Talk abstract details

A Comparison of Two Independent Models of the Solar System: Bode's Law and the 260 Day Mesoamerican Calendar
Richard R. Zito


The 260 day Mesoamerican "Sacred Almanac," or sacred calendar indirectly contains all the solar system information embodied within the law first proposed by Bode in 1772. However, the sacred 260 day calendar of Mesoamerica is more accurate on average, and over two millennia older. Furthermore, generalization of the equations used to make the comparison between Bode's Law and the sacred calendar shows that the 260 day calendar is one of the most efficient calendars that can be constructed for tracking planetary motions, but only when the planet Mercury is included in the planet set. This suggests that the calendar's design was intentional and that the planet Mercury was known to ancient new world astronomers; a controversial hypothesis first proposed by Schlak in 1996. The number of observational experiments needed to establish the 260 day calendar has also been estimated. In fact, the information burden is substantial, and it is tempting to suggest that the need for astronomical recordkeeping may have given rise to the development of writing in the new world.