Astronomy was incredibly important to the ancient Maya. In particular, they tracked the movements of planet Venus, the sun, and the moon.
El Caracol, the Observatory, is a unique structure at pre-Columbian Maya civilization site of Chichen Itza.
El Caracol, which means ‘snail’ in Spanish, is so named due to the spiral staircase inside the tower.
Mayan astronomers knew from naked-eye observations that Venus appeared on the western and disappeared on the eastern horizons at different times in the year, and that it took 584 days to complete one cycle.
They also knew that five of these Venus cycles equaled eight solar years. Venus would therefore make an appearance at the northerly and southerly extremes at eight-year intervals.
Watch the video…
According to the Manuscript of Serna, a missionary report from central Mexico, the natives “adored and made more sacrifices” to Venus than any other “celestial or terrestrial creatures” apart from the sun.