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Save the (Maya) Date – A Workshop and Lecture on the Correlation Problem
November 14, 2015 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Dr. Geraldine Patrick Encina
(Scholar-in-Residence, Union Theological Seminary)
Mesoamerican timekeeping has long engrossed scholars, and a central point of interest in this field has been the correlation of indigenous and European calendars. With regard to the Maya Long Count, the Goodman-Martínez-Thompson (GMT) correlation is the most widely accepted solution. A final sticking point remains, however: the lack of an identified means to account for the drift of the tropical year across the haab’ (365-day calendar). Given the clear importance of astronomical observation, as well as the presence of agricultural rituals fixed to the solar cycle, this seeming disregard for the tropical year in Maya calendrics is troubling.
In a 2-hour workshop, Dr. Patrick will outline the structures of the Maya calendars and the issues related to the correlation problem. She will then present a 45-minute lecture on her proposed solution to the Mesoamerican accounting of the tropical year: the addition of an uncounted quarter day each solar year through the directional rotation of the year-bearers, which allows a haab’ of 365 k’in (calendar days) to equate to the tropical year of 365.25 days, and a thirteen-year suspension of such directional rotation at the close of every Bak’tun to achieve an average year of 365.2423 days. Originally based on insights from her ethnological research into contemporary indigenous Mesoamerican thought and ritual, Dr. Patrick’s solution is supported by numerous astronomical dates from the pre-Hispanic Maya inscriptions and codices, including the Dresden Eclipse Table.
Geraldine Ann Patrick Encina is a member of the Otomi-Hñahñu Regional Council in Mexico, and a professor of ethnoecology. Born to Chilean parents of Celtic and Mapuche origins, Patrick Encina received her doctorate in ethnoecology and social sciences from El Colegio Mexiquense, A. C. in 2007; she also holds a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences. She has been a visiting professor in Honduras and Argentina, and held faculty positions at several Mexican universities. Her research focuses on archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy, particularly on ancestral and current ways of measuring and conceiving time and natural cycles in Mesoamerica, especially among Maya, Nahua and Otomian cultures. She is a Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary.
Saturday, November 14th, 2015, 10 AM – 1 PM
Union Theological Seminary, Room 205
3041 Broadway (at 121st St.)
New York, NY 10027
Free for PCSNY Members, $10 for non-members
Handouts and light refreshments will be provided
Non-members, please complete this form and send it along with a check to the address indicated, or click the button below to pay with a credit card online (an additional $2 convenience fee will be applied). If you would like to become a PCSNY member, please visit our Membership page.