For this paper, you will be editing how astronomy influenced the development of


For this paper, you will be editing how astronomy influenced the development of the Mayan civilization. This should be 5 pages in length not including the works cited page or cover page. You need to be using a 12pt font and double spaced. Please edit and revise my paper below
Many of society’s contributions to astronomy can be traced back to the ancient civilizations that lived before us. They were able to observe and study the stars and planets in the universe. Some of these civilizations also contributed to the development of calendars and other astronomical instruments. This paper will examine the importance of astronomy in the Mayan civilization’s development. Astronomy had a crucial role in their religious activities and numerous achievements, aside from being an essential aspect of their culture. Some of these include the structure of their temples and their sacred spaces. “The Maya are an indigenous people of Mexico and Central America who have continuously inhabited the lands comprising modern-day Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and Chiapas in Mexico and southward through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras” ( Mark,2022). The Mayas were known for various accomplishments, including building, art, and mathematics. However, their astronomical understanding was responsible for a lot of their recognition. They successfully developed an astronomy system that was widely used across their civilization.
Maya’s beliefs are related to the geocentric model notion, which claims that the Earth is the center of the solar system. “The Maya believed that the Earth was the center of all things, fixed and immovable. They also thought that the stars, moons, sun, and planets were gods, and that their movements represented gods traveling between the Earth, the underworld, and other celestial destinations.” Despite their reverence for the sky as a whole, the Maya were still captivated by the various objects in the night sky. Some of the most significant objects that they were able to see were the moon, the sun, and the stars. “The sun was of utmost importance to the ancient Maya. The Mayan sun god was Kinich Ahau” (Minster, 2019). The myth of Hunahpú and Xbalanqúe shows the importance of the Mayan culture. “In a story in the Quiche Maya council book called the Popol Vuh, the hero twins Hunaphu and Xbalanque transform themselves into the sun and the moon” (Minster, 2019). Maya adults participated in the adult games called Mesoamerican ball, which usually ended with sacrificing the losing players, which happened to the Hunaphu and Xbalanque father. Therefore, they wanted revenge because before they were born, their father was killed after he lost a game against the underworld’s gods. After killing all the gods, the twin brothers became the sun and the moon. The moon was also considered to be an important part of the Mayans’ culture. Some of the Maya dynasties claim to have been descended from the moon. “Mayan mythology generally associated the moon with a maiden, an old woman, and/or a rabbit” (Minster, 2019).The moon was also regarded as an important object for the Mayans as it symbolized a powerful female individual who influenced terrestrial events. Ix Chel, the Maya’s primary moon goddess, supposedly battled the sun and forced him to descend into the underworld every day at nighttime.
Furthermore, in ancient times, wars and battles were arranged around the movements of Venus, and those captured would be killed according to its position in the sky. “The Maya were aware of the planets in the solar system—Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter—and tracked their movements. The most important planet by far to the Maya was Venus, which they associated with war”(Minster, 2019). On the other hand, “the stars were less important to their mythos than the sun, moon, Venus and other planets. However, the stars shift seasonally and were used by Mayan astronomers to predict when the seasons would come and go, which was critical for agricultural planning”(Minster, 2019).Therefore, pyramids, temples, and observatories were all created in line with astronomy during this historical time. “Temples and pyramids, in particular, were designed in such a way that the sun, moon, stars, and planets would be visible from the top or through certain windows at important times of the year. One example is the observatory at Xochicalco, which, although not considered an exclusively Mayan city, certainly had Mayan influence”(Minster, 2019).The outlook in the Archaeological site is an underground chamber with a hole in the ceiling. During the summer, the sun shines through this hole, but it is overhead during the days of May and July. Mayan priests also used this hole to depict the sun.
The Mayans created extraordinary inventions and achievements. The Mayan developed a timekeeping system based on astronomy that is still in use today. The timekeeping system revolved around astronomical observations, which allowed them to time for various religious and agricultural events. The Maya were experts when it came to astronomy. For instance, “maya astronomical calculations even accurately dated a 1991 solar eclipse. Observations like these formed the basis for their calendar; the celestial clock provided a reasonably accurate means of measuring the passage of time” (Scharping, 2021). According to some interpretations of the ancient Mayan calendar, the world was supposed to end in eight years. However, they noted that the calendar’s end date was approaching and various scenarios. For instance, “various doomsday scenarios, asteroids featuring prominently among them, were forecast” (Scharping, 2021). The Maya used two different calendars, the Haab and the tzolkin. “The Maya still use these two calendars today to guide their agricultural season and to dictate the timing of religious observances. Members of their culture have been keeping count of the days for well over two thousand years — an unbroken string of timekeeping”(Scharping, 2021).The importance of the calendar to the Mayans was immense. It allowed them to plan their agricultural activities and set the dates for their rituals and ceremonies. It also provided them with an accurate estimate of when they would begin planting and harvesting crops.
Furthermore, “the Dresden Codex, the oldest surviving book written in the Americas, contains tables charting the movements of Venus, Mars and the Moon. The Maya also calculated the occurrence of lunar eclipses based on observations and tracked the motion of Jupiter and Saturn”(Scharping, 2021). As a result, the planets’ regular motion coordinated with the Maya’s religious calendar events. This idea was due to the fact that the Maya’s important events corresponded with the positions of the planets in the sky.
Despite their vast history, the Mayan are still one of the world’s most interesting long-lost civilizations. They could make precise observations and predictions about planets and other celestial objects. In addition, the Mayans have a reputation for being quite accurate. For example, “Mayan astronomers also noticed that 81 lunar months lasted 2392 days, expressing a lunar month as 29.5308 days. Modern-day estimates are 29.53059 days” (McFadden, 2021). Moreover, “they were also able to determine that the Venus Cycle took 584-days (583.92027 days) to complete and were off by only 1-2 hours compared to modern calculations of 583.93 days”(McFadden, 2021). Given their lack of modern science, the accuracy of observations made by the Maya was incredibly accurate. It was also amazing to think that their observations had not maintained detailed records; their insights may have been lost to us.
One of the most challenging factors was predicting solar eclipse because Maya had to consider the movement of the Earth, the Sun, and the moon. Since the movement of the Earth and the moon had to be considered, it was not feasible for them to predict when a solar eclipse would occur. “The Maya nobility were also heavily involved in religious rituals. During a solar eclipse, the dark moon covers more and more of the sun, creating the illusion that the sun is being eaten. Thus, the Maya depicted the cataclysmic destruction of an eclipse as a demon biting the sun” (Christenson, 2018). The Maya considered rebirth to be the center of their ceremonies, and they would perform various rituals and ceremonies to protect this concept. One of the most common ways to perform this was by offering blood. Only the nobles were permitted to execute this sacrifice, as it was thought that sacrificing blood to the gods would help them satisfy them.
Astronomy was fundamental to the Mayans. They could make accurate observations and predictions about the planets and other celestial objects. They were also meticulous about what they observed. In addition, the Maya utilized the sky to measure time even though they had no timekeeping technology. Astronomy was thought to have significantly influenced the Mayan civilization’s development.
References
Christenson, A. (2018, January 9). The maya and eclipses-the end of a world? . Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://humanities.byu.edu/the-maya-and-eclipses-the-end-of-a-world/#:~:text=The%20Maya%20nobility%20were%20also,a%20demon%20biting%20the%20sun.
Mark, J. J. (2022, May 29). Maya civilization. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.worldhistory.org/Maya_Civilization/#:%7E:text=The%20Maya%20are%20an
McFadden, C. (2021, September 21). 9 incredible Mayan inventions and achievements and one they missed. Interesting Engineering. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://interestingengineering.com/9-incredible-mayan-inventions-and-achievements-and-one-they-surprisingly-missed
Minster, C. (2019, July 24). How does ancient Mayan astronomy portray the sun, Moon and planets? ThoughtCo. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.thoughtco.com/ancient-maya-astronomy-2136314
Scharping, N. (2021, February 2). How the Maya created their extraordinarily accurate calendar thousands of years ago. Discover Magazine. Retrieved May 30, 2022, from https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/how-the-maya-created-their-extraordinarily-accurate-calendar-thousands-of


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