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Response to Coggins and Bricker

  • Michael P. Closs (a1)

Coggins and Bricker have accepted my phonetic reading of one version of the north glyph as xaman, "north." Nevertheless, they maintain that the traditional north-south axis in Maya directional symbolism pertains more properly to a zenith-nadir axis. In my response I argue against that position and provide evidence that the cardinal directions played a fundamental role in mesoamerican cosmology. These directions are interpreted in a relatively loose sense as sectors on the horizon and not as cardinal points. In particular, the north direction is viewed as a sector on the horizon centered at a point which is approximately 14 degrees east of north. The evidence includes three independent proofs of the cardinal direction hypothesis. These proofs specifically implicate the four Maya directional glyphs as symbols of the four cardinal directions.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A. F. Aveni , and H. Hartung 1986 Maya City Planning and the Calendar. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 76(7). Philadelphia.

A. F. Aveni , H. Hartung , and B. Buckingham 1978 The Pecked Cross Symbol in Ancient Mesoamerica. Science 202 : 267279.

T. Barthel 1953 Regionen des Regengottes. Ethnos 18 : 86105.

V. R. Bricker 1983 Directional Glyphs in Maya Inscriptions and Codices. American Antiquity 48 : 347353.

C. Coggins 1980 The Shape of Time : Some Political Implications of a Four-part Figure. American Antiquity 45 : 727739.

J. M. Watanabe 1983 In the World of the Sun : A Cognitive Model of Mayan Cosmology. Man 18 : 710-728.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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