Central America

Started by Kenneth Kwame Welsh, (C) on Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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2/8/2012 at 11:18 AM

I'm ready to tackle the Central American portion of this project. Would anyone like to lend a hand?

Kwame

2/8/2016 at 3:46 PM

I have added project tags for astonomy and alignments since this project seems to have a wide enough perspective to cover the advanced state of pre Columbian Indigenous astronomy and the use of solar and night sky alignments stretching from North America to South America.

2/8/2016 at 3:55 PM

Great. I love your wholistic approach to history!

2/8/2016 at 5:27 PM

Kenneth Kwame,
Yes, it was the Indigenous people of North and South America who had a very holistic approach. We need to avoid the restrictions of geography. My mentor, Elder William Commanda (now deceased), would sit with me and teach about the four Great Indigenous Nations who understood and practised the use of astronomy centuries before Galileo and Copernicus. Such skills influenced the choice of location of ancient Indigenous cities and the architecture of alignments within those communities.

In the south the leaders of alignment study were the Incas who were very deliberate about their placement of Machu Picchu and their use of cultural practices within the city which were directly associated with several mountain peaks on the horizon.

In the east the leaders were the Aztecs of the Yucatan in Mexico. The archaeoastronomical measurements of Javier Romero-Quiroz (1980) and Jesús Galindo-Trejo (1989) confirm that on the day of the winter solstice (December 21st) at noon, the light of the Sun coming from a cleft in a mountain located in front of the cuauhcalli, enters through the doorway of it, illuminating exactly the head of the eagle that is the embodiment of Huitzilopochtli, the Sun himself [Fig. 187].

In the west the great civilization that studied alignments were the archaeoastronomers of the Chaco Canyon. See https://www.exploratorium.edu/chaco/HTML/canyon.html

In the north the Anishinaabeg and Inuit astronomical learning was relayed by stories. The Inuit are people who live in eternal darkness in deep winter so had much experience with constellations and stars. The inside of their igloos were the first planetaria. See the brief example at http://myguidestuff.com/PDF_Documents/Constellations&Legends.pdf

In the Great Lakes region paddlers would steer their canoes at night far from the sight of land, depending on setting a bearing based on the stars. Many a time I have sat in circle with Elders who were discussing the location of specific sites of importance in relation to one another and their alignment with the stars at precise times.

Practical uses of alignments are a major component of Indigenous cultures and their well developed cosmologies. The cities were one reflection of the use of alignments but, in reality, were only a small part of the total landscape.

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