The Sun

The Maya evidently thought quite a bit about the Sun and they watched it trace out a path along the ecliptic. They followed it year round, presumably following its path along the horizon as well. At Chichen Itza, during sunset a sun serpent rises up the side of the stairway of the pyramid called El Castillo on the day of Spring and Autumn Equinox. It tells us that the Maya noted, not only the extremes of the Sun at the Solstices, but also the Equinoxes when the Sun appeared to rise due East or due West. In addition to the Zenial Passages mentioned earlier, ecliptic observations must have been a major portion of Maya solar observing.


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Updated: July 22 2005