Maya Archaeoastronomical Elements Related To 2012

Dr. Stanislaw Iwaniszewski, National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) researcher, is one of the most recognized Precolumbian Archaeoastronomy investigators.

Iwaniszewski hopes that actions taken in Mexico on regard of the International Year of Astronomy will help inform people about astronomical aspects of cultural heritage. 2012 is a date when Pan-Indigenist movements will arrive to Maya sites, because the world is going to end.

“Groups with esoteric concerns from all America will get here, because between December 21st and 23rd, 2012, a time cycle designed by Mayas, that began in 3114 BC, is going to end. The intention is to divulge the concept that what is ending is a specific time period, how Maya calendar works, how lunar, solar and Venus cycles were calculated, among other themes”.

“This is not the end of the world. Maya people had a time cycle of 5,125 years, but theirs was a cyclic vision, meaning that when a period finished, another started. We must be prepared for this too”.

Here is a brief compilation by INAH of archaeoastronomical elements related to 2012.

Monte Alban
J Structure is oriented towards Southern Cross and Centaur on one side, and Capella heliacal exit on the other P Structure vertical tube allows observation of Zenithal Sun passage
Stelae 12 and 13 contain the first inscriptions related to solar year
Testimonial orientations of the 260 days calendar division, with four minor cycles (Cocijos) 65 days each Zapoteca hieroglyphic examples (Mural de los Danzantes)

Sun pyramid is related to mythological origin of contemporary time cycle that began in August, 3114 BC
Between April 29th and 30th, and August 11th and 13th, it marks the Zenithal Sun passage at the 15º Parallel. It also marked Agriculture year defining days, February 11th and October 29th
Roadway of the Dead, Moon pyramid, the Citadel, and circled cross figures on stucco floors, have calendar symbolism

Inscriptions refer to planetary conjunctions (Jupiter, Saturn, Mars and Moon), and to the Three Ancestral Gods and First Mother birth, on July 690 BC
Inscriptions Temple, The Palace and The Cross Group are astronomical elements

Chichen Itza
The Castle (Kukulcan Temple), where Equinox manifests
The Seashell, or Observatory. Solstice-aligned, sunset marks Zenithal Sun passage, Equinoxes, April 29th and August 13th
Jaguar Temple sunset marks April 29th and August 13th
The Nuns contains pictorial representations of Maya zodiac
Venus Temple contains iconography related to 5 Venus cycles, corresponding to 8 solar years.

El Tajin
Niches pyramid is a world architectonic model conformed by 365 niches

Governors Palace is aligned with Venus extreme positions, East and West
Contains iconography of Venus cycle and Maya zodiac
Nuns Quadrangle shows astronomical images
Visual relations between important buildings can be appreciated from Adivino or Sorcerer pyramid

Ceremonial platform is oriented to cardinal points, reflecting four-directions space concept

Feathered Serpent Temple contains iconography regarding a supposed calendar reform on 700 BC
A vertical tube allows Zeniths of Sun and Moon observation
One of the Ballcourts allows Equinox observation

Chapultepec Castle (Not inscribed in UNESCO list)
Remains of the First Astronomical Observatory that functioned from 1860 to 1870, are still on the roof.

(Reference: INAH, 23 de abril de 2008.)

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