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Night in Day: How Mesoamerican Cultures Respond to Unanticipated (and Anticipated) Eclipse Phenomena

Author(s): Anthony Aveni

Year: 2016

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Summary

Effects of the sudden, dramatic inversion of day and night experienced during a total eclipse of the sun have been reported in cultures the world over. How to find meaning in the extraordinary shading, the odd color tones in the landscape produced by the sun’s corona, and the changes in animal behavior, not to mention the appearance of stars and planets flanking the black disk that accompanies darkness in the middle of the day? After a brief cross-cultural survey of where eclipse myths find their place in society, we turn to the significance of eclipses in cultures that have developed the capacity to warn of the advent of such phenomena, most notably the Maya.


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Cite this Record

Night in Day: How Mesoamerican Cultures Respond to Unanticipated (and Anticipated) Eclipse Phenomena. Anthony Aveni. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402922)


Keywords

General
eclipse

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America