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Star-Cities of the Maya


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#1    Dark_Lord

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:40 AM

In the still mostly unexplored jungle of Northern Guatemala lies one of the largest and most enigmatic of all Maya sites: El Mirador. The ruins of El Mirador cover an area larger than any other ancient site in the Americas, and contain what may be one of the largest and tallest structure of the ancient World, the pyramid of La Danta, together with hundreds of smaller pyramids and mounds - at least five of which reaching a height of more than 50 meters.

According to their excavator, archeologist Richard Hansen, these structures, erected over a period of some 750 years, represent "an investment of labor unprecedented in the Ancient World". Not only is Mirador the largest and most complex and sophisticated of all Maya sites, it is also one of the oldest where monumental architecture can be found, being almost 1000 years older than Tikal. The origins of El Mirador date back to at least 600 BC, even though the site reached its apogee between 300 BC and 150 AD. The reasons behind the collapse of El Mirador in 150 AD are not yet fully understood; what is clear is that the city never recovered (except for a brief reoccupation by people from Tikal around 700 AD), its ruins forgotten and covered by the jungle for almost two thousand years.

As of today, little has been excavated and much of the site still lies covered by vegetation under deep jungle.

One of the most striking features of the site is the arrangement of its pyramids in groups of three, forming gigantic triadic structures. Most archaeologists agree that this disposition was intendended as a representation of the Constellation of Orion, which the Maya identified as the place of origins and the seat of Creation. Namely, the pyramids represented the stars of Rigel, Alnitak and Saiph forming a giant, roughly equilateral triangle with the famous Orion belt (The Maya constellation of the Turtle) as one of its vertices.
This same arrangement was also found, on a much more grandiose scale, in the layout of the ancient sites sorrounding El Mirador itself. The great pre-classic cities of Tintal and Nakbe, each located at some 20 to 28 Km from Mirador and all within sight of each other, also form a giant triangle on the ground. This design is even further reinforced by the pattern of ceremonial causeways connecting the three sites. Each causeway (Sacbé) was as much as 30 to 40 meters wide and between 5 and 7 meters high above the sorrounding canopy (20 meters high in certain areas subject to flooding in the rainy season); all of them running in a perfectly straight line for as much as 20 Km between each site.  

Why would the ancient Maya, similar to the ancient Egyptians and to the builders of Angkor, ever decide to replicate Heaven on Earth by erecting gigantic pyramids and relating them to the Stars?  
And why again did they choose to represent the constellation of Orion as the Seat of Creation and the place of Origins?


Even today, to reach El Mirador by land takes an expedition of at least 5 days, hiking through dense jungle. I have posted a three-part journal of my expedition to El Mirador in the month of March 2013, together with a number of pictures that have never been published before.

Part I: The Lost City: http://unchartedruin...la-isla-in.html
Part II: The Road to El Mirador: http://unchartedruin...el-mirador.html
Part III: The Great Pyramid: http://unchartedruin...at-pyramid.html

An interesting animation and explanation of the Orion correlation theory can also be found here on the Mirador National Park website: http://www.miradorpark.com/ancient.htm

This video from National Geographic also shows some animated reconstructions of how El Mirador might have looked like at its peak. This is cyclopean engineering on a scale of hundreds of square kilometers:


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#2    s33ker

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 05:48 AM

Thank you for a great post.


#3    Jon101

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:27 AM

Not a great mystery, but interesting nontheless.

Here: http://www.miradorbasin.com/

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#4    Abramelin

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:38 PM

Maybe not a mystery, but the extent of that place is huge, and it's far older than anything known from the Maya.

This is a series of videos of a couple who visited Richard Hansen:





And when you watch all of the 5 videos, you'll see a slab of stone with inscriptions antedating the known script of the Maya.

.

Edited by Abramelin, 05 May 2013 - 06:09 PM.


#5    Dark_Lord

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:32 PM

I could finally get hold of a copy of "Maya Cosmos - Three thousand years on the Shaman's Path" by David Freidel, Linda Schele and Joy Parker; one of the most seminal works on Maya ritual and astronomy.

The authors are the first to propose the identification of the Cosmic Turtle and the "Heart of the Sky" with the constellation of Orion and of the three heartstones within this same Orion constellation as the place of origins and the center of creation [namely, in the Orion nebula]. They also make some very interesting remarks:
  • There is somehow the belief that the Sakbeob were in fact celestial pathways between the constellations in the Sky, and had their earthly counterpart in the large ceromonial causeways connecting the different centers (their very name - Sak-Bé, that is "white road" suggests more than a connection with the Milky Way). Quoting from a tradition collected by Tozzer (1907) among the Yukatek Mayas (p. 105): "There was a road suspended in the Sky, stretching from Tuloom [sic] and Coba to Chich'en Itza and Uxmal. This pathway was called the Kuxan Sum or Sakbé. It was in the nature of a large rope [sum] supposed to be living [kuxan] and in the middle flowed blood. It was by this rope that the food was sent to the ancient rulers who lived in the structures now in ruins. For some reason, this rope vanished forever. This first epoch was separated from the second by a flood called Halyokobab."
    The ceremonial pathways connecting Mirador to Tintal and Nakbé (plus a number of yet unidentified ancient sites) must have had a primarily ceremonial function, and were only incidentally and secondarily related to trade or commercial routes between distant cities. Even in this case, the sheer amount of work required by their construction is simply staggering, even by modern terms: they extend over tens of miles, on a perfectly straight line, reaching a width of 30 to 40 meters and an average elevation of 5 to 7 meters above the jungle floor (up to 20 meters in certain points), and must have required an investment of time and labor almost unparalleled in the ancient world (the closest parallel being perhaps the straight Nazca lines or the Ley lines of England and Wales).
    The chart below (upper left of figure) shows the path of several of these Sakbeobs radiating in all directions from the ancient city of El Mirador.

    Posted Image
  • Most of the oldest surviving Maya creation myths reference in fact great astronomical events involving the various constellations and their position in the night sky. According to the authors (p. 113) "The gods wrote all of these actions in the sky, so that every human, commoner and king alike, could read them and reaffirm the truth of the myth"
  • In describing the Maya representation of the triangle in the constellation of Orion formed by the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel, the authors focus at length on the parallel with the disposition of the three heartstones in the Maya household, restating that (p. 79) "the act of seating the stones in the triangular pattern of the hearth created an image on the face of the Earth and in the sky at the same time. The two were, after all, then joined together". This same line of reasoning may be well applied also to the giant triadic pyramids, though on a much greater scale. Was the disposition on the ground of the great pyramids also intended to establish a connection between the Earth and the Sky?

All of this closely reminds of the hermetic principle of Earth as the mirror of Heaven. Even more interesting is the fact that at the center of this complex design lies the constellation of Orion, the same that the Ancient Egyptians portrayed in the ground plan of the three great Giza pyramids, thousands of miles away.

Why did civilizations clearly separated by thousands of years and half a world away develop the same symbolic correspondence between Heaven and Earth and felt the need to express it by means of colossal pyramids and stone monuments?

Edited by Dark_Lord, 05 May 2013 - 11:36 PM.

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#6    The_Spartan

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:45 PM

Lucky you, to go on an expedition into such places.
I am seriously jealous,.

Questions :
  • Could you explain the basis on which you call Mirador a Star city??
  • How do you arrive at the idea of any relation of these sites with Orion?
could you fix these on a map of sorts and show? I am not being able to find the 3 sites on google earth at all.

Would love to discuss on these.

Regards

Roshan

Edited by The_Spartan, 07 May 2013 - 03:53 PM.

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#7    The_Spartan

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 04:19 PM

Quote

This same arrangement was also found, on a much more grandiose scale, in the layout of the ancient sites sorrounding El Mirador itself. The great pre-classic cities of Tintal and Nakbe, each located at some 20 to 28 Km from Mirador and all within sight of each other, also form a giant triangle on the ground. This design is even further reinforced by the pattern of ceremonial causeways connecting the three sites. Each causeway (Sacbé) was as much as 30 to 40 meters wide and between 5 and 7 meters high above the sorrounding canopy (20 meters high in certain areas subject to flooding in the rainy season); all of them running in a perfectly straight line for as much as 20 Km between each site.  

Why would the ancient Maya, similar to the ancient Egyptians and to the builders of Angkor, ever decide to replicate Heaven on Earth by erecting gigantic pyramids and relating them to the Stars?  
And why again did they choose to represent the constellation of Orion as the Seat of Creation and the place of Origins?

Posted Image

Posted Image


Distance measured in Google Earth Pro
El Mirador to Nakbe 10.68 Km
Tintal to Nakbe 20.90 Km
El Mirador to Tintal = 19.32 km

Any two objects will always be in a  line of sight with respect to each other. No arguments about that.

With respect to the above captured image in google earth pro, can you correlate this triangle or anything with the stars and especially with Orion?

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#8    Dark_Lord

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 03:33 AM

I have actually found a quote from Richard Hansen on the point of the Orion correlation. Here it is:

“You don’t find the triadic pattern before about 300 B.C.” Hansen said of the three pyramids. Based upon conversations with present-day Maya spiritual leaders, researchers believe the three-point configuration represents a celestial hearth containing the fire of creation. The Maya thought three stars in the constellation Orion (Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel) were the hearth stones surrounding the fire—a nebula called M42, which is visible just below Orion’s belt."

http://www.smithsoni...html?c=y&page=5

It is important to note that what the Maya attempted to portray with the triadic pattern is not Orion's belt, but rather the large triangle formed by the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel, having Orion's belt (The Maya constellation of the Turtle, as representated at Bonampak) at its upper vertex. This triangle is especially notable because it contains nebula M42, believed by the Maya to be the Seat of Creation.

This is also very well explained in another article on the Mirador National Park website, that also contains a very clear animation. The Mayas of El Mirador built a large number of triadic structures to represent the Orion constellation. Here is a quote:

"A triadic structure is one that consists of three buildings: a main central building and two smaller buildings, each flanking a side of the main structure and facing each other. There is an abundance of triadic structures at El Mirador, El Tigre Complex has 2 triadic structures: Structure 34 and the top of the Great Tigre Pyramid itself is a triadic structure. La Danta Complex has 2 triadic structures as well: one at the top of the main building or Danta Pyramid and the other at La Pava, on the acropolis in the first platform. There are other triadic patterns in buildings all around El Mirador and at other cities in the Mirador Basin".

Interestingly, this pattern is replicated on several levels:
  • In the triadic structure of the main pyramids, containing a larger pyramid flanked by two smaller pyramids on each side of the uppermost platform
  • In the layout of each of the major cities; this is especially evident at Tintal, where the three pyramids of El Henequen, Acropolis Central and La Isla align to form an almost perfect equilateral triangle; and in the plan of the city of Nakbé, where the main ceremonial causeways also intersect to form a triangle. Mirador appears to be an exception because the Pyramid of LaDanta appears too much offset from the main ceremonial center to create any meaningful pattern, yet again the ceremonial causeways form a triangle of which only two vertices are occupied by Pyramids (La Danta and El Tigre, respectively), while the third vertex falls on a small natural relief marked by the temple complex of La Muerta.
  • On a much greater scale, in the triangular disposition of the cities of Mirador, Tintal and Nakbé, all connected by giant ceremonial causeways: the lines connecting the centers and forming the giant triangle are not imaginary lines, but are actually marked on the ground in the form of Sakbeobs ("white roads", that is raised causeways). The effect standing on top of the pyramid of La Danta is that of a giant star map actually laid on the ground where pyramids (and even cities) are perhaps intended to mirror the disposition of stars and constellations. Every way you turn, pyramids and tree-covered mounds rise in every direction, for miles and miles above the jungle canopy. As both the profiles of the pyramids of Tintal and Nakbé can be clearly made out from Mirador, the sensation is truly that of standing at the vertex of a giant triangle which in turns contains multiple other layers until its base unit - the triadic pyramid. It would be interesting to plot every pyramid in the region on a map and see what pattern emerges...


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http://unchartedruins.blogspot.it/

#9    jaylemurph

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 04:32 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 05 May 2013 - 05:38 PM, said:

Maybe not a mystery, but the extent of that place is huge, and it's far older than anything known from the Maya.

And when you watch all of the 5 videos, you'll see a slab of stone with inscriptions antedating the known script of the Maya.

I read this article not too long about about some new theories about the origin of the Maya that suggests they may have been around longer than a lot of people believe. It has links directly back to the Nature article it's reporting about.

http://io9.com/ancie...ins-o-481053780

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Posted Image

Deeply venial

#10    The_Spartan

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:26 AM

View PostDark_Lord, on 08 May 2013 - 03:33 AM, said:

I have actually found a quote from Richard Hansen on the point of the Orion correlation. Here it is:

“You don’t find the triadic pattern before about 300 B.C.” Hansen said of the three pyramids. Based upon conversations with present-day Maya spiritual leaders, researchers believe the three-point configuration represents a celestial hearth containing the fire of creation. The Maya thought three stars in the constellation Orion (Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel) were the hearth stones surrounding the fire—a nebula called M42, which is visible just below Orion’s belt."

http://www.smithsoni...html?c=y&page=5

It is important to note that what the Maya attempted to portray with the triadic pattern is not Orion's belt, but rather the large triangle formed by the stars Alnitak, Saiph and Rigel, having Orion's belt (The Maya constellation of the Turtle, as representated at Bonampak) at its upper vertex. This triangle is especially notable because it contains nebula M42, believed by the Maya to be the Seat of Creation.

This is also very well explained in another article on the Mirador National Park website, that also contains a very clear animation. The Mayas of El Mirador built a large number of triadic structures to represent the Orion constellation. Here is a quote:

"A triadic structure is one that consists of three buildings: a main central building and two smaller buildings, each flanking a side of the main structure and facing each other. There is an abundance of triadic structures at El Mirador, El Tigre Complex has 2 triadic structures: Structure 34 and the top of the Great Tigre Pyramid itself is a triadic structure. La Danta Complex has 2 triadic structures as well: one at the top of the main building or Danta Pyramid and the other at La Pava, on the acropolis in the first platform. There are other triadic patterns in buildings all around El Mirador and at other cities in the Mirador Basin".

Interestingly, this pattern is replicated on several levels:
  • In the triadic structure of the main pyramids, containing a larger pyramid flanked by two smaller pyramids on each side of the uppermost platform
  • In the layout of each of the major cities; this is especially evident at Tintal, where the three pyramids of El Henequen, Acropolis Central and La Isla align to form an almost perfect equilateral triangle; and in the plan of the city of Nakbé, where the main ceremonial causeways also intersect to form a triangle. Mirador appears to be an exception because the Pyramid of LaDanta appears too much offset from the main ceremonial center to create any meaningful pattern, yet again the ceremonial causeways form a triangle of which only two vertices are occupied by Pyramids (La Danta and El Tigre, respectively), while the third vertex falls on a small natural relief marked by the temple complex of La Muerta.
  • On a much greater scale, in the triangular disposition of the cities of Mirador, Tintal and Nakbé, all connected by giant ceremonial causeways: the lines connecting the centers and forming the giant triangle are not imaginary lines, but are actually marked on the ground in the form of Sakbeobs ("white roads", that is raised causeways). The effect standing on top of the pyramid of La Danta is that of a giant star map actually laid on the ground where pyramids (and even cities) are perhaps intended to mirror the disposition of stars and constellations. Every way you turn, pyramids and tree-covered mounds rise in every direction, for miles and miles above the jungle canopy. As both the profiles of the pyramids of Tintal and Nakbé can be clearly made out from Mirador, the sensation is truly that of standing at the vertex of a giant triangle which in turns contains multiple other layers until its base unit - the triadic pyramid. It would be interesting to plot every pyramid in the region on a map and see what pattern emerges...
Thanks for the write up.

And Good to learn that the Mayans did refer to the orion Constellation with reference to the Pyramid Triad, to the celestial heath and not to the Orion's Belt which would have been very interesting for the fringies.

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#11    The_Spartan

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 05:30 AM

And Seriously..the Jungle canopy is so thick that even after using Google Earth pro and other satellite based imagery, i couldnt make hell or tail of any structure in the Forest/Jungle.
Question : What % of the Amazon Rain forests have been mapped, physically? I mean by people, cartographers, surveyors, or even normal people having accessed these areas? have every inch been elaready explored?

If not, imagine what more could be hidden in there??? :w00t:

Wish i could win the Lottery and buy a new trowel, and jump on a flight to South America!! :yes:

Edited by The_Spartan, 08 May 2013 - 05:30 AM.

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