The study of Archaeoastronomy is a cross disciplinary approach which examines the mythology, religion and world views of prehistoric and ancient cultures through the means of their astronomical practices. It is the study of the study of contemporary native astronomies.
In examining the observations of such peoples, it is possible to gain a certain insight into the ways in which they constructed their own universes and therefore provide a more holistic understanding of the means and motivations of the culture as a whole.
The astronomical inquiry of the ancients must be looked upon as a mechanism of observation and prediction which closely tied them to their environments, depending upon various cultural, religious and mythological bases for validation in the process.
Early man was aware of the movements of celestial bodies in the heavens, especially the Sun. The ancients were also aware that everything ran in cycles of time - hence they invented celestial calendars - observatories - to mark these annual periods of time - significant horizontal astronomical events.
These ancient people were known as the Megalitgic Stone Builders who lived on the planet 5,000 years ago. The remnants of their achievements can be found throughout the planet especially where the power grids intersect.
The ancients used this knowledge to better calculate and intuit when the earth energies would be at their peak. If the energy-ley lines that run down the major axis of their observatory - or power site - is oriented to the Summer Solstice Sunrise, then that will be the day that particular site will experience a peak of power. They used this opportunity to visit these places - which became temples in mant cases - to meditate - do out of body work - talk to their Gods - or try to work with interdimensional doorways.
Archaeoastronomy is the "anthropology of astronomy", to distinguish it from the "history of astronomy". You may already know that many of the great monuments and ceremonial constructions of early civilizations were astronomically aligned. The accurate cardinal orientation of the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt or the Venus alignment of the magnificent Maya Palace of the Governor at Uxmal in Yucatan are outstanding examples. We learn much about the development of science and cosmological thought from the study of both the ancient astronomies and surviving indigenous traditions around the world.
Archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy have blossomed into active interdisciplinary fields that are providing new perspectives for the history of our species' interaction with the cosmos.
One hallmark of the new research is active cooperation between professionals and amateurs from many backgrounds and cultures. The benefit of this cooperation has been that archaeoastronomy has expanded to include the interrelated interests in ancient and native calendar systems, concepts of time and space, mathematics, counting systems and geometry, surveying and navigational techniques as well as geomancy and the origins of urban planning.
Sadly, sources of such information, both archaeological and ethnographic, are vanishing rapidly in the face of technological progress, population and economic pressures.
CRYSTALINKS: SACRED PLACES Celestial Observatories, Megaliths, Monoliths, Pyramids, Stonehenge, Sphinx
AN INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOASTRONOMY
CENTER FOR ARCHAEOASTRONOMY
PHYSICAL SCIENCES INDEX ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ALL FILES CRYSTALINKS MAIN PAGE