Maya astronomer-priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe , calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or “codices”.
Sun God Kinich Ahau The sun was of utmost importance to the ancient Maya . The Mayan sun god was Kinich Ahau.
Tables that mark Venus ‘ position throughout the year are recorded in ancient Maya books called codices and on monuments throughout the Maya kingdoms. Venus also seems to have influenced the architecture of the city Uxmal in the northwestern part of Yucatán, Mexico.
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
Maya mathematics constituted the most sophisticated mathematical system ever developed in the Americas. The Maya counting system required only three symbols: a dot representing a value of one, a bar representing five, and a shell representing zero.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
The sun god occupied a central position in both Sumerian and Akkadian religion, but neither the Sumerian Utu nor the Semitic Shamash was included among the three highest gods of the pantheon. The sun was one of the most popular deities, however, among the Indo-European peoples and was a symbol of divine power to them.
The Mayans venerated Venus as the basis of the god Kukulkan, elsewhere known as Quetzalcoatl. Unlike its modern, Western interpretation as the planet of love, the glittering orb was at that time associated with war. In fact, Venus was considered more important than the sun in Mayan calculations.
The Mayans were careful observers of the sun , able to accurately predict eclipses and celestial cycles. Keeping track of the seasons for agricultural purposes was so important that buildings and settlements were designed to help follow the sun’s yearly cycles.
The Maya believed that when people died, they entered the Underworld through a cave or a cenote. When kings died, they followed the path linked to the cosmic movement of the sun and fell into the Underworld; but, because they possessed supernatural powers, they were reborn into the Sky World and became gods.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
The ancient Maya civilization was formed by members of this group, and today’s Maya are generally descended from people who lived within that historical civilization. Today they inhabit southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras.
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.