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 protecting extensive definitions and ideas, case reviews from 5 continents, issues and matters, items within the sky because the concentration of delusion, easy innovations, and influential people
• shiny illustrations together with the stone circles at Avebury, comets, novae, and meteors
• basic, jargon-free motives of simple astronomical concepts
• Over forty pictures together with the Stonehenge Heelstone at sunrise; the Cosmic Axis on the Forbidden urban, Beijing; the Temple of the sunlight 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 resources for Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth
Thousands of examples are known. A number of these are in the form of series of marks, and several were subjected to meticulous microscopic analysis by the American researcher Alexander Marshack. He concluded that the marks were not a simple decoration but carefully accumulated, often using different tools and techniques, over a period of time. One famous example is part of an eagle’s wing discovered in a cave at Abri Blanchard in the Dordogne valley, France. , it contains a series of notched marks in a serpentine pattern.
But the potential for speculative argument seems endless. Indeed, the underlying microscopic evidence that the engravings represent tally marks or some other form of notation in the first place has been vigorously questioned. And yet the underlying idea—that certain people in the Upper Palae6 Abri Blanchard Bone olithic would have recognized the phase cycle of the moon and may have attempted to record it—seems plausible enough. One approach would be to try to ascertain, hypothetically, how easy we would find it to “recognize” patterns in sets of markings that were in fact unintentional (for instance, caused by people sharpening tools) or had other meanings entirely.
A good example of this is the alignment of the so-called Governor’s Palace at the Maya site of Uxmal. The term alignment studies is not limited to the architecture of large monuments and public buildings but also includes studies of the layout of cities, as in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (Teotihuacan, for example) or the ancient classical civilizations, and their possible relationships to celestial objects. See also: Archaeoastronomy; “Brown” Archaeoastronomy; “Green” Archaeoastronomy; Methodology; Thom, Alexander (1894–1985).