Cities Ordered by Stars
- Ancient 'Towers of Babbling'.. those serpent KuKul clocks that 'babbled' out the time daily.Astronomical alignments were vital in MesoamericaA three year examination of astronomical alignments found in the buildings of Mesoamerican cities has demonstrated the basis of some pre-Columbian rituals.Archaeologist Francisco Sánchez Nava, of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), together with archaeoastronomer Ivan Sprajc, from the Centre of Scientific Research of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, jointly developed the project...To date, 150 Maya sites have been investigated in the Gulf of Mexico, the Central Highlands and Oaxaca, with a range of temporal periods from the Formative to the late Postclassic (500 BCE - 1521 CE). Based on the results so far obtained, Sanchez Nava said that of the buildings that have had alignment measurements taken, more than 70 per cent are solar in nature and their functionality is undoubtedly based on an east-west direction, with Mesoamericans mainly viewing sunrises and sunsets.
Distinct repeating patterns
Sanchez Nava also explained that they found the patterns of orientation of the buildings built in the majority of archaeological sites of the Highlands are shared with most sites of the Maya Region, in the lowlands, such as Chichén Itzá and Uxmal.
However, at many other Highland sites such as Tonina and Largatero, there is a distinct and repeating pattern that still remains a mystery.
One hypothesis is the construction and alignment of these Highland Maya sites are related to the cycles of Venus ('Ishtar', the morning and evening star), but the researchers still lack some vital measurements to prove this theory.
Meanwhile, on the north coast of the Yucatan peninsula, on the fringe of Quintana Roo, Sanchez Nava Sprajc found a further alignment pattern different from the previous two: “apparently, architectural alignments of this region are due to the cycles of the moon.” he said.
Solstice was important to the people – with alignments found in all the archaeological sites studied so far.
Sanchez Nava explained “the importance of astronomy in these archaeological sites is beyond doubt, and that for some years it has been accepted that Mesoamerican cities are not distributed randomly, but by strict and defined guidelines, alignments architectural and urban patterns, are all based on a series of observations of the environment as the stars.”
Little hard evidence
They selected the same type of buildings: tall, palace types or temples which had recognisable observational function where the horizons was easily visible. First measurements were taken with a compass, to determine the distribution pattern guidelines, and then with a theodolite for greater accuracy.
The research continues…
The list of sites that have been studied so far include:
Tenochtitlan, Cantona, Tenayuca, Cuicuilco (Altiplano); Monte Alban, Mitla, Yagul, Guiengola and Copalita Bocana, Monte Negro (Oaxaca); Comalcalco, sale, El Tajin, Quiahuiztlan, Cuauhtoxco, Castillo de Teayo (Gulf); as well as maya area: Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Edzná, Kohunlich, Calakmul, Rio Bec, Coba and Tulum (in the lowlands region); Toniná and Chinkultic, Tenam Puente, Largatero (Highlands); Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan (jungle); Izapa e old church (Pacific coast). Also, it is Tikal, Guatemala (low lands of South).
Source: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH, National Institute of Anthropology and History)excepts from: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/03/2013/astronomical-alignments-were-vital-in-mesoamerica