Ancient Mayan priests used their occult knowledge of the stars alongside their ability to predict solar and lunar eclipses to control the minds of the masses, an expert has claimed.
Scientist at the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY) Eddie Salazar Gamboa, said: “People with knowledge of the stars, their movement and influence on the Earth were the priest class and not the general population.”
Gamboa was participating in a conference about the ‘Dresden Codex’, a Mayan book, and the oldest surviving from the Americas, that dates back to the 13th or 14th century.
He said that priests were part of the elite and passed their knowledge on to selected individuals, generation by generation.
Gamboa believes that they used their knowledge of the cosmos to control the masses and wield the same social powers as priests in ancient Egypt.
In the ‘Dresden Codex’, the scientist said that the Mayans had detailed records of sun and moon eclipses and were able to accurately predict when they would take place.
Gamboa reportedly had access to a replica of the 78-page book which is kept at the Saxon State and University Library in the German city of Dresden.
He said that the topic of eclipses was covered between pages 51 and 58 in the book and spoke of their influence on nature and Mayan society.
The ‘Dresden Codex’ is written in Mayan hieroglyphs and describes local history and astronomical tables.
During World War II, the book suffered serious water damage.
The Mayans developed a complex understanding of astronomy and reportedly recorded and interpreted everything in the night sky. They also believed that the will of the gods could be read in the stars, moon and planets.
Mayan priests were apparently very skilled at maths and astronomy. They were the only pre-telescopic civilisation to track the cycles of Venus and other planets in the solar system.
With this mastery of celestial cycles, priests kept close track of the solar and sacred calendars.