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Solstices brought Mayan communities together, using monuments shaped by science and religion – and kingly ambitions, too

By Gerardo Aldana, Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
K’ahk’ Uti’ Witz’ K’awiil knew his history.

For 11 generations, the Mayan ruler’s dynasty had ruled Copan, a city-state near today’s border between Honduras and Guatemala. From the fifth century C.E. into the seventh century, scribes painted his ancestors’ genealogies into manuscripts and carved them in stone monuments throughout the city.

Around 650, one particular piece of architectural history appears to have caught his eye.

Centuries before, village masons built special structures for public…The Conversation

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