Solved: The Mayans were an amazing civilization that we credit with …

The Mayans were an amazing civilization that we credit with many discoveries and inventions we use today.  For this assignment, research something amazing the Mayans did and tell me about it.  I’m looking for information BESIDES what you’ve already read in the slides!


Title: The Mayan Civilization’s Remarkable Astronomical Knowledge and Achievements


The Mayan civilization was renowned for its advanced astronomical knowledge and accomplishments, which continue to astound researchers to this day. This paper explores the astonishing achievements of the Mayans in the field of astronomy and their significant contributions to our understanding of the cosmos. By transcending the scope of information provided in previous readings, the aim is to shed light on a lesser-known but groundbreaking Mayan astronomical discovery.

Mayan Astronomical Observatories

The Mayans constructed numerous observatories across their civilizations to study the movements of celestial bodies. One of the most notable is the Caracol, located at the site of Chichen Itza in present-day Mexico. The Caracol exemplifies the Mayans’ intricate understanding of celestial motions, as it was strategically designed to observe both astronomical and atmospheric phenomena. Its circular shape and precise alignments allowed astronomers to track the positions of stars, planets, and the Sun accurately. By observing the rising positions of celestial bodies, the Mayans developed crucial agricultural calendars and determined critical festivities and rituals.

The Long Count Calendar

The Mayans are renowned for their sophisticated calendar systems. Apart from the widely known Haab and Tzolk’in calendars, the Mayans also created the Long Count calendar, which was used to measure long durations of time. Unlike other calendars, the Long Count employed a base-20 numerical system and provided a cyclical representation of time. Recent research has uncovered astronomical alignments in the Long Count calendar, suggesting that the Mayans incorporated astronomical events, such as equinoxes and solstices, into their calculations. This demonstrates their deep understanding of celestial movements and their profound integration into Mayan culture.

The Dresden Codex and Venus Observations

One of the most significant Mayan astronomical contributions is found in the Dresden Codex, one of the few surviving Mayan books. The Dresden Codex extensively details the observations and predictions of celestial events, particularly emphasizing the movement of Venus. The Mayans accurately predicted the heliacal risings and settings of Venus, as well as its cycles, with remarkable precision. Through their observations, the Mayans predicted the recurrence of Venus over a period of approximately 584 days, providing an understanding of Venus’s complex orbit long before modern astronomers obtained similar accuracy.


The Mayans’ remarkable astronomical knowledge and accomplishments are evident in their construction of observatories, development of sophisticated calendars, and accurate predictions of celestial events. Through their meticulous observations and precise astronomical calculations, the Mayans integrated their understanding of the cosmos into their daily lives and cultural practices. These achievements stand as a testament to their intellectual prowess and enduring legacy in the field of astronomy. Further research and study may continue to uncover more hidden treasures of Mayan astronomical achievements, highlighting their invaluable contributions to our understanding of the universe.

1. Aveni, A. (2016). Skywatchers: A Revised and Updated Version of Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico. University of Texas Press.
2. Hernández, E., & Milbrath, S. (2015). Año 2012: Fenómenos astronómicos en el planeamiento de edificios mayas clásicos. Arqueología Iberoamericana, (26), 14-33.
3. Van Stone, M. (2012). Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs Workshop Handbook. Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. Retrieved from


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