How Maya Influenced Life In Colonial America

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Maya contributions to astronomy influenced life in colonial America. The Maya were extremely talented astronomers who believed manifestations of the gods came in visible form through celestial bodies and their movements. Priests and other Maya astronomers studied the motion of these celestial bodies, believing they could see the gods walk across the sky. They observed and recorded the movements of the stars and planets to collect these celestial signs that foreshadowed disasters, destinies of dynasties, and the right times to plant crops, conduct rituals, fight wars, and get married. Similar to colonial Americans, the Maya craved an understanding of the universe and the creation of life which they believed they could find through carefully studying the sky.
Stargazing was also popular in the American colonies. In 1664, 1680, and 1682, three large comets appeared in the sky. Historically, comets have been seen as warning signs foreshadowing disaster. It is thought that the passing of these comets intrigued colonial American society, creating a large interest in stargazing. Several prominent figures in colonial society, like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson,
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Four of these codices have survived, including the Dresden Codex, which contains almanacs relating to Maya daily life, astronomical data like cycles of Venus, Mars, and Mercury, and equinoxes and eclipses, worship calendars, and several prophecies. American colonists produced celestial almanacs similar to those of the Maya that contained solar and lunar phases, tide tables, astronomical phenomena, planting and harvesting times, and religious dates. The existence of these almanacs proves that American colonists had a great interest in astronomy and the movements of the celestial bodies, and that, like the Maya, American colonists were interested in recording and interpreting their

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