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Measuring deep time: the Sidereal Year and the Tropical Year in Maya inscriptions

  • Michael J. Grofe (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1743921311012646
  • Published online: 26 July 2011
Abstract
Abstract

Maya inscriptions contain numerous examples of long intervals of time that count both backward and forward from a fixed point of historical reference to specific mythological dates, often thousands of years in the past or future. This paper considers the evidence that these intervals incorporated precise calculations of both the sidereal year and the tropical year. Furthermore, it outlines a specific methodology for assessing the likelihood that these distance numbers were either intentionally calculated to incorporate these astronomical measurements, or if these results are merely coincidental.

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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.

O. Apenes 1936, Possible derivation of the 260 day period of the Maya calendar. Ethnos 1, 58.

A. F. Aveni , H. M. Bricker , & V. R. Bricker 2003, Seeking the sidereal: observable planetary stations and the ancient Maya record. Journal for the History of Astronomy 34, 145161.

A. F. Aveni , A. S. Dowd , & B. Vining 2003, Maya calendar reform? Evidence from orientations of specialized architectural assemblages. Latin American Antiquity 14 (2), 159178.

J. Broda 2000, Mesoamerican astronomy and the ritual calendar. In H. Selin (ed.), Astronomy Across Cultures, Kluwer, Dordrecht/Boston/London, pp. 225267.

N. Capitaine , P. T. Wallace , & J. Chapront 2003, Expressions for IAU 2000 precession quantities. Astronomy & Astrophysics 412, 567586.

V. Malmström 1973, Origin of the Mesoamerican 260-day calendar. Science 181, 939941.

V. Malmström 1978, A reconstruction of the chronology of Mesoamerican calendrical systems. Journal for the History of Astronomy 9, 105116.

R. H. Merrill 1945, Maya sun calendar dictum disproved. American Antiquity 10, 307311.

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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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