Published On: Mon, Sep 25th, 2017

The sun announces the arrival of autumn in Oxkintok, Yucatán

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The phenomenon of the sun crossing the stone arch in Oxkintok archaeological zone announces the beginning of the fall season and is visible for several days….

MERIDA — The rays of Kin, the sun god of the Mayas, crossed the arch of Oxkintok in Yucatan and announced the arrival of autumn at this archeological site south of Merida.

According to researchers, this archeoastronomical phenomenon had 2 functions, giving way to autumn, which began this year in Mexico on September 22 at 3 pm, and the beginning of harvest season.

Jose Huchim, INAH archaeologist, explained that the solar year marks the different periods in which the Mayans had conducted their activities related to logging, cleaning, burning milpas, planting and harvesting.

The alignment between the stone arch and Kin began at 7 o’clock on Sunday September 24.

Oxkintok Equinox (Photo: Noticieros Televisa)



The play of light and shadows projected an arc of light that extended towards the center of the central square of Oxkintok, which means “the three stone Suns”.

This set of lights and shadows was projected due to the location of the arc relative to the sun and to the Earth’s movements of rotation and translation, the phenomenon takes place in the afternoon and lasts around 40 minutes.

The INAH archaeologist said that the phenomenon was achieved from the accuracy, skill and knowledge that the Mayan people had when they built their ceremonial centers.

For the Mayans it was important to mark the agricultural cycles; the spring equinox served to initiate sowing and the autumn equinox to harvest.

Oxkintok Equinox (Photo: Noticieros Televisa)



Jose Huchim said that the equinoxes and solstices came to have great importance for the Mayan people because they used these  light and shadow performance to guide their processes of work in the milpa (traditional method of agriculture in Yucatan).

Oxkintok is a Mayan city located to the south of Merida. Its construction phase began in the year 200 after Christ and reached its highest developing and social point in the 800s, when this archeoastronomic phenomenon was venerated by the Mayas due to the importance of the sun like the principal deity.

The phenomenon is usually visible for five days before and five days after the equinox.

Source: noticieros.televisa.com

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