Download Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in by Vincent H. Malmström PDF

By Vincent H. Malmström

The easy query "How did the Maya get a hold of a calendar that had in basic terms 260 days?" led Vincent Malmström to find an unforeseen "hearth" of Mesoamerican tradition. during this boldly revisionist booklet, he units forth his demanding, new view of the beginning and diffusion of Mesoamerican calendrical systems—the highbrow fulfillment that gave upward thrust to Mesoamerican civilization and culture.

Malmström posits that the 260-day calendar marked the period among passages of the sunlight at its zenith over Izapa, an historic ceremonial heart within the Soconusco quarter of Mexico's Pacific coastal simple. He is going directly to convey how the calendar built by way of the Zoque humans of the zone within the fourteenth century B.C. progressively subtle via Mesoamerica into the so-called "Olmec metropolitan quarter" 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 foundation and diffusion of Mesoamerican civilization. absolute to galvanize vigorous debate in lots of quarters, this publication should be very important analyzing for all scholars of historic Mesoamerica—anthropologists, archaeologists, archaeoastronomers, geographers, and the starting to be public eager about all issues Maya.

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Additional info for Cycles of the Sun, Mysteries of the Moon: The Calendar in Mesoamerican Civilization

Sample text

Their descendants had occupied much of South America, and a few millennia later had reached even the remotest outliers of Tierra del Fuego. This 30,000-km (20,000-mi), 20,000-year trek was the epic of hundreds of generations. Through this vast expanse of space these peoples of Mongoloid origin had encountered environments ranging from polar to tropical, from desert to rain forest, from featureless alluvial plains to lofty volcanic peaks. And during this vast expanse of time, they had experienced the disappearance not only of the great ice sheets but also of many of the larger game animals adapted to the glacier’s fringes, followed by a marked warming of the climate and a rising of sea levels.

As we shall see, in large part it was this boundary between two environments and between two economies which marked the northern limit of Mesoamerica — the region of high native cultures on the North American continent. The shift to an agricultural economy in those geographic areas of the Americas where such a transition was possible was also accompanied by a change in the spatial patterns of behavior of the peoples involved. Whereas a hunting-and-gathering society was almost of necessity a nomadic one, with its members following the migrations of game or the seasonal variations in the fruiting of plants, a farming society — at least one based on such higher-order plants as maize, beans, and squash — tended to become more geographically fixed.

Of moisture could be theoretically transpired and/or evaporated into the atmosphere every month, in at least five months of the year the average precipitation fails to reach that amount. ) by the time the summer rains begin. However, once the rains commence, they are so heavy that the total dry-season deficit is more than made up by the end of June, and thereafter the surplus continues to grow. The maximum 24 02-T5327 5/18/2001 12:55 PM Page 25 Humans and Environment Figure 2. A water budget diagram for Tapachula, the main city of Mexican Soconusco today.

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