MEXICO CITY.- Interest in deciphering the sky, practiced during Prehispanic ages, is been retaken in 21st century at the Noche de Observacion Astronomica en Sitios Arqueologicos (Night of Astronomical Observation at Archaeological Sites), which first event took place in Tamtoc, San Luis Potosi in March 20th 2010.
Considered the capital city of Huasteca Prehispanic culture, Tamtoc was an important sky observation point, being Huasteca world view closely linked to star movements.
Centuries after, the interest of watching the sky and the path followed by stars is still present. At the night of astronomical observation organized by the Archaeology Coordination of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), hundreds of persons were able to do as their ancestors and watch the firmament.
From 19:00 hours, visitors were allowed into the archaeological zone main square to take part in the activity guided by archaeologists Guillermo Cordova Tello and Estela Martinez Mora.
INAH researcher Estela Martinez Mora mentioned that a conference regarding sky observation in Ancient Mexico and its meaning, especially for Huasteca people, was imparted first.
As no instruments were used to watch the sky back then, we pretended assistants to do the same, locating at sky maps what was being observed. Telescopes and binoculars were allowed in for those willing to use them.
This was an interesting activity for general public, for they to understand the importance of sky observation in Prehispanic times, then linked with agricultural cycles and ideology.
The archaeologist pointed out that among assistants were students at Universidad de San Luis and astronomy amateurs.
Estela Martinez remarked that climate conditions favored observation, and that the activity ended at 23:00 hours.
The astronomical activity will be repeated in different places and dates:
April 16th 2010: Tzintzuntzan, Michoacan
August 11th 2010: Paquime, Chihuahua
September 10th 2010: Tula, Hidalgo
October 25th 2010: Tonina, Chiapas
November 11th 2010: La Ferreria, Durango
November 13th 2010: Calixtlahuaca, Estado de Mexico
November 17th 2010: Chalcatzingo, Morelos
December 13th 2010: Tehuacalco, Guerrero
Huasteca World Vision
Huasteca cosmos was integrated by 3 levels: the inferior one was inhabited by the dead and cold nature deities; the terrestrial or middle one was dwelled by humans, and the superior level was where hot nature deities inhabited. Contemporary Huasteca peoples conserve this concept to present.
Three occupation periods have been identified at Tamtoc. The earliest goes back to 600 BC; the second one took place between 600 BC and 900 Ad, and the third between 900 and 1350 of the Common Era.