Exploring Ancient Skies: A Survey of Ancient and Cultural Astronomy
Exploring Ancient Skies brings together the methods of archaeology and the insights of modern astronomy to explore the science of astronomy as it was practiced in various cultures prior to the invention of the telescope. The book reviews an enormous and growing body of literature on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, the Far East, and the New World (particularly Mesoamerica), putting the ancient astronomical materials into their archaeological and cultural contexts. The authors begin with an overview of the field and proceed to essential aspects of naked-eye astronomy, followed by an examination of specific cultures. The book concludes by taking into account the purposes of ancient astronomy: astrology, navigation, calendar regulation, and (not least) the understanding of our place and role in the universe. Skies are recreated to display critical events as they would have appeared to ancient observers--events such as the supernova of 1054 A.D., the "lion horoscope," and the Star of Bethlehem. Exploring Ancient Skies provides a comprehensive overview of the relationships between astronomy and other areas of human investigation. It will be useful as a reference for scholars and as a text for students in both astronomy and archaeology, and will be of compelling interest to readers who seek a broad understanding of our collective intellectual history.
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12 Lamat Ahau Ahau 18 Akbal alignments altitude ancient angle appear archaeoastronomy associated asterisms astronomical azimuth Caban calendar Cauac celestial equator celestial longitude century b.c. Chen Chicchan Chinese Chuen Cimi circle comet conjunction constellations cultures Cumku cycle deities depictions discussion Drawing by Sharon E.F. Milone Earth equinox Etz’nab evidence Figure goddess gods heliacal rising horizon identified Imix interval Jupiter Kankin Kayab king Kogi latitude longitude lunar eclipse major standstill Manik Maya Mayan megalithic Mercury Mesoamerica month monuments Moon Moon’s motion Muan Muluc myth names Neugebauer Newgrange observations orbit period phenomena planetary planets Pleiades Ptolemy refer right ascension Saturn seasons Sharon Hanna sidereal Sirius solar eclipse stars stone suggests summer solstice Sun’s synodic synodic month synodic period Table temple Thom tion turtle Tzec Venus visible winter solstice Yaxkin zodiac Zotz