How did total solar eclipses affect civilizations that worshiped the sun?
We all know that the Ancient Chinese were so fearful of the sun being ‘eaten by a dragon’ that they clanged pots and other noisy things to scare off the dragon and bring back the sun. This tradition apparently goes back a very long time, and may have been started several thousand years ago. We know that Ancient Chinese astrologers were carefully searching for eclipses as far back as 2100 BCE. But what of other civilizations such as ancient Egypt and those such as the Incas, Mayas and Aztecs? Amazingly, there are no recorded documents or hieroglyphs that suggest the sudden and unpredicted absence of the sun disks associated with Quetzalcoatl (Inca) or Ra (Egypt) was noteworthy in the archeological record. Part of this, in the case of Egypt, may be due to the fact that most of the eclipse tracks for the period from 2,000 BDC to 1000 BCE, for example, passed over extremely low population density areas in Egypt where there would be very few people to notice the 2-5 minute dimming of the sun. However, the total solar eclipses of 1883, 1532 and 1337 BCE passed over Cairo, and the eclipses of 1949, 1257 and 1123 BCE passed close to Luxor. Perhaps there are records somewhere yet to be translated, discovered, or critically analyzed, that mention such unusual solar events, no doubt witnessed by thousands of people each time in these high-population areas.