Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth

Front Cover
ABC-CLIO, 2005 - Science - 518 pages

Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth draws on archaeological evidence and oral traditions to reveal how prehistoric humans perceived the skies and celestial phenomena. With over 200 entries, it offers a number of ways to approach ancient astronomy, from key examples and case studies worldwide (Stonehenge; Mexican and Egyptian pyramids; Chaco Canyon, New Mexico; the Nazca lines in Peru) to general themes (cosmologies, calendars, ancient ideas of space and time, origin myths), to fundamental concepts and methods (how the sky has changed over the centuries, how to survey a site), and to the field's most frequently asked questions (How did ancient peoples navigate the ocean using the stars? How does astrology relate to ancient astronomy? Can ancient sites be dated astronomically?)

By revealing the astronomical significance of some of the world's most famous ancient landmarks and enduring myths and by showing how different themes and concepts are connected, Ancient Astronomy: An Encyclopedia of Cosmologies and Myth brings a unique authoritative perspective to an area too often left to speculation and sensationalism.

 

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Contents

Aboriginal Astronomy
1
Abri Blanchard Bone
5
Acronical Rise
7
Alignment Studies
8
Ancient Egyptian Calendars
9
Andean Mountain Shrines
13
Angkor
14
Antas
17
Lunar Eclipses
230
Lunar Parallax
234
Lunar Phase Cycle
235
Maes Howe
237
Magellanic Clouds
240
Mangareva
241
Maya Long Count
243
Medicine Wheels
246

Antizenith Passage of the Sun
19
Archaeotopography
23
AstroArchaeology
24
Astronomical Dating
27
Avebury
29
Axial Stone Circles
30
Azimuth
33
Babylonian Astronomy and Astrology
37
Ballochroy
41
Barasana Caterpillar Jaguar Constellation
43
Beltany
44
Borana Calendar
45
Boyne Valley Tombs
46
Brainport Bay
48
Brodgar Ring of
50
Brown Archaeoastronomy
52
Cacaxtla
55
Cahokia
57
Calendars
59
Callanish
61
Caracol at Chichen Itza
64
Carahunge
65
Cardinal Directions
67
Casa Rinconada
69
Catastrophic Events
72
Celestial Sphere
74
Celtic Calendar
75
Ceque System
77
Chaco Canyon
80
Chaco Meridian
83
Chaco Supernova Pictograph
86
Chinese Astronomy
90
Christianization of Pagan Festivals
95
Church Orientations
96
Circles of Earth Timber and Stone
99
Circumpolar Stars
102
Clava Cairns
103
Cobo Bernabé 15821657
105
Coffin Lids
106
Cognitive Archaeology
108
Comets Novae and Meteors
110
Compass and Clinometer Surveys
112
Constellation Maps on the Ground
113
Cosmology
115
Crucifixion of Christ
117
Crucuno
119
Cumbrian Stone Circles
122
Cursus Monuments
123
Cusco Sun Pillars
126
Declination
129
Delphic Oracle
130
Diurnal Motion
132
Drombeg
134
Easter Island
137
Eclipse Records and the Earths Rotation
141
Ecliptic
142
Egyptian Temples and Tombs
143
Emu in the Sky
147
Equinoxes
148
Ethnoastronomy
152
Extinction
153
Fajada Butte Sun Dagger
155
Field Survey
158
Fiskerton
160
Governors Palace at Uxmal
163
GPS Surveys
165
Grand Menhir Brisé
166
Green Archaeoastronomy
169
Group E Structures
170
HaamongaaMaui
175
Hawaiian Calendar
176
Heliacal Rise
180
Hesiod Eighth Century BCE
181
Hopewell Mounds
183
Hopi Calendar and Worldview
186
Horizon Calendars of Central Mexico
188
How the Sky Has Changed over the Centuries
190
Inferior Planets Motions of
191
Inuit Cosmology
193
IronAge Roundhouses
195
Is Paras
197
Islamic Astronomy
199
Island of the Sun
203
Javanese Calendar
207
Julian Calendar
208
June Solstice
209
Kintraw
211
Kukulcan
213
Kumukahi
215
Kumulipo
217
Lakota Sacred Geography
219
Land of the Rising Sun
221
Landscape
223
Ley Lines
224
Lockyer Sir Norman 18361920
227
Lunar and LuniSolar Calendars
228
Megalithic Astronomy
248
Megalithic Monuments of Britain and Ireland
250
Megalithic Observatories
252
Meridian
253
Mesoamerican Calendar Round
255
Mesoamerican CrossCircle Designs
259
Methodology
261
MidQuarter Days
265
Minoan Temples and Tombs
266
Misminay
267
Mithraism
269
Monuments and Cosmology
271
Moon Motions of
272
Mursi Calendar
274
Nā Pali Chant
279
Nabta Playa
282
Namoratunga
284
Nasca Lines and Figures
286
Nationalism
292
Navajo Cosmology
293
Navajo Hogan
295
Navajo Star Ceilings
296
Navigation
298
Navigation in Ancient Oceania
300
Nebra Disc
304
Necker Island
307
Newgrange
309
Nissen Heinrich 18391912
312
Nuraghi
313
Obliquity of the Ecliptic
317
Orientation
319
Orion
321
Palaeoscience
325
Pantheon
328
Pawnee Cosmology
329
Pawnee Earth Lodge
331
Pawnee Star Chart
332
Pilgrimage
333
Polynesian and Micronesian Astronomy
336
Polynesian Temple Platforms and Enclosures
340
Power
343
Precession
345
Precision and Accuracy
347
Prehistoric Tombs and Temples in Europe
348
Presa de la Mula
351
Pyramids of Giza
353
Quipu
357
Recumbent Stone Circles
361
Refraction
364
Roman Astronomy and Astrology
365
Rujm elHiri
366
Sacred Geographies
369
Sarmizegetusa Regia
370
Saroeak
372
Science or Symbolism?
375
Short Stone Rows
376
Sky Bears
378
Solar Eclipses
380
Solstices
384
Solstitial Alignments
385
Solstitial Directions
388
Somerville Boyle 18641936
389
Son Mas
390
Star and Crescent Symbol
392
Star Compasses of the Pacific
394
Star Names
396
Star Rising and Setting Positions
398
Statistical Analysis
399
Stone Circles
401
Stonehenge
405
Sun Motions of
409
Superior Planets Motions of
410
Swedish Rock Art
412
Symbols
414
Taulas
417
Temple Alignments in Ancient Greece
419
Teotihuacan Street Grid
421
Theodolite Surveys
423
Thom Alexander 18941985
425
Thornborough
427
TriRadial Cairns
429
Venus in Mesoamerica
433
Wedge Tombs
435
Years BCE and Years before 0
439
Zenith Passage of the Sun
443
Zenith Stars in Polynesia
444
Zenith Tubes
445
Bibliography
449
Glossary
483
Topic Index
487
Geographical Index
491
Chronological Index
495
Cultural Index
499
Index
503
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Clive Ruggles is professor of archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester, Leicester, England.

Bibliographic information