Search results for: archaeoastronomy

Archaeoastronomy in the Old World

Author : D. C. Heggie
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The papers in this book, summarising the proceedings of a conference at the University of Oxford in September 1981, are concerned with shedding light on a controversial aspect of European prehistory: was astronomy practised in the late Neolithic and bronze ages? This volume will be of interest to prehistorians, professionals with pure and applied sciences background and statisticians.

Archaeoastronomy in the New World

Author : Anthony F. Aveni
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This volume summarises the proceedings of a conference which took place at the University of Oxford in September 1981.


Author : Giulio Magli
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This is a second edition of a textbook that provides the first comprehensive, easy-to-read, and up-to-date account of the fascinating discipline of archaeoastronomy, in which the relationship between ancient constructions and the sky is studied in order to gain a better understanding of the ideas of the architects of the past and of their religious and symbolic worlds. The book is divided into three sections, the first of which explores the past relations between astronomy and people, power, the afterworld, architecture, and landscape. The second part then discusses in detail the fundamentals of archaeoastronomy, including the celestial coordinates; the apparent motion of the sun, moon, stars, and planets; observation of celestial bodies at the horizon; the use of astronomical software in archaeoastronomy; and current methods for making and analyzing measurements. The final section reviews what archaeoastronomy can now tell us about the nature and purpose of such sites and structures as Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Giza, Chichen Itza, the Angkor Temples, the Campus Martius, and the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento. In addition, it provides a set of exercises that can be performed using non-commercial free software, e.g., Google Earth and Stellarium, and that will equip readers to conduct their own research. This new edition features a completely new chapter on archaeoastronomy in Asia and an “augmented reality” framework, which on the one hand enhances the didactic value of the book using direct links to the relevant sections of the author’s MOOC (online) lessons and, on the other, allows readers to directly experience – albeit virtually –many of the spectacular archaeological sites described in the book. This is an ideal introduction to what has become a wide-ranging multidisciplinary science.

Exploring Archaeoastronomy

Author : Liz Henty
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Archaeoastronomy and archaeology are two distinct fields of study which examine the cultural aspect of societies, but from different perspectives. Archaeoastronomy seeks to discover how the impact of the skyscape is materialized in culture, by alignments to celestial events or sky-based symbolism; yet by contrast, archaeology's approach examines all aspects of culture, but rarely considers the sky. Despite this omission, archaeology is the dominant discipline while archaeoastronomy is relegated to the sidelines. The reasons for archaeoastronomy’s marginalized status may be found by assessing its history. For such an exploration to be useful, archaeoastronomy cannot just be investigated in a vacuum but must be contextualized by exploring other contemporaneous developments, particularly in archaeology. On the periphery of both, there are various strands of esoteric thought and pseudoscientific theories which paint an alternative view of monumental remains and these also play a part in the background. The discipline of archaeology has had an unbroken lineage from the late 19th century to the present. On the other hand, archaeoastronomy has not been consistently titled, having adopted various different names such as alignment studies, orientation theory, astro-archaeology, megalithic science, archaeotopography, archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy: names which depict variants of its methods and theory, sometimes in tandem with those of archaeology and sometimes in opposition. Similarly, its academic status has always been unclear so to bring it closer to archaeology there was a proposal in 2015 to integrate archaeoastronomy research with that of archaeology and call it skyscape archaeology. This volume will examine how all these different variants came about and consider archaeoastronomy's often troubled relationship with archaeology and its appropriation by esotericism to shed light on its position today.

Archaeoastronomy and the Maya

Author : Gerardo Aldana y V.
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Archaeoastronomy and the Maya illustrates archaeoastronomical approaches to ancient Mayan cultural production. The book is contextualized through a history of archaeoastronomical investigations into Mayan sites, originating in the 19th century discovery of astronomical tables within hieroglyphic books. Early 20th century archaeological excavations revealed inscriptions carved into stone that also preserved astronomical records, along with architecture that was built to reflect astronomical orientations. These materials provided the basis of a growing professionalized archaeoastronomy, blossoming in the 1970s and expanding into recent years. The chapters here exemplify the advances made in the field during the early 21st century as well as the on-going diversity of approaches, presenting new perspectives and discoveries in ancient Mayan astronomy that result from recent studies of architectural alignments, codices, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and calendrics. More than just investigations of esoteric ancient sciences, studies of ancient Mayan astronomy have profoundly aided our understanding of Mayan worldviews. Concepts of time and space, meanings encoded in religious art, intentions underlying architectural alignments, and even methods of political legitimization are all illuminated through the study of Mayan astronomy.

The Role of archaeoastronomy in the Maya World

Author : UNESCO Office Mexico
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Archaeoastronomy in the Roman World

Author : Giulio Magli
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This book explores the insights that Cultural Astronomy provides into the classical Roman world by unveiling the ways in which the Romans made use of their knowledge concerning the heavens, and by shedding new light on the interactions between astronomy and heritage in ancient Roman culture. Leading experts in the field present fascinating information on how and why the Romans referred to the sky when deciding upon the orientation of particular monuments, temples, tombs and even urban layouts. Attention is also devoted to questions of broader interest, such as the contribution that religious interpretation of the sky made in the assimilation of conquered peoples. When one considers astronomy in the Roman world it is customary to think of the work and models of Ptolemy, and perhaps the Julian calendar or even the sighting of the Star of Bethlehem. However, like many other peoples in antiquity, the Romans interacted with the heavens in deeper ways that exerted a profound influence on their culture. This book highlights the need to take this complexity into account in various areas of research and will appeal to all those who wish to learn more about the application of astronomy in the lives and architecture of the Romans.

Descriptive Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Indian Chronology

Author : Amitabha Ghosh
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This book presents the basic fundamentals of descriptive archaeoastronomy and its application to the astronomical descriptions found in ancient Indian scriptures. Archaeoastronomy is a branch of positional astronomy that helps to determine the epochs of ancient astronomical alignments and special astronomical events. In this book, only the descriptions of special stellar alignments and events found in ancient texts can identify the antiquity of the descriptions. India possesses a large volume of ancient scriptures like Vedas and Puranas which contain many astronomical descriptions as in ancient India positional astronomy was well developed. The antiquities of these texts are determined through archaeoastronomical techniques. Major events like Mahabharata War are dated and using these dates a chronology of ancient India is determined. The astronomically determined chronology is compared with the results from various archaeological, palaeoclimatological, geological and genealogical investigations of ancient India. This introductory book interests readers interested in unveiling the mystery involved with the protohistory of this ancient civilization.

Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy

Author : Giulio Magli
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The book is divided into two parts. In the first, the reader is taken on an ideal ‘world tour’ of many wonderful and enigmatic places in almost every continent, in search of traces of astronomical knowledge and lore of the sky. In the second part, Giulio Magli uses the elements presented in the tour to show that the fundamental idea which led to the construction of the astronomically-related giant monuments was the foundation of power, a foundation which was exploited by ‘replicating’ the sky. A possible interpretive model then emerges that is founded on the relationship the ancients had with “nature”, in the sense of everything that surrounded them, the cosmos. The numerous monumental astronomically aligned structures of the past then become interpretable as acts of will, expressions of power on the part of those who held it; the will to replicate the heavenly plane here on earth and to build sacred landscapes. Finally, having formulated his hypothesis, Professor Magli returns to visit one specific place in detail, searching for proof. This in-depth examination studies the most compelling, the most intensively studied, the most famous and, until recently, the most misunderstood sacred landscape on the planet - Giza, in Egypt. The archaeoastronomical analysis of the orientation of the Giza pyramids leads to the hypothesis that the pyramids of Cheops and Chephren belong to the same construction project.


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