By Vincent H. Malmström
The easy query "How did the Maya get a hold of a calendar that had simply 260 days?" led Vincent Malmström to find an unforeseen "hearth" of Mesoamerican tradition. during this boldly revisionist booklet, he units forth his not easy, new view of the beginning and diffusion of Mesoamerican calendrical systems—the highbrow fulfillment that gave upward push to Mesoamerican civilization and culture.
Malmström posits that the 260-day calendar marked the period among passages of the solar at its zenith over Izapa, an historical ceremonial middle within the Soconusco zone of Mexico's Pacific coastal undeniable. He is going directly to exhibit how the calendar constructed by means of the Zoque humans of the sector within the fourteenth century B.C. steadily subtle via Mesoamerica into the so-called "Olmec metropolitan sector" of the Gulf coast and past to the Maya within the east and to the plateau of Mexico within the west.
These findings problem our prior knowing of the starting place and diffusion of Mesoamerican civilization. certain to impress energetic debate in lots of quarters, this e-book may be very important studying for all scholars of old Mesoamerica—anthropologists, archaeologists, archaeoastronomers, geographers, and the turning out to be public enthusiastic about all issues Maya.
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Extra info for Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization
In the waves beneath the boat ﬁsh are depicted, and on each side of the boat long-nosed wind-gods blow from opposite directions. In the inventory of monuments made at the site, this was catalogued as Stela 67. manioc root or the sprouts of the sweet potato (both, by the way, of South American origin) and stick them in the ground, it mattered little whether they did so before or after the rains came. Manioc root grew very readily, and as long as it was well cooked before it was pounded into paste and made into dough-balls or tortillas, it could be counted on to still the pangs of hunger whenever the hunters, ﬁshers, or fowlers came home empty-handed.
Reﬂecting this broad spectrum of habitats — ranging from brackish mangrove-laced lagoons at sea level to cloud forests and páramos on the mountain crests — is a richly diversiﬁed fauna of marine life, animals, and birds. With ﬁsh, shrimp, lobster, mussels, turtles, and aquatic birds inhabiting the coastal lagoons and deer, tapir, and peccary roaming the foothills, the earliest hunters-gatherers-ﬁshers-and-fowlers who happened into Soconusco encountered such a richly diversiﬁed and bountiful food supply that it is likely that little more than 10 to 15 man-days per month were required to feed themselves.
Testing its direction-ﬁnding properties by ﬂoating it on a cork mat, Coe noted that it consistently oriented itself to the same point slightly west of magnetic north. More-exhaustive tests (involving the suspension of the magnetite bar on a thread) were later carried out by John Carlson, who reported that the object’s orientational ability did not come closer than about 35° to the north magnetic pole (Carlson, 1975, 753). Thus, it could conceivably have been used as a direction-ﬁnder, but with scarcely more “preference” for north than for either east or west.
Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization by Vincent H. Malmström