The astronomical and ritual function of the group H north of the Maya architectural complex in Uaxactún
Zdrojový dokument: Religio. 2011, roč. 19, č. 1, s. -48
ISSN1210-3640 (print)2336-4475 (online)
Licence: Neurčená licence
In the year 2008, the Slovak Archeological and Historical Institute (SAHI) got the chance to begin excavations at the famous classical Mayan city of Uaxactún. We decided to choose the pre-classical Group H North as the main focus of our project. We had positive expectations, but, in fact, the results exceeded the expectations. The excavations of the first season were focused especially on the Upper platform with structures H I, H III, H V and stucco masks. Then we extended the excavations to the Lower platform, working especially on structures H XV and H XVI. The results were impressive. We found that the buildings on the Upper platform represent the stars of the Orion constellation and also, possibly, the myth of creation. This space was not accessible to the general population, but only to priests and the elite. The whole platform is oriented to the east and was probably used as a residential space for the king himself, his family and nobles. According to the fact that the Orion constellation was, at a particular time of year, right above the structure H I, we can consider that the whole triadic group represents creation, or "the place of three stones". The radial pyramid H XV was used as an observation point, from which Mayan astronomers were able to watch the setting and rising of the Orion constellation. The setting of Orion is very interesting, because it probably signals the start of the rainy season and also events connected with agricultural rituals and the sowing of corn. The unexpected astronomical use of this architectural complex Group H North indicates the Mayan emphasis on a cosmogonic view of the world connected with the worship of kings and public agricultural rituals.