Podcast: Maya Astronomy

In this Cultural Astronomy podcast on 365 Days of Astrononomy, Tzeltal Maya artist and archaeoastronomer Alonso Mendez shares his knowledge about Maya astronomy, including the ground-breaking research he and his collaborators are doing at Palenque. Topics discussed include the importance of Palenque to understanding ancient Maya culture and history, astronomical symbolism and kingship, and astronomical alignments of the Temple of Inscriptions and Temple of the Cross at Palenque.

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Why I Love the Pantheon

Oculus

The first time I visited the Pantheon, I went because it was listed in my guidebook as one of the major ancient Roman sites. I had no idea what I was in for. Despite the throngs of tourists around me, I felt as though I was alone in the temple, being held in a sacred space that was intimately bound to the sky. It was as though the oculus was an umbilical cord connecting Earth to the cosmos. That afternoon, I probably spent a couple of hours just sitting in the temple watching the beam of sunlight from the oculus slide around the dome and feeling at peace.

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