Introduction - 16th June 2016.
The purpose of these pages is to provide you with basic information, so that you will be able to make rational guesses about the types of alignments possible at a site, and to enable you to design your own structures.
This site is a work in progress hand coded and uploaded as it is made. My aim is to create a series of simple images with associated definitions and rules to enable you to visulise how the sky moves.
The links at the side will lead to chapters which will have their own sets of links, and a link back to here, the index page.
The first chapter is complete. A set of images that describe the most basic of basics; where the CNP is and the equator, and how latitude relates to where you are etc.
I have started a second chapter: Stations of the Sun.In this chapter I will illustrate how the equinox and solstices occur, and what occurs in the sky at that time.
A quick search via Google to seek a definition of archeoastronomy gives me:
...the branch of archaeology that deals with the apparent use by prehistoric civilizations of astronomical techniques to establish the seasons or the cycle of the year, especially as evidenced in the construction of megaliths and other ritual structures.
This short definition can be extended beyond celestial movements as indicators of weather and the passing months, to include:
- The desire to reflect the sky in wood and stone structures can arise from the need to understand the cosmos and to bring earth into harmony with the sky.
- The sky can be regarded as 'the secret workings' of the cosmos, and the movement of the stars as a code; the changes in the sky are regarded as meaningful.
- The heavens give power to the elites - the ruler requires 'the mandate of heaven' and the people require performance and ceremony. Bringing the movement of the sun or moon into the performance would be the domain of the astronomer priest as shaman, and would of course prove his or her power.
Why study archeoastronomy?
The purpose of archeoastronomy, specifically the study of ancient structures and speculation about their linkage with celestial events, provides an insight into how people made sense of the world in which they once lived. It allows us to perhaps catch a glimpse of how they understood the cosmos and their place in it...
People have made guesses about alignments in temples and churches (and Stonehenge) for centuries, their ideas have including theories of flying saucers, hidden planets, lay-lines and geomancy and enlightenment
People still make guesses, educated and not so educated and all of it makes this world a more interesting place to live in...understanding through knowledge, is a task always worth embarking upon.