Historical Archaeoastronomy of the Mesoamericans – event proposal

Wednesday, December 12th 2018. | Proposal

 

For centuries civilizations have Relied on the celebrities in several aspects of their daily lives. Whether heavenly bodies were used for navigation, ceremonial, insight for agriculture, or even sociology-political motives these people often put celestial bodies in the center of their ideology. Many civilizations held these heavenly bodies in such high regard that they integrated their whole society around certain celestial bodies along with the annual celestial events, like the equinoxes and the solstices, and quite often associated these bodies and happenings with their gods. One such men and women, the Americanizes seemed to have a tight spacing involving archaeoastronomy and their daily life. The objective of this paper is to show how the different individuals which were connected with Americanism regarded celestial bodies and how they incorporated certain celestial events in their own architecture, ideology, and everyday life.

First, a definition of
Archaeoastronomy is warranted to permit for a better comprehension of what is being discussed . A.F. Niven described archaeoastronomy in his post entitled,”Archaeoastronomy at Americanism and Peru: Comment: as”over the analysis of ancient astronomy through using archeological data and the use of historical texts. Archaeoastronomy is an interdisciplinary meeting ground for people who are concerned about the perception and concept of the natural world by the people of ancient cultures” (Averil; 165). To summarize this it could be stated that archaeoastronomy is not only what these ancient people saw and recorded if they looked into the heavens, but also the way they realized what they saw and drew conclusions based on these findings which were taken over to facets of their lives like religious, agricultural, and even town planning. Averil is proposing the argument that there’s more than meets the eye where archaeoastronomy is concerned. This archaeoastronomy is not simply scientific information, but also what contexts these findings are plugged into as a way to form an ideology based on celestial bodies or occasions. These implementations of celestial bodies and events in various aspects of per-Columbia cultures of the Americanism are often seen from the art, architecture, and also in many of the recorded religious practices which have been preserved through codices. Even though Averil can also assert that Teotihuacan is situated in a particular manner because the alignment of it is based on Cicero Gordon (which was the primary place where they brought water) that does not automatically mean that archaeoastronomy doesn’t have a scientific leg to stand on. In fact, offering multiple concepts of this orientation arouses new debates which may, finally, uncover new information regarding the specific rationale that Teotihuacan is oriented exactly the way it is. While Averil holds fast to his debate many others seem to think that the astronomical orientation of Teotihuacan has to do with specific occasions. For instance, some anthropologists seem to believe that the fifteen-point-five degree orientation of the Pyramid of the Sun contrasts with the placing of the sun on August 13th. In addition, the Pyramid of the Moon’s summit has been connected with the notification of noon and midnight by its own orientation. It would be tough to believe that the orientation of the structures along with the coinciding relationship between celestial events are pure coincidence.

Next, It’s unlikely that Civilizations ignored the skies and what they found in the night skies. There’s so much information to the opposite. Although Averil might not feel that the orientation of Teotihuacan has something related to celestial events that he does assert that lots of cultures were aware of the heavens; their orientation at the skies, and the trails where they travel nightly (and daily). According to an article that Averil composed entitled,”Tropical Archaeoastronomy” he says that many of these cultures had a conscious awareness of the celestial surroundings. He wrote,”In most ancient societies, the skies and its contents put at the very base of individual cognition. Early hunter-gatherers and later sedentary societies were deeply influenced by the dependable precision of cyclic recurrence unfolding from the canopy.” (Avery; 161).

Averil points out that the celestial
Bodies and their ranks (and paths) were valued by early civilizations and were used in these ways, by way of instance, as in helping seafarers in navigation. In his newspaper, Averil proceeds to describe a number of the Americanism astronomical concepts. He focuses on the Maya and commented about their innovative forms of writing, astronomy and mathematics. He moves on to talk about how they”also used the horizon method to monitor celestial events and also to indicate time.” (Averil;162). By way of example, Averil talks about rock markers which were used to indicate specific celestial events and their significance to temperate events. He writes,”Stone markers stretching from Campo Santos around the very top of high hill west of town. By Campos Santos to top approx. 1.5km. Sun rises on traces PS & OS seen from rocks O & P on March 19th 1940 two weeks before the equinox.” (Averil;162-3). This information, in itself, tells us nothing outstanding about the stone markers, but it will give a little bit of background info and assists a reader to create a mental image in their thoughts. Avery then writes,”Sun climbs this day at 6 levels 31.5 ms. Direction observed with easy adjustable compass. Observations are made in the stone now by horizons (shamans) for harvesting and planting.” (Averil;162-3). This passage, although lengthy and full of scientific jargon, does reveal these markers stones which were erected could be, and were/are, utilized in conjunction with the planting and harvesting of the plants. Each year a shaman can go to the stone and, together with the simplest of tools, make detailed calculations that will be used in ensuring a positive effect on their own agriculture. Without mark such as these early Mayas could have had a harder time trying to figure out when to plant their own crops to ensure optimum return, and when to harvest in order to ensure optimum quality of their crops.

Structure and its correlation to celestial bodies in Americanism. 1 such website that Averil talks about in detail is that of Chichi Fitz. He, along with his associates, discussed the cylindrical symbolism of particular buildings in Chichi Fitz and particular correlations which could be seen from inside the Maya calendar. By way of example, Averil talks specially about that the Castillo of Chichi Fitz and how certain aspects of it can be related to aspects of this Maya theology, calendar, and celestial events. He clarifies the Castillo of Chichi Fitz and ties it to these different aspects. As an example, he writes,”This stepped radical pyramid possesses nine terraces, just like the amount of levels of the Maya underworld.” (Averil; 129). Averil is revealing how the Maya incorporated pieces of their ideology into their architectural strategies. He proceeds to say,”Divided by a stairway, every side includes eighteen such layers, which is equivalent to the amount of twenty-day months at a Maya year.” Whether it’s by coincidence or completed by purpose there isn’t any denying the similarities to the two attributes mentioned concerning the Castillo shows the Maya could’ve very well been putting those ideologies to the stone monuments that dominated the landscape. Whenever the Castillo is viewed from above it”looks like the tripartite diagrams of this world that the ancient Americanizes painted inside their codices, which show that the four directional gods, plants, creatures, day titles, etc” (Avery;129). Why would these Americanizes integrate this type of theological depth to some bodily arrangement that may only be viewed from above? Is it simply a combination of theology and calendar math that only happened to take the form it did and the fact that it can be viewed most completely from the sky is just a coincidence? This author thinks not. This writer believes that there was a conscious intent to appease the gods, possibly in the hopes of countless years of bountiful harvests and the flourishing of the culture. The structure of the Castillo of Chichi Fitz is filled with possible inferences. This added layer of symbiosis between architecture and Maya ideology lays additional credibility to the argument that the physical makeup of the Castillo at Chichi Fitz is not arbitrary and that there was aware thought that was granted in order to incorporate these astronomical and theological thoughts. Averil is claiming the Castillo was constructed and functioned in a”cylindrical ritual capacity in the context of this early four-directional New year festival practice, which was conducted throughout the previous five days of their seasonal calendar.” The building itself was incorporated with so much Maya ideology and theological beliefs that it was definitely built as a sacred location.

Avery has not cornered the market as Far as archaeoastronomy is concerned. There are a number of other anthropologists and other interested parties which have chimed in on the subject. Once such person is Elizabeth Barty. In her paper she discusses the building of megalithic constructions of early times and the astronomical methods that were used in their construction. She delves into describing a new sub disciple that integrates engineering, archeology, and astronomy. She makes the argument that there are many structures which were built in ancient civilizations that held that a particular intention of predicting astronomical events. These structures were not just erected for their aesthetic value alone even though a lot of these constructions are breath-taking inside their attractiveness. In talking about archaeoastronomy she explains that it”focuses on the evaluation of their orientations and dimensions of megalithic and other enormous historical structures, many of which, as we’ll see, could have functioned for the forecast of solar and lunar eclipses and certainly did function for the conclusion of solstices and equinoxes, allowing the setting of dates to agricultural activities and for its ritual cycle of this year”. As you can see that there are a few similarities between what she’s arguing along with the argument that Avery presented. Both are under the belief that these structures that the ancient Americanism individuals constructed were built with the aim of astronomical, agricultural, and religious occasions. The majority of these structures were integrated into rituals which coincided with specific seasonal occasions and the signs can be seen on ceramics, artwork, and other mediums. It is safe to say that the Americanism people put an emphasis on particular celestial events such as solstices and equinoxes. A few of those celestial events directly coincided with the planting or planting of the yearly crops that supplied the sustenance that the Americanizes required to thrive as a culture. The concept of structures to predict specific celestial events is not a new one and isn’t unique to the Americanizes. By way of instance, Stonehenge is maybe among the most famous celestial monuments on the planet. Archeologists have attempted to decipher what the job of the stones relate to. Some archeologists theorize they mark the swing of the azimuth of the moon, while some appear to think that they are directly related to the solstices and equinoxes. No matter what differences that the astronomers and anthropologists have concerning Stonehenge something is for certain — it was erected for a purpose other than that of pure usefulness. It’s this pushing and extending of long held beliefs regarding the uses of those monolithic structures that cause new advancements and discoveries in anthropology.

There are many other sites in Americanism who have archaeoastronomy content. One such site is the one in the Maya site of Coping. Harvey and Victorian Pricker describe a number of the astronomical content at this website, referred to as Group 8N-11. Much like Teotihuacan the orientation of this Sky band Bench at Coping plays a key role in laying credibility to the argument for archaeoastronomy content in Americanism cultures. Panels 5, 2, and 8 are views of the mind of the personified Sun or Sun god. Panels 4 and 6 are personifications of, respectively day and night.” (Pricker; 435). This evidence cannot be ignored. The simple fact that the Americanizes are creating art that defines celestial bodies and, moreover, personifying them shows that they had a profound connection with up the bodies in the skies. The Sky band Bench is a great example of early Americanizes demonstrating their understanding of the heavens above and the celestial bodies that are held within. The Prickers’ paper is a good illustration of the way in which part of Americanism architecture can provide a plethora of knowledge and authenticity for archaeoastronomy. As in almost any other area the more papers that become printed on a particular topic the more the scientific community will detect and also, hopefully, work towards accepting these hypotheses.

The Mayas were not the sole Americanism civilization to incorporate celestial vision in their structure, and subsequently, into their own culture. David Cascara talks about the Aztec culture in his article,”Star Gatherers and Wobbling Suns: Astral Symbolism from the Tradition”. In his essay he explains spatial orientation and symbolism. He writes,”The Aztecs found celebrities, measured them and calculated them into their social and agricultural cycles” (Cascara; 284). Can you find a trend appearing? In virtually all of the examples of Americanism archaeoastronomy one of the prime elements is agriculture. Without agriculture of some kind a culture will surely perish. The capacity to generate a bountiful harvest may mean the difference between a flourishing civilization and one that is in ruins. There are a number of factors to think about when agriculture is concerned. To begin with, sunlight can be both a godsend and a curse. Its heat and ultraviolet rays are required by the plants so as to grow and flourish. Too much or not enough warmth, in addition to too much or insufficient ultraviolet rays and the harvest will endure. Second, water is needed for agriculture to flourish. Without life-giving water a crop can dry up and the civilization will endure. Too much water and the crops can be flooded, which will affect the yield, and the people will suffer also. The ancient Americanizes thought that dinosaurs controlled all these aspects of agriculture. Rituals were held in order to appease the gods. By appeasing the gods the people were hoping that the gods would seem generously down to them and grant them a bountiful harvest that would help to sustain them for the following season. It is only logical that they desired to be as well-equipped as possible when it came to the planting, overseeing, and harvesting of these plants. A number of these ancient Americanism shamans may be looked at as early scientists without them even knowing they were. In their own eyes they were simply being messengers, or arbitrators, for the gods. In reality, they have been using the scientific method and applying it to different measuring instruments (architectural structures) so as to show a means of scientific replication year after year. These shamans knew that the solstices and equinoxes happened at specific times of the year, every year. By being able to replicate these results they weren’t only helping out their own people, but also laying authenticity as being messengers to the gods. These constructions were essential tools in order for the shaman to efficiently do their celestial duties.

All of these examples of Archaeoastronomy are connected by certain imagery and celestial bodies. In virtually every case there are depictions of the Sun, Moon, and several other celestial bodies. Though they may be connected with different gods, these celestial bodies were highly regarded by the Americanizes as crucial components for their own survival. With no sun the crops would, undoubtedly, fail. With no moon the tides would not crest and ebb and thus navigation and fishing would be inconsistent. These all-important heavenly gods make up an integral part of Americanism ideology.

In this paper he describes elements of several mosaics in Malraux. By looking at these mosaics you can observe how they’re packed with archaeoastronomy data. Sheldon delves into this subject by explaining details about the moon, sun and Venus that are found in the mosaics in the website. He writes,”these features taken together preserve knowledge of eight facts about sunlight, moon, and Venus: the moon’s synod period is 29.53 days; the lunar sidereal phase lasts almost 27.33 days; the Venus synod mean is almost 584 days; the detected Venus synod can change between 581 and 587 times; any five consecutive Venus synods equal or come to within one day of eight obscure years of 365 days each; one sun-moon correlation has five brief years and three long ones collectively equal to eight vague years or eight true solar years or even 99 salutations; the Venus sidereal period is nearly 224 days long; and lastly, 13 Venus sidereal almost equivalent five Venus synods.” Though this seems as though it is simply a lot of scientific information due to the vocabulary in which the information is housed one has to take into consideration that these mosaics were made about 750-1000 A.D. Taking that into consideration one can see the way the Maya were very interested in celestial bodies and were very technologically in song with the skies. This type of data gathering would not be performed over a period of days or months, but over years and generations. That type of devotion can only mean that the Maya were very engrossed in archaeoastronomy. These mosaics also have creature such as figures, largely bird serpents, portrayed on the walls of a few of the buildings too. This demonstrates that astronomy was integrated and meshed very tightly with their religion. Having deities alongside astronomical data shows a strong correlation between the religious beliefs of these people and how tightly knit it was in astronomy. The Maya were definitely curious about astronomy and were even more interested in trying to preserve their culture by understanding their gods. To better understand their religions is a method to better be able to serve their own gods, and appease their gods. If the gods are appeased, the Maya thought that there would be much more bountiful crop, more successful war attempts, and the fruition of the civilization.

In Summary, there are many Anthropologists out there which may not totally agree with the various interpretations that some archaeoastronomy researchers have made regarding the architecture and ideology of the Americanism people. Much of it is just that: up for interpretation, but enough scientific data is coming to demonstrate there is, in reality, correlation between the events that occur in the heavens and the theological, agricultural, and cultural ties that bind many of these Americanism people to various celestial bodies. Looking up at the modern sky it’s no wonder that so many civilizations were fascinated by the marvels from the sky both in the day time and at night. Now we’ve got astronomers and advanced technology to calculate, calculate, and make sense out of all the data that is extracted in the heavens. Back at the time of the Aztec, Maya, and other Americanizes it’s mind blowing to imagine they made quite scientific calculations regarding celestial bodies without the aid of computers along with other pieces of modern technology. Add that together with the amazing looking character of the heavens and it’s no surprise that these folks often associated heavenly bodies with that of their gods –the Sun, the Moon, and other celestial bodies. Around the world there are similar beliefs from pole to pole and hemisphere to hemisphere. The next time you look up in the sky and select your favorite constellation, or other heavenly bodies envision what the Maya, or the Aztec, saw. Looking up in the heavens is like buying window leading out to the past.