Since the publication of my book "Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of
the Moon: The Calendar in
Mesoamerican Civilization" in the spring of 1997, my continued research into various aspects of early
time-reckoning in the New World has produced several new findings which can perhaps be shared
with the academic community most effectively in a series of short papers, no one of which would
merit a journal article of its own but which together may well serve as a contribution of some value.
Here I would like to discuss four of these findings, the first
having to do with the possible role
of Venus in the origins of the both the Meso-american 260-day sacred almanac and the 365-day
secular calendar; the second is a new interpretation of the three stone rings erected by the Totonac
people at Zempoala; the third examines the astronomical basis for the Mexican holiday known as
the "Day of the Dead"; and the fourth is a brief observation on the correlation of specific events
in the astronomical calendars of both the Mesoamerican and Western worlds.
(For readers having a special interest in an individual topic, the
following links will take you directly
to the paper in question.)
Broda, Johanna. 1993. "Astronomical Knowledge, Calendrics, and
Astronomies and Cultures, Papers of the III Oxford International Symposium on Archaeo-
astronomy, St. Andrews, Scotland, Sept. 1990, edited by C.L.N. Ruggles and N.J. Saunders.
Niwot, Colo.: University Press of Colorado.
Lounsbury, Floyd G. 1978. "Maya Numeration, Computation, and
Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 15, pp. 815-816.
Malmström, Vincent H. 1992. "Geographical Diffusion and
Calendrics in Pre-Columbian
Mesoamerica", Geographical Review, Vol. 82, No. 2, pp. 113-127.
Malmström, Vincent H. 1997. Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries
of the Moon: The Calendar in
Mesoamerican Civilization. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Teeple, John E. 1931. Maya Astronomy. Contributions to
American Archaeology, vol. 1, no. 4.
Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication 403.
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