The Calendar and Astronomy of the Ancient Maya Civilization
This class will explore how the Maya calendar worked based upon their observation of the the sun, moon and stars. It will also look at how their calendar systems were based on the relationship of the stars and planets to their gods, as well as a practical guide for farmers
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This class will teach students about the invention of the Maya calendar which divided the year into 20 months of 13 days each and an end period of five days. The calendar was almost as accurate as the Gregorian Calendar year earlier which was only adopted in Europe in 1582. But not only did they have a yearly calendar called the "haab" but a "sacred" calendar of 260 days. These calendars would come together every 52 years. Another calendar was called a "long count" and could plot dates in a...
Students may gain knowledge of an alternate view of a calendar that was almost as accurate as the Gregorian calendar centuries before that calendar was adopted. Students may learn about the relationship of the calendar to the gods and goddesses and how they controlled things like rain, fertility and the like. It will show how the Maya were able to do this based upon long term observations without instruments like telescopes.
In addition to having been a social studies teacher in New York City, I also spent some time in Mexico and have visited some of these Mayan ruins. I have an interest how these great civilizations like the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas accomplished so many achievements with stone age tools and without scientific instruments.
Go to Maya calendar converter to convert dates from Gregorian calendar to Mayan calendar. https://maya.nmai.si.edu/calendar/maya-calendar-converter
Students should reviews the course material including some of the websites that are listed in this introduction.
45 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.
This class may deal with some of the religious beliefs of the Maya which did involve practices like human sacrifice to their gods.
A list of source materials we will be using are given below.
Anthony J Van ZwarenFormer teacher of social studies
57 total reviews
120 completed classes
I began teaching at Outschool a year ago. I have had six years experience as a social studies teacher in the New York City schools and currently teach as a substitute teacher in New Jersey . I enjoy teaching history, both world history and...