Kerr Watch

Elapsed time since Richard Kerr failed to inform his Science readers of the confirmation of nanodiamonds at the YDB: 6 years, 4 months, and 6 days

Chichen Itza: Its Obvious

I suppose to every kooky carpenter all innocent things appear to be nails, but I will be darned if the phenomena of the equinox twice yearly at Chichen Itza doesn’t scream danger from the sky.

At the fall and spring equin(i?), the temple, or platform as it were, shades the trim juuuuuust right, so as to reveal: A full-length flaming snakazoid shooting down the temple ending at a gorgeous stone dragon sculpture at the base. At any other time of the year the dragon head would appear to be a simple decoration, but not on these special days.

I hope to see Tusk commenters bang out some cool elaboration on the myths of Kukulcan\Quetzalcoatl and the world shaking end times over which that dark bird presides. But the genius of the Maya at the El Castillo pyramid does not require an alphabet, a language, or even an internet connection to understand: Sometimes awful fiery things come flying out of the sky and kill you.

It is an Occam’s Razor thing to the Tusk. Why go to all the puzzled trouble the academics seem to favor, without just stepping back and connecting the ample evidence of frequent and horrifying impacts throughout human history (See Tusk, Cosmic) with the very frank message from these cool people of the past.

  • Hermann Burchard

    Equinox, pl equinoctes, George.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi George –

    The reason for doing all the “puzzled trouble academics seem to favor” is because “to a kooky carpenter all innocent things look like a nail”.

    But in this case it is indeed a nail, so no worries there. The question then becomes what kind of nail, and what size nail.

    The place is called Chichen Itza.
    The migration of Teotihuacanos there and their conquest of the local Maya, following the Toltec conquest of Teotihuacan, is covered on page 228 of “Man and Impact in the Americas”. (Some have said it is not too bad of a book.)

    The ancient languages are difficult. Whether the Teotihaucanos were “Chichen” proper, we don’t know. Whether “Itza” is cognate with the “Itza” in “Itza/mna”, we don’t know.

    The difficulty in working with “Quetzal/coatl” is that kings everywhere would often take the name for impactors as a title, and as a claim for their strength.

  • Steve Garcia

    At the fall and spring equin(i?), the temple, or platform as it were, shades the trim juuuuuust right, so as to reveal: A full-length flaming snakazoid shooting down the temple ending at a gorgeous stone dragon sculpture at the base.

    We all grant that the Mayans were fabulous astronomers, for their day especially.

    This E-W alignment, which is what this snake dealy all is about, is such a common feature of ancient stone structures that we all take it for granted. But it is not a simple thing to find east and west. Nobody here does, but MANY people think that the Sun rises due east every day of the year, and that it is a simple thing to just go out early on any morning and line up two stakes and start laying out a building.

    It isn’t nearly so simple. It takes a long time to determine due east. The Sun’s rising point on the horizon in late March changes from day to day as fast as it does during any part of the year. (Ditto the setting point.)

    So it is not a simple thing to find that rising point.

    This is compounded in our era by the fact that the solar year is 365.2422 days long. This means that every 4th year the rising point shifts about 1/4 day toward the equator, then ever 4th year, it jumps to nearly (but not quite) the point from 4 years earlier, to start the 1/4 day shift all over again. And every 400 years the shift needs to be adjusted back again.

    So, going by the rising point is a long and tedious process.

    It is possible that they went by the midday Sun position (followed by a 90° adjustment). But just how is THAT done, without clocks? When the shadow of a gnomen is the shortest? Yes, but one doesn’t know it is the shortest until AFTER it starts lengthening. And since the shadow moves through 15° per hour, nailing that exact moment isn’t so easy, I don’t think.

    Now, if so many out-of-contact-with-each-other world-wide cultures found it necessary to determine the cardinal points, one might ask WHY this was so important to ALL of those. The common archeological and anthropological argument is a flippant, “Well, they needed to know when to plant.” Well and good, but if planting varied by 2-3, even 10 days, whoop dee freaking doo, there is not great harm done. (This, IMHO, is an artifact of 19th century Eurocentric thinking, but it could not hold true of all areas of the world.) Perhaps in SOME of them in the farther northern climates it made a difference, but I sure don’t think it mattered squat to the Mayans, or the Egyptians, either. (And the annual flooding of the Nile certainly did not occur on the same day of the year, every year. Planting in Egypt happened when the floods abated enough, and no sooner. That had NOTHING at all to do with knowing the length of the year or the day of the equinox. The Mayan lands had no rivers, per se, so annual flooding was not a component there, of course.

    But no matter what the culture or climate, or geography, all those ancient cultures not only determined East, but they made monumental stone structures aligned with it. From Newgrange (supposedly a burial site), to the Great Pyramid, to Chichen Itza and many more, structures that took millions of man-hours to build are aligned with the equinoxial sunrise.

    I believe that the current thinking on the reason for such alignments is wrong. I have my ideas as to why this was all so important, but suffice it to say right now that I predict that in time the reason will be known – but that our current “knowledge” on this is just speculation. Reasonable speculation, perhaps, but reasonableness doesn’t make speculation true.

  • Terry Egolf

    Or it could be simply a special recognition of a well-known constellation/deity.

    Job 26:13 — By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent (Draco the Dragon).

    As for widely scattered cultures seemingly independently grasping the complexities of sidereal, solar, and synodal times, if you shuck the evolutionary idea that these folks were all struggling to rise out of racial ignorance, and are actually the heirs of extensive antediluvial wisdom, it all makes more sense.