Astra's Ancient Astronomy page graphic is derrived from the above image of El Caracol, believed to be an ancient observatory used by the Maya at Chichén Itzá in Yucatán. Windows on the top level were aligned to crucial points in the solar cycle. This image was taken by R. Kihm.
NOTE: The Ancient Astronomy page was the Maya Astronomy page
Who were the ancient astronomers? It could be argued that humans looked up at the sky in wonder shortly after they became sentient. A long, long time ago. But some civilizations spent more effort and energy on astronomy than others. Documented astronomy of the ancient past comes to us from Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica, although the records of the natives in the new world were destroyed by self-righteous invaders and are scarce. Of course the ancient Greeks left some records of their astronomical activities. These and other cultures often left the testimony of their knowledge etched in stone. The giant pyramids testify to the astronomical abilities of the ancient Egyptians as sure as European stone circles and monuments testify that those peoples understood the Pythagorean theory long before the Greek mathematician. In Armenia, the mute rocks investigated by the radio astronomer Paris Herouni illustrate the secret, hidden clues to how the ancients studied the sky.
Archeoastronomy is more than a study of the stars, it includes cultural and lingual aspects because it is an interdisciplinary subject. It began even before the astronomer Norman Lockyer studied the Egyptian culture and made mesurements at various sites to detect alignments of astronomical significance. We must also study ancient Austrailians, North Americans, Indians, Chinese and countless other cultures before we can understand the astronomy of the ancient past. That is the study we undertake at Astra's Stargate.
Astra's Special Feature:
Maya Lunar Series by Robert Kihm
K'inal Winik Cultural Center
- Maya Art, Language and Culture
- once an annual event at Cleveland State University
Someday it may come back, who knows?
Orion in MesoAmerica--article by Astra
The Maya Astronomy Page - Astra's lecture from Michel Berger!
Lunar Series - See the banner below the image of Caracol
1942 – 1998