The subject of the symposium

Archaeoastronomy offers astronomers, archaeologists, and anthropologists the possibility to exchange and integrate their data and their interpretations about the multiple forms of engagement with the skyscapes of ancient Maya societies in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. At the same time, since the decipherment of the ancient Maya writing, epigraphy has completely transformed the perspective on ancient Maya. In practice, the two fields of study, seem to divert into separate realities due to methods and research designs. Archaeoastronomy relies heavily on familiarity with astronomy and other natural sciences. This requirement, combined with the high interest in the study of prehispanic astronomy, already lead modern audiences to confuse the results of archaeoastronomical research with the number of various misinterpretations of cultural phenomena of the past. On the other side, the epigraphy is embedded in the humanities’ methods of studying the hieroglyphic writing and Maya languages.

Such division between writing and archaeoastronomy is a product of modern etic perspectives and was unknown to indigenous societies of the Maya. For example, the properties attributed to celestial bodies, phenomena and to the relationships that Maya groups maintained with the sky, had executed great agency not only over perception, transmission, and evolution of astronomical knowledge but as well over visual and language systems. This implies the necessity for the new approaches for the historical and anthropological visions of the past. We hope that the theme of the panel "Archaeoastronomy and Epigraphy" will offer the possibility of exchanging and evaluating the different opinions about the astronomical knowledge of the ancient Maya among archaeoastronomers and epigraphers.

The Programme of the Event

Hereby is the programme of the event. Please note minor changes might occur.