Archaeoastronomy is the study of the cosmological knowledge of ancient cultures, as revealed by texts, calendrical systems, monuments, and other ancient artifacts. It does not deal with astrological or mythical lore, except as they might show awareness of particular cosmological phenomena. As a recognized field of scientific study, it operates within the speculative limits of mainstream physical and historical science: that is, it does not postulate such things as ancient astronauts, extraterrestrial visitors, mystical wisdom, magical locations, Atlantis, etc. All such subjects are covered in Astroarchaeology (or other subcategories of Science/Anomalies_and_Alternative_Science.)
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Ancient African Skies
An article on the Borana Calendar by Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute.
Ancient Egyptian Chronology and the Astronomical Orientation of Pyramids
Article by Kate Spence contending that the Egyptians aligned the pyramids to north by using the simultaneous transit of two circumpolar stars. [PDF]
Ancient Observatories: Chaco Canyon
The Exploratorium's multimedia website on the site of Chaco Canyon. Includes a webcast from the Winter Solstice 2004.
AR315 Lecture Timetable
Archaeoastronomy Lecture notes and photographs from Leicester University.
Archaeo-astronomical hypotheses on some Ligurian engravings
Study of rupestral engravings in Italy.
Well developed site featuring articles and photographs on a number of significant sites and their Archaeoastronomy
Archaeoastronomy: An Interview with David Dearborn
Interview with David Dearnorn, a specialist in Peruvian Astronomy.
BBC - Radio 4 - Stars In Their Eyes
Rajesh Mirchandani looks at the ancient cosmologies of Mesopotamia, Egypt, China and India. Requires Real Player.
BBC World Service: The Stargazers of Ancient Egypt
Dr Kate Spence's theory of the cardinal alignment of Great Pyramid explained.
A Brief Evaluation of Kate Spence's Article in NATURE
Article rebutting Kate Spence's theory that the pyramids were aligned to north by using the simultaneous transit of two circumpolar stars.
Carving the Cosmos
Astronomical analysis of petroglyphs on sandstone panels, Arizona.
Center for Archaeoastronomy
Founded in 1978 at the University of Maryland to advance research, education and public awareness of archaeoastronomy.
A multimedia introduction to archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy suitable for K-12 teachers and students. Part of the University of Chicago's Digital Library.
Die Himmelsscheibe von Nebra (The Sky Disc of Nebra)
Largely German description of the Bronze Age artefact umearthed in Saxony-Anhalt, with FAQs in English.
The earliest dioptra (c.300 BCE) was a device for measuring the angle, in parts of a "Sign", between two celestial objects. Photos and descriptions of how to make one and how they work.
Dogon and Sirius
A detailed examination of M. Griaule's 1950 paper "Un Systeme Soudanais de Sirius".
Heavenly Mathematics: Cultural Astronomy
An interdisciplinary course on cultural astronomy. The course has a goal of imparting an understanding of basic astronomical phenomena and an appreciation of their cultural significance throughout the world.
How the Shaman Stole the Moon
An archaeoastronomy book by William H. Calvin of the University of Washington. The book, which describes a dozen ways of predicting eclipses, can be purchased or downloaded for personal reading at no charge.
Ice Age Star Map Discovered
A controversial discovery of a 16,000-year-old "map of the night sky" in Lascaux caves. BBC article.
ISAAC - International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture
Contact details for this international academic society.
Ligurian Archaeoastronomy, mainly in Italian but with some English and German translations.
An online book of the folkore in Lithuania surrounding the sun, moon and stars by Jonas Vaiðkûnas.
Loughcrew Megalithic Cairns - Ireland
An introduction the to astronomical theories surrounding these Irish Neolithic Cairns.
The Material World
BBC Radio 4 interview on the methodology of archaeoastronomy with Prof. Clive Ruggles and Dr. Frank Prendergast. Requires Real Player.
Megalithic Sites of Great Britain
Re-evaluation of the existence of the Megalithic Calendar proposed by Alexander Thom.
Newgrange is a 5000 year old mound near the River Boyne in Ireland. An inner chamber is illuminated by the rising sun on mornings around the winter solstice.
Pathfinder - Ancient American Calendar
Observe video of light/shadow interplay on 1,000+ year old rock art marking equinox sunrise at a remote, newly discovered Colorado site.
Prehistoric Moon Map Unearthed
The BBC reports that astronomer Dr Philip Stooke has found a map of the moon in an Irish tomb that pre-dates the earliest known one by about 5000 years.
Pyramids Lined Up With The Stars
British Egyptologist puts forward an astronomical theory for the northern alignment of the Great Pyramid at Giza. BBC article.
SEAC - Société Européene pour l’Astronomie dans la Culture / European Society for Astronomy in Culture
An interdisciplinary website dedicated to research, education and care of heritage in Astronomy in Culture.
Stones of Wonder
A guide the megalithic monuments of Scotland and their astronomical alignments. Also contains illustrations, a bibliography and suggestions for the best times of year to visit.
Sun Earth Day 2005
The NASA site for Sun-Earth day 2005 (March 20). The theme is 'Ancient Observatories, Timeless Knowledge'. Includes webcasts.
Sundial, calendar and Khmer temples
Determination of the orientation of ancient Khmer temples based on solar observations. Presents the data for several sites.
Tiwanaku (Tiahuanaco) Phase IV
Cesare Berrini's hypotheses concerning the relationships between bas-relief carvings on the Gateway of the Sun, the annual solar cycle, and geometric time measurement.
Traditions of the Sun: Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Features a collaborative project between SECEF, Ideum, the NPS, other organizations, and individuals. Contains an overview, photos, a timeline, news, credits, and contact information.
University of Massachusetts Sunwheel
A project to build a stone circle aligned to the sunrises and sunsets of the solstices and equinoxes, as well as the north pole star, for use by the community as a tool for education and outreach.
Parowan Gap displays yearly spectacle
A news story on a solsticial alignment at a petroglyph site in Utah. (June 20, 2005)
Scientific American: Circles for Space
An article on how a German "Stonehenge" may be the world's oldest observatory. (December 08, 2003)
Cosmic link to stone circles
Ancient stone circles and tombs in Ireland align with the Sun and the Moon, say astronomers. BBC Article (April 08, 2003)
Encounter with the Moon stone
The BBC's science editor comes face to face with what is claimed to be the oldest map of the Moon ever made. (March 06, 2001)
Ancient Tomb Captured Both Sun and Moon
A unique prehistoric tomb in Ireland has been revealed to align to both the midsummer Sun and the midwinter Moon. BBC article (April 08, 1999)
Oldest Astronomical Monument Found
Discovery of a 6,500-year-old monument at Nabta, Egypt. BBC article. (April 01, 1998)
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Last update:May 18, 2016 at 9:05:05 UTC