Indigeneity, Classic Mayan Astronomy, and the Calendar

A lecture by Dr. Gerardo Aldana

On Wednesday, October 12, Dr. Gerardo Aldana examined our notions of “indigeneity” and presented a model of interpreting ancient Mayan philosophy, culture, and science through a native, environmental lens as an alternative to the dominant Western worldview.

During his presentation based on recovered Maya hieroglyphic texts, Dr. Aldana addressed questions such as: What  did “science” mean to the ancient Maya? Did their impressive advances in understanding the natural world actually correspond to how we define science today? If not, why?

Dr. Gerardo Aldana is an Associate Professor of Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of numerous books and his research takes a history of science approach to the hieroglyphic and architectural records of astronomy in Precontact Mayan civilizations. Currently his focus is on the Dresden Codex Venus Table and its relationship to K’ak’ U Pakal K’awiil.

The event was sposored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

For more information on Dr. Aldana's research, please visit