Encrypted Astronomy, Astral Mythologies, and Ancient Mexican Studies in Austria, 1910-1945

  • Peter Rohrbacher Institute for Social Anthropology, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Resumo

This paper examines the beginnings of Austrian studies on ancient Mexico by analyzing the work of Damian Kreichgauer and Friedrich Röck in the early twentieth century. Both argued that a priest elite intentionally “coded” astronomical data in ancient Mexican manuscripts. The first section of the article sheds light on the theoretical background of this interpretation. The main section, based on numerous archival sources, is dedicated to the deciphering procedure elaborated by Röck, the first director of the Ethnological Museum in Vienna (today Weltmuseum Wien). Since Röck’s method seemed to revolutionize the discipline, it gained a great deal of attention from German Nazi authorities. The final section deals with Röck’s student Karl Anton Nowotny, who elaborated an ethnographic approach of ancient Mexican studies in Austria after World War II. This study provides new insights into the historical background of post-war ancient Mexican studies in Austria.

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Publicado
2019-04-17
Como Citar
Rohrbacher, P. (2019). Encrypted Astronomy, Astral Mythologies, and Ancient Mexican Studies in Austria, 1910-1945. Revista De Antropologia, 62(1), 140-161. https://doi.org/10.11606/2179-0892.ra.2019.157035
Seção
Special Issue - German-Speaking Anthropologists in Latin-America, 1884-1945