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Archeoastronomy

 Archeoastronomy

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Archeoastronomy is the study of the various astronomical achievements of the past,  combining the knowledge of archaeologists, astronomers and other scientists. 

The heavens have, since earliest times, been used for navigation.

The scientific study of the orientation of the remains of temples and other sites in the Middle East and Europe, including the pyramids of Egypt, began early last century. With his pioneering work on Stonehenge in the late 19th century Sir Norman Lockyer brought this and other megalithic monuments under scrutiny. 

From rock paintings to Stonehenge, from the calendars of the Babylonians, the Mayans and the Egyptians to the native North American medicine wheels, ancient peoples have left behind evidence of their concern with the movement of celestial bodies. The sun, the moon, and the stars always have been dominant features to the human world. 
Stonehenge and other similar early megalithic monuments are oriented on celestial events including the summer solstice. Alignments have also been found which mark the phases of the moon, the eight year cycle of the planet Venus, and the rising of bright stars like Sirius.

For agricultural societies the recurrence of seasonal events was, and still is, critical to their survival.

The regularity of celestial events was used to measure the passing of time. 

'To everything, there is a season
A time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to plant, a time to reap.'
 

 

 

Related Pages

Stonehenge

Stonehenge and Other British Stone Monuments Astronomically Considered

 

 

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