The Maya Chronology's First Confirmation

Astronomical proof for the correctness of the GMT correlation

by Zoltan A. Simon (zasimon@hotmail.com)


Under the title "Tres Zapotes" of Wikipedia (the web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tres_Zapotes) we find:
In 1939, archaeologist Matthew Stirling discovered at Tres Zapotes the bottom half of Stela C. This stela was carved from basalt, with one side showing an Olmec-style engraving that has been variously characterized as an abstract were-jaguar or a ruler on a throne. On other side was the oldest Mesoamerican Long Count calendar date yet unearthed. This date, 7.16.6.16.18, correlates in our present-day calendar to September 3, 32 BCE, although there was some controversy over the missing baktun, the first digit, which Marion Stirling, Matthew's wife, had contended was a '7'. Her judgment was validated in 1969 when the top half of the stela was found.

It is worthwhile to note that another Wikipedia web site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesoamerican_Long_Count_calendar) converts the same Maya date into September 1, 32 BCE. This site is entitled "Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar." Its article prefers the GMT or Goodman - Martinez - Thompson (584283) correlation. Previously, most of the scientific works claimed that the Maya calendar's starting point was August 13, 3114 BC in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar. The present writer, Zoltan Andrew Simon (63), is not too unfamiliar with Maya archaeology and does not quite understand the reason of such discrepancy of two days. However, he is certain that the Tres Zapotes Stela C recorded a total eclipse of the sun observed at that site. It was an annular total eclipse on 31 August in 32 BCE. (The latter year is written as "-31" in the language of astronomers. You can check it out the web site http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/5MCSE/plate235.pdf.)

The difference between the two dates is only one day. At this point, experts better than the author could examine the conversion between the Julian Calendar - normally used for BCE times - and the "proleptic" Gregorian calendar. On the other hand, the Codex Telleriano-Remensis recorded that the Aztecs reckoned their days from midday to midday. (I believe that rule but apparently not too many Mesoamericanists do.) Thus, accepting the astronomical identification is mainly an issue of willingness. Scholars could do such minor polishing work and write a more scientific confirmation or a severe criticism about it.

Since a car may hit me at any time, or I could pass away otherwise without notice, my intention is to communicate this archaeological news before the world of the Maya would end.

During the past four decades I spent most of my energy on the astronomical chronology of the ancient world, mainly the Middle East. For instance, I have found that all of the sed-festivals of two pharaohs (Amenophis III and Ramesses II) coincided with eclipses of the Sun. My second area of research was the real island of Robinson Crusoe with the cannibals. (It is still uninhabited, belonging to Costa Rica. The expedition of Thor Heyerdahl described Crusoe's wild cornfield by almost the same words as the ancient author did; the few words of his true man Friday exist in an old Spanish-Terraba dictionary, etc.) Both of these research efforts have been in vain. Since 2002 I contacted over 2,450 editors, publishers and experts but none of them wanted to see any of my manuscripts. The only exception was my book about the astronomical chronology of ancient China: it was published in Berlin in 2007 in English. An American university publisher seems interested (??) in the publication of my book manuscript that identifies both the island of Aztlan and the Fifth Sun (A.D. 1011) of the Mexica traditions by means of astronomy. It would also contain a revised chronology of the Mexicans starting with their departure from Aztlan.

Archaeoastronomy is an extremely important tool but the world does not have any professors of chronology. How could the sciences - history and archaeology - keep advancing if such basic interdisciplinary field simply does not exist? 
 
 
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