"Past, Current, and Future" Sky Watchers of  Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras, the Maya

The Maya had a better solar year determination (tracking of the winter solstice) than the Europeans did in 1582AD before 900AD, how did they do this?   This planetarium program will be about the mathematical accomplishments (zero has only been invented twice by humans) and the extremely sophisticated astronomical observations and calenderical calculations of the Mayans.  Images of the abandoned city of Tikal, Peten, Guatemala and some stone stela from Tikal and else where will be shown. 

Mayan, base 20, Vigesimal Numbering System, for numbers not day dates.

6 in Mayan, but place value of 6*10^4=6*160,000=960,006*160,000=960,00=9*10^5+6*10^4+0*10^3+0*10^2+0*10^1+0*10^0

17 in Mayan, but place value of
        17*20^3=17*8,000=136,00017*8,000=136,000=1*10^5+3*10^4+6*10^3+0*10^2+0*10^1+0*10^0

14 in Mayan, but place value of 14*20^2=14*400=5,60014*20^2=5,600=5*10^3+6*10^2+0*10^1+0*10^0

Zero in Mayan, but place value of 0*20^1=0*20=00*20^1=00=0*10^1+0*10^0

Zero in Mayan, but place value of 0*10^0=0*1=00*20^0=0=0*10^0

1,101,600 =960,000+136,000+5,600

Same number for day dates, mostly base 20, but one register, the third from the lowest,  is base 18.
7 in Mayan, but
        place value of 1,008,000 7*20*18*20^2=7*144,000=1,008,000
13 in Mayan, but place
        value of 93,60013*20*18*20=13*7,200=93,600
Zero in Mayan, but place value of 0*20*18=0*360=00*20*18=0*360=0
Zero in Mayan, but place value of 0*20=00*20=0
Zero in Mayan, but place value of 0*20^0=0*1=00*20^0=0*1=0
1,101,600=1,008,000+93,600

PowerPoint file used for part of 9-18-2010 planetarium show available for anyone.

Mayan Resources I am using and have used to develop this program.

Montgomery College's Planetarium home page

Web page by Dr. Harold Alden Williams.
Last changed Tuesday, 4:41PM on September 18, 2012