ASTRONOMY, RITUAL, AND THE INTERPRETATION OF MAYA “E-GROUP” ARCHITECTURAL ASSEMBLAGES
E-group architectural assemblages, constructed and used for more than a millennium in the Maya Lowlands, are among the most distinctive and enduring forms in Mesoamerican monumental architecture. Since the 1920s, E-groups have been thought to mark the solstices and equinoxes, but more recent investigations have shown that these alignments were rarely accurate. We argue that accurate solar alignment was probably only a minor element, and primarily an early one, of a larger set of metaphorically linked design considerations that included concepts of sacred geography, ritual performance in reference to yearly solar and agricultural cycles, and longer cycles of time, especially katuns, that played a role in Lowland Maya geopolitical structuring.
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