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Mayan Observatory

Mayan Observatory


Size: 8x8

"El Caracol" is an ancient astronomical observatory that the Mayas built to keep track of celestial phenomena. It is part of the Chichen-Itza archeological site in the Yucatán peninsula. A full Moon is also shown in the sky. Fabriano 100% cotton watercolor paper and Daniel Smith primatek mineral watercolors. Not framed.

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Mayan astronomers where extremely talented. Not only they had an amazingly accurate calendar. They could predict solar and lunar eclipses several centuries ahead of their time. They were also very aware of the motion of the planets and had register tables with the synodical cycles and helical rises for the planets Venus and Mars (Dresden Codex). Additionally, there is evidence that they recorded the transit of Venus across the Sun as some murals show in the archeological site of Mayapan.

How could they do that? one of the clues is that they needed dedicated priests to observe and take notes, and a dedicated site to measure distances and times. The "caracol" seems to be a site for this tasks. The dome has small windows where they could observe the pass of the planets, the Moon and the Sun and measure how much they advanced every night. Still they would need to do this for many many of years maybe.

On this artwork I also used Daniel Smith primatek mineral watercolors. Red fuschite genuine on the building, zoisite genuine on the grass and sodalite genuine on the sky. The building has a glittering finish.

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