By Clive L.N. Ruggles
An authoritative advent to the interesting subject of archaeoastronomy―ancient peoples' realizing and use of the skies.
• Over 2 hundred A–Z entries overlaying extensive definitions and ideas, case reports from 5 continents, issues and matters, items within the sky because the concentration of fable, uncomplicated strategies, and influential people
• brilliant illustrations together with the stone circles at Avebury, comets, novae, and meteors
• uncomplicated, jargon-free causes of easy astronomical concepts
• Over forty photographs together with the Stonehenge Heelstone at sunrise; the Cosmic Axis on the Forbidden urban, Beijing; the Temple of the solar at Teotihuacan; Ahu Huri at Urenga, Easter Island; the Aboriginal stone configuration at Lake Bolac, Victoria, Australia; and more
Read Online or Download Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth PDF
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Extra info for Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth
Many different groups of later prehistoric monuments within western Europe show distinctive orientation signatures, but the implications of this group’s signature seem particularly clear: the antas faced sunrise on some day in the year, perAntas 17 The seven-stone anta at Mellizo, one of a number found near Valencia de Alcántara in Extremadura, western Spain, close to the border with Portugal. (Courtesy of Clive Ruggles) haps the day on which construction commenced. If so, then we must add a qualification.
In like manner, they pointed out, several prominent astronomers were seeing their own reflections when they described Stonehenge as a sophisticated observatory and eclipse predictor. But there was also a deeper reason. In the 1970s, most archaeologists in the forefront of theoretical developments were trying to describe the actions of human communities in prehistory and the processes of social change in terms of human responses to ecological or environmental constraints. These “processual archaeologists” saw no reason why prehistoric people would have bothered incorporating astronomical alignments into communal monuments.
In the decades that followed, both archaeoastronomy and theoretical archaeology moved forward. Archaeoastronomy ceased to be dominated by astronomers and began to incorporate more archaeologists and anthropologists. This would, at the very least, help to avoid naive pitfalls such as ethnocentrism. As a result, archaeoastronomy began to lose its cavalier attitude toward the body of theory that had been developed (and was continuing to develop) within archaeology and anthropology for interpreting the actions of any past community from what we can find in their material remains.
Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth by Clive L.N. Ruggles