Skywatchers: A Revised and Updated Version of Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico

Paperback | August 15, 2001

byAnthony F. Aveni, Anthony F.

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Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico helped establish the field of archaeoastronomy, and it remains the standard introduction to this subject. Combining basic astronomy with archaeological and ethnological data, it presented a readable and entertaining synthesis of all that was known of ancient astronomy in the western hemisphere as of 1980.

In this revised edition, Anthony Aveni draws on his own and others' discoveries of the past twenty years to bring the Skywatchers story up to the present. He offers new data and interpretations in many areas, including:

  • The study of Mesoamerican time and calendrical systems and their unprecedented continuity in contemporary Mesoamerican culture
  • The connections between Precolumbian religion, astrology, and scientific, quantitative astronomy
  • The relationship between Highland Mexico and the world of the Maya and the state of Pan-American scientific practices
  • The use of personal computer software for computing astronomical data

With this updated information, Skywatchers will serve a new generation of general and scholarly readers and will be useful in courses on archaeoastronomy, astronomy, history of astronomy, history of science, anthropology, archaeology, and world religions.

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From the Publisher

Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico helped establish the field of archaeoastronomy, and it remains the standard introduction to this subject. Combining basic astronomy with archaeological and ethnological data, it presented a readable and entertaining synthesis of all that was known of ancient astronomy in the western hemisphere as of 1980.I...

From the Jacket

Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico helped establish the field of archaeoastronomy, and it remains the standard introduction to this subject. Combining basic astronomy with archaeological and ethnological data, it presented a readable and entertaining synthesis of all that was known of ancient astronomy in the western hemisphere as of 1980.I...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:423 pages, 10 × 7 × 0.9 inPublished:August 15, 2001Publisher:University of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292705026

ISBN - 13:9780292705029

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsI. Introduction: Archaeoastronomy and Its Components Archaeoastronomy: Twenty Years of Hindsight Additional Selected ReadingsII. The Historical, Ethnographic, and Ethnological Background for Native American Astronomy The Civilizations of Ancient Mesoamerica Chroniclers and Codices Aztec Constellations Astronomy and the Ethnological Record: The Importance of the Zenith Solar Passage Additional Selected ReadingsIII. Astronomy with the Naked Eye The Celestial Sphere: Coordinate Reference Frames Charting the Sun's Movement The Moon, Eclipses, and Eclipse Cycles Cycles of the Planets Miscellaneous Observable Sky Phenomena Appendices A. Glossary of Astronomical Terms of Importance in Archaeoastronomy B. Factors Affecting the Precise Determination of Astronomical Orientations C. Heliacal Rise and Set Phenomena D. Determining the Approximate Date of Sunrise or Sunset for a Given Azimuth E. Change of Direction of the Magnetic Compass with Time in Mesoamerica F. Some Basic Formulas Useful for Fieldwork in Archaeoastronomy G. How to Determine Alignments with the Surveyor's Transit Additional Selected Readings, Electronic Resources, and Star MapsIV. The Mathematical and Astronomical Content of the Mesoamerican Inscriptions A Brief History of Calendrical Decipherment The Mesoamerican Philosophy of Numbers The Long Count The Calendar Round The Union of Time and Space in Mesoamerican Cosmology How the Calendar Works The Supplementary Series and the Lunar Synodic Month Tropical Year Calculations Planetary Events in the Monumental Inscriptions Astronomy in the Maya Codices, I: General Content of the Codices Astronomy in the Maya Codices, II: Eclipses and Eclipse Tables Astronomy in the Maya Codices, III: Venus Astronomy in the Maya Codices, IV: A Mars Table Was There a Mesoamerican Zodiac? Summary Appendices A. The Problem of the Correlation of Maya and Christian Dates B. A Scheme for the Conversion of Maya Dates Additional Selected ReadingsV. Astronomy and Architecture in the Ancient Americas and Mediterranean Basin The Orientation Motive City and Cosmos: Urban Planning in Highland Mexico Cosmic Order in the Aztec Capital Maya Cities: Architecture and Sacred Landscape Specialized Architectural Assemblages North America The Andean World Summary: Astronomy in Ancient American Cultures Circum-Mediterranean Archaeoastronomy Appendix A. An Analysis of the Pecked Cross Petroglyphs Additional Selected ReadingsPostscriptNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

". . . a well-written, stimulating, and excellently illustrated book. Buy it or borrow it!"

-- Archaeoastronomy