Archive for December, 2008
In the classical world, Mars was the god of war. In Egypt, it was Horus the Red, or the “backward traveler.” Ancient people all over the world were fascinated by the red planet. The people who studied Mars most closely were probably the ancient Mayans.
Who Is The Mayan Mars?
The Mayan Mars is depicted in ancient engravings as a long nosed monster or animal, hanging from a band that stretches across the sky. It appears to be descending down to earth nose-first. In other places, Mars is depicted in what appears to be a regular human form.
The Mayans And The Wandering Star
The god Mars wasn’t as important to the Mayans as the planet was. Mars the god only appears a few times in Mayan mythology, and his role does not seem to have been a big one. However, the Mayans were able to keep track of Mars’ peculiar orbit better than anyone else on earth.
Egyptians called Mars “the wandering star.” Mars has always baffled ancient astronomers because of its apparent backward motion. Every 25 months or so, it seems to slow down, stop, and start heading the other way. To ancient people, who believed the celestial bodies traveled around the earth, this was strange. This is one reason why Mars has always fascinated people.
The Mayans were the first to figure out Mars’ orbit. In the Dresden Codex, they created a Mars calendar that is accurate to the day. They didn’t know why Mars traveled backwards, but they knew when it would. The Mayans understood perfectly Mars’ relationship with the other celestial bodies.
Mars doesn’t actually travel backwards. Modern astronomy has shown us that Mars’ orbit around the sun is simply slower than the earth’s. Once every 25 months, the earth passes Mars up, and it appears to go backward. It is called “retrograde motion” and other planets do it as well, but less often.
The Mayans-Mars Connection
The Mayan civilization had an uncanny knack for studying the stars and creating perfect calendars. They were the first in the world to figure out that the year has 365 days. This detailed knowledge of the solar system, as well as other supposed evidence, has led many to believe that the Mayans are descendents of an ancient race from Mars.
It sounds like science fiction, but the theory is based on the 1968 bestseller Chariots of the Gods by Erik Von Daniken. The book says that Martians fled their dying planet and came to the earth, the closest planet. It’s a wild theory, but as more evidence of ancient rivers and oceans on Mars emerge, it gains popularity.
Pyramids And UFOs
Others believe there is a Mars-Egypt connection. They believe that the pyramids at Giza were built by extraterrestrials, and they consider the 1976 discovery of what appear to be pyramids and a Sphinx-like face on Mars to be further evidence. Supposedly, these aliens gave the Egyptians superior technology with which to build the pyramids, and the pyramids were used to generate power.
All strange theories aside, the Mayans were the keenest observers of the stars, and of all ancient peoples, they were the most astute at charting Mars’ path.
As far as we know, the planet Mars was first noticed during the time of the Babylonians. They called Mars Nergal, which means the great hero, the king of conflicts. The Babylonians were great astronomers, they watched the stars closely and were able to predict eclipses. They were well aware of different phenomenas but never bothered to explain them. They observed the sky for keeping records and for religious purposes.
The Egyptians named Mars Har Decher – the red one. They were the first to notice that the stars and the sun seems to be fixed. They also noticed 5 glowing objects in the sky, that we soon found out to be Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn.
THE ROMANS AND GREEKS
During this time of myths and Gods, Mars was known as the God of War. The Romans worshipped Mars and even provided sacrifices, they would seek the guidance of Mars especially in times of war.
The Symbol of Mars.
The Greeks referred to Mars as Ares.
In Greek mythology, Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera. Some people regarded him as a killer while some sees him as a savior and father of victory.