Article ID: CBB001320477

Ancient Maya Astronomical Tables from Xultun, Guatemala (2012)


Maya astronomical tables are recognized in bark-paper books from the Late Postclassic period (1300 to 1521 C.E.), but Classic period (200 to 900 C.E.) precursors have not been found. In 2011, a small painted room was excavated at the extensive ancient Maya ruins of Xultun, Guatemala, dating to the early 9th century C.E. The walls and ceiling of the room are painted with several human figures. Two walls also display a large number of delicate black, red, and incised hieroglyphs. Many of these hieroglyphs are calendrical in nature and relate astronomical computations, including at least two tables concerning the movement of the Moon, and perhaps Mars and Venus. These apparently represent early astronomical tables and may shed light on the later books.

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Authors & Contributors
Iwaniszewski, Stanislaw
Bricker, Victoria Reifler
Milbrath, Susan
Aldana, Gerardo Villalobos
Aveni, Anthony F.
Knowlton, Timothy W.
Journal for the History of Astronomy
Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture
Archeoastronomy (Supplement to Journal for the History of Astronomy)
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
University of Texas Press
University Press of Colorado
Harvard University
Mayan civilization
Native American civilization and culture
Solar system; planets
Time Periods
Precolumbian period (America)
16th century
9th century
8th century
17th century
Central America
South America

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