Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars

Front Cover
University of Texas Press, Jan 1, 1999 - Social Science - 348 pages
0 Reviews

Observations of the sun, moon, planets, and stars played a central role in ancient Maya lifeways, as they do today among contemporary Maya who maintain the traditional ways. This pathfinding book reconstructs ancient Maya astronomy and cosmology through the astronomical information encoded in Precolumbian Maya art and confirmed by the current practices of living Maya peoples.

Susan Milbrath opens the book with a discussion of modern Maya beliefs about astronomy, along with essential information on naked-eye observation. She devotes subsequent chapters to Precolumbian astronomical imagery, which she traces back through time, starting from the Colonial and Postclassic eras. She delves into many aspects of the Maya astronomical images, including the major astronomical gods and their associated glyphs, astronomical almanacs in the Maya codices [painted books], and changes in the imagery of the heavens over time. This investigation yields new data and a new synthesis of information about the specific astronomical events and cycles recorded in Maya art and architecture. Indeed, it constitutes the first major study of the relationship between art and astronomy in ancient Maya culture.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
1 CONTEMPORARY MAYA IMAGES OF THE HEAVENS
12
2 NAKEDEYE ASTRONOMY
44
3 PRECOLUMBIAN AND COLONIAL PERIOD MAYA SOLAR IMAGES
58
4 PRECOLUMBIAN AND COLONIAL LUNAR IMAGES AND DEITIES
105
THE BODY DOUBLES
157
6 THE CELESTIAL WANDERERS
218
7 STARS THE MILKY WAY COMETS AND METEORS
249
APPENDIX 1 GUIDE TO ASTRONOMICAL IDENTITIES
295
APPENDIX 2 TABLE OF CLASSIC PERIOD DATES MONUMENTS AND ASSOCIATED ASTRONOMICAL EVENTS
296
APPENDIX 3 TABLE FOR CALCULATING THE TZOLKIN INTERVALS
306
GLOSSARY
309
BIBLIOGRAPHY
313
INDEX
339
PLATES following page 348
349
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Susan Milbrath is Curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History and Affiliate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Florida.

Bibliographic information