed the calendar symbolism of certain buildings in Chichen Itza and certain correlations that can be seen in the May calendar. For example, Avery talks about Chichen Itza Castile and how some aspects may be related to aspects of Mayan theology, calendar, and celestial events. He describes Castile from Chichen Itza and connects it to these various aspects. For example, he writes, “This stepped radical pyramid possesses nine terraces, as do the number of levels of deceived Maya” (Avery; 129). Avery demonstrates how the Maya incorporated parts of their ideology into their architectural plans. He goes on to say, “On a divided staircase each side contains eighteen such layers, which is equal to the number of twenty days in May.” (Avery; 129) Avery demonstrates a direct relationship between how the Maya built and decorated this monument, and how they associated their calendar with it. Whether accidentally or intentionally, there is no denying that the similarity of the two attributes mentioned by Castillo shows that the Maya could very well have rooted these ideologies in the stone monuments that dominated the landscape. When Castile is viewed from above, it “resembles the four-sided diagrams of the universe that the ancient Mesoamericans drew in their codes, showing the four directed gods, plants, animals, names of days, etc.” (Avery; 129). Why would these Mesoamericans include this type of theological depth in a physical structure that could only be viewed from above? Could it be that they hoped to win allegiance to the gods by showing them the ways they worship and paying homage to them? Or is it just a mixture of theology and calendar mathematics that has just taken the shape it did, and that it can be viewed from the sky quite completely, is it just a coincidence? This author does not believe. This author believes that there was a conscious intention to appease the gods, perhaps in the hope of years of rich harvests and the prosperity of civilization. The architecture of Shichensky Castilla-Itza is full of possible conclusions. For example, Avery goes on to describe Castillo, writing, “Fifty-two in-depth panels adorn both sides of each staircase, as do the number of years in a calendar tour, the shortest interval in which a seasonal year is commensurate with tzolkin’s,” or a sacred 260-day tour. (Avery; 129). This additional layer of symbiosis between Mayan architecture and ideology lays an additional likelihood by arguing that the physical composition of the Castile at Shichen Itza is not accidental and that there is a conscious thought that has been given to incorporate these astronomical and theological ideas. Avery claims that Castile was built and functioned in a “calendar ritual ability in the context of an ancient four-year New Year’s festival cycle held over the last five days of the seasonal calendar” (Avery; 129). This look, in the eyes of Avera, had a certain ritual purpose. The building itself was incorporated by so many Mayan ideologies and theological beliefs that it was undoubtedly erected as a sacred place.
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Avery has not started a market when it comes to archaeoastronomy. There are many other anthropologists and other stakeholders who have voiced on the subject. After such a man it is Elizabeth Baiti. She wrote an article for modern anthropology entitled “Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy so far.” In her work she examines the construction of megalithic structures of ancient times and the astronomical techniques used in their construction. It also delves into the new student’s explanation, which includes engineering, archeology, and astronomy. She argues that there are many structures that were erected in ancient civilizations that had a specific purpose of predicting astronomical events. These buildings were installed not only for aesthetic value, although many of these buildings admired the beauty. Speaking of archaeoastronomy, she explains that she “focuses on analyzing the orientations and measurements of megalithic and other monumental ancient structures, many of which, as we shall see, could have been used to predict solar and lunar eclipses and have undoubtedly served to determine sunscreens, sunscreens, and sunscreens.” which allow to establish dates of agricultural activity and ritual cycle of the year “. (Bait; 390). As you can see, there are some similarities between what she is reasoning and the argument presented by Avery. Both give the impression that these buildings, built by ancient Mesoamericans, were built for astronomical, agricultural and religious events. Most of these structures were included in rites that coincided with certain seasonal events, and data can be learned about pottery, art, and other means. It is safe to say that Mesoamerican people focus on certain celestial events such as the solstice and the equinox. Some of these celestial events coincided directly with the planting or harvesting of annual crops that provided the food that Mesoamericans needed to develop as a civilization. The idea of ​​structures predicting specific celestial events is not new and not typical of Mesoamericans. Many other cultures throughout history have erected buildings for the same purpose. For example, Stonehenge is perhaps one of the most famous celestial monuments in the world. Archaeologists have tried to decipher what the stones are. Some archaeologists theorize that they note the magnitude of the moon’s azimuth, others seem to think they are directly related to the sun’s equinoxes and equinoxes. No matter what the differences between astronomers and anthropologists regarding Stonehenge, one thing is for sure — it was erected for a purpose other than pure utility. It is this push and stretching of long-held beliefs regarding the use of these monolithic structures that leads to new advances and breakthroughs in anthropology.

In Mesoamerica there are many other monuments that have archaeoastronomical content. One such site is the Mayan site in Copan. Harvey and Victorian Bricker describe some of the astronomical content on this site, called the 8N-11 group. In their article “Astronomical orientation of the Skyband stand in Kopan” Bricker tells about the Skyband bench. Like Teotihuacan, the orientation of the bench in the sky at Copan plays a key role in trusting the argumentation of the archaeoastronomical content of Mesoamerican cultures. In their article, they write: “The bench in the sky in Kopan is a bicephalic bird war (panels 1 and 9), not a snake, but all panels of the body have celestial images. Panels 2, 5 and 8 are frontal views of the head. The concept of the embodied the god of the Sun or the Sun. Panel 3 is the incarnation of the Moon, and Panel 7 is the personified Venus. Panels 4 and 6 are the incarnations of night and day, respectively “(Bricker; 435). These facts cannot be ignored. The fact that Mesoamericans create art that reflects celestial bodies and, moreover, embodying them, shows that they had a deep connection with the bodies in the heavens. The Skyband bench is a great example of the early Mesoamericans who demonstrate their consciousness of the heavens and celestial bodies that are inside. The Brickers Handbook is a good example of how part of Mesoamerican architecture can offer a wealth of knowledge and credibility for archaeoastronomy. As in any other discipline, the more papers to be published on a particular topic, the more the scientific community notices and hopefully works to accept these hypotheses.

The Maya were not the only Mesoamerican civilization that incorporated celestial images into their structure, and later into their culture. David Carrasco discusses Aztec culture in his article “Star Collectors and the Swaying Sun: Astral Symbolism in the Aztec Tradition.” In his essay, he explains spatial orientation and symbolism. He writes: “The Aztecs observed the stars, measured them and relied on their social and agricultural cycles.” (Carrasco; 284). Do you see a trend emerging? In almost all examples of Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy, agriculture is one of the main components. Without agriculture some civilization will surely perish. The ability to yield a bountiful harvest can mean the difference between a prosperous civilization and one that is in ruins. There are several factors to think about when it comes to agriculture. First, the sun can be both a find and a curse. Its heat and ultraviolet rays are necessary for plants in order to grow and thrive. Too much or not enough heat, and too much or not enough ultraviolet rays, and the crop will suffer. Second, water is needed for agricultural development. Without life-giving water the crop can dry up and civilization will suffer. Too much water and crops can be flooded, which will affect the crops and people will also suffer. The ancient Mesoamericans believed that the gods controlled all these facets of agriculture. Rituals were performed to appease the gods. Turning to the gods, the people hoped that the gods would look down on them generously and give them a bountiful harvest that would help preserve them for another season. It is logical that they wanted to be as well equipped as possible when it came to planting, supervision and harvesting. By including a way of predicting better planting and harvesting times, these people could ensure the sustainability of their civilization for future generations. Many of these ancient Mesoamerican shamans can be considered as early scientists without even knowing what they are. In their eyes, they were simply messengers or arbiters for the gods. In fact, they used the scientific method and applied it to various measuring devices (architectural structures) to show the means of scientific replication from year to year. These shamans knew that the solstice and equinox occur at certain times of the year, every year. Having the opportunity to reproduce these results, they not only helped their people but also built trust in themselves as messengers of the gods. These structures were necessary tools for the shaman to be able to perform his divine duties effectively.

All these examples of archaeoastonomy are connected by a certain imagery and celestial bodies. In almost every case there are images of the Sun, Moon and various other celestial bodies. Although they may be associated with various gods, these Mesoamericans highly regarded these celestial bodies as key elements of their survival. Without the sun the crops would certainly not have been able to. Without the Moon the tides could not be combed and watered, and thus navigation and fishing would be contradictory. Гэтыя ўсе важныя нябесныя багі складаюць неад’емную частку мезаамерыканскай ідэалогіі.

Для далейшага вывучэння гэтага пункту можна паглядзець артыкул Вельда Ягня пад назвай “Сонца, Месяц і Венера на Оксмале”. У гэтым артыкуле ён апісвае элементы многіх мазаік у Uxmal. Паглядзеўшы на гэтыя мазаікі, можна ўбачыць, як яны загружаюцца археаастранамічнымі дадзенымі. Шэлдан паглыбіўся ў гэтую тэму, растлумачыўшы факты, якія тычацца Месяца, Сонца і Венеры, якія знаходзяцца ў мазаіках на гэтым месцы. Ён піша, “што гэтыя прыкметы ў сукупнасці захоўваюць веды пра восем месяцаў пра Сонца, Месяц і Венеру: сінадычны перыяд Месяца складае 29,53 дня; месяцовы сідалічны перыяд доўжыцца амаль 27,33 дня; сярэдняя сінодычная Венера складае амаль 584 дні; назіраная сінодыка Венеры можа вар’іравацца ў межах 581 і 587 дзён; любыя пяць запар сінодыкі Венеры роўныя або прыходзяць на працягу аднаго дня васьмі няясных гадоў па 365 дзён кожны; адна карэляцыя сонца і месяц мае пяць кароткіх гадоў, а тры доўгія разам роўныя васьмі цьмяных гадоў ці восем сапраўдных сонечных гадоў альбо 99 месяцаў; сінерскі перыяд Венеры доўжыцца амаль 224 дні; і, нарэшце, 13 бакавых вырабаў Венеры практычна роўныя пяць сінодыкам Венеры “(Ягня; 79). Хоць гэта выглядае так, быццам гэта проста куча навуковых дадзеных з-за слоўнікавага запасу, у якім размешчана інфармацыя, трэба ўлічваць, што гэтыя мазаікі былі зроблены каля 750-1000 г. н.э. З улікам гэтага можна ўбачыць, як майя былі вельмі зацікаўлены ў нябесных целах і былі вельмі тэхналагічна сугучныя нябёсам. Такі выгляд звестак будзе ажыццяўляцца не на працягу некалькіх дзён і месяцаў, а на працягу многіх гадоў і пакаленняў. Такая самаадданасць можа азначаць толькі тое, што майя былі вельмі паглынуты археаастраноміяй. Гэтыя мазаікі таксама маюць фігуры жывёл, у асноўным змеі птушак, якія таксама адлюстраваны на сценах некаторых будынкаў. Гэта паказвае, што астраномія была інтэграваная і вельмі цесна звязана са сваёй рэлігіяй. Наяўнасць бостваў нараўне з астранамічнымі дадзенымі паказвае моцную карэляцыю паміж рэлігійнымі вераваннямі гэтых людзей і тым, наколькі цесна звязана гэта ў астраноміі. Мая, безумоўна, цікавілася астраноміяй і яшчэ больш зацікаўленая ў спробе захаваць сваю цывілізацыю, разумеючы сваіх багоў. Каб лепш зразумець сваіх багоў, гэта спосаб лепш служыць сваім багам і супакоіць сваіх багоў. Калі багі супакойваюцца, Майя думае, што будзе ўраджай больш багаты, больш паспяховыя ваенныя кампаніі і плён іх цывілізацыі.

У заключэнне, ёсць шмат антраполагаў, якія могуць не цалкам пагадзіцца з рознымі інтэрпрэтацыямі, якія зрабілі некаторыя даследчыкі археаастраноміі адносна архітэктуры і ідэалогіі мезаамерыканскага народа. Шмат чаго з гэтага якраз і ёсць: падрыхтоўка да інтэрпрэтацыі, але дастаткова навуковых дадзеных, якія дазваляюць паказаць, што на самай справе існуе сувязь паміж падзеямі, якія адбываюцца на нябёсах, і тэалагічнымі, сельскагаспадарчымі і культурнымі сувязямі, якія звязваюць многія з іх Месаамерыка да розных нябесных целаў. Гледзячы на ​​сучаснае неба, не дзіўна, што так шмат культур зачаравана дзівамі ў небе і днём, і ноччу. Сёння ў нас ёсць астраномы і перадавыя тэхналогіі, каб вылічыць, вылічыць і асэнсаваць усе дадзеныя, якія здабываюцца з нябёсаў. Яшчэ ў часы ацтэкаў, майя і іншых месаамерыканцаў нельга думаць, што яны зрабілі вельмі навуковыя разлікі ў дачыненні да нябесных тэл без дапамогі камп’ютэраў і іншых частак сучаснай тэхнікі. Дадайце, што з дзівоснай прыродай нябёсаў, і нездарма гэтыя людзі часта звязваюць нябесныя целы з богамі – Сонцам, Месяцам і іншымі нябеснымі целамі. Ва ўсім свеце існуюць падобныя павер’і ад полюса да полюса і ад паўшар’я да паўшар’я. У наступны раз, калі вы паглядзіце на неба і выбярыце сваё любімае сузор’е ці іншыя нябесныя целы, уявіце сабе, што бачылі Майя альбо Ацтэк. Глядзець у нябёсы – гэта як паглядзець у акно, якое вядзе ў мінулае.

Працы, цытаваныя

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Авені, А. Ф. “Трапічная археаастраномія”. Навука. 213. не. 4504 (1981): 161-171.

Авені, Энтані, Лопе Карлас і Сьюзен Мілбрат. “Спадчына Чычэн-Іца ў астранамічна арыентаванай архітэктуры Маяпана”. Антрапалогія і эстэтыка. не. 45 (2004): 123-143.

Баіці, Элізабэт. “Археаастраномія і этнаастраномія да гэтага часу [and Comments and Reply]”Цяперашняя антрапалогія. 14. № 4 (1973): 389-449.

Брыкер, Харві і Вікторыя Брыкер. “Астранамічная арыентацыя стэнда на небе ў Копане”. Часопіс палявой археалогіі. 26. не. 4 (1999): 435-442.

Carrasco, Davíd. “Зорныя збіральнікі і дрыготкі сонца: астральны сімвалізм у традыцыі ацтэкаў”. Гісторыя рэлігій. 26. не. 3 (1987): 279-294.

Ягня, Уэлдон. “Сонца, Месяц і Венера на Уксмале”. Амерыканская антычнасць. 45. не. 1 (1980): 79-86.