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 Post subject: Archaeoastronomy Thread
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:41 pm 
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New Study Shows Some Greek Temples Were Oriented to the Moon or Stars, Rather than the Sun

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-his ... sun-020640

Quote:
The issue of the orientation of Greek Temples has been the subject of several debates since the end of the 19th century. In fact, although a general tendency to orientation within the arc of the rising sun is undeniable, specific patterns and true meaning remain obscure. … Our results include an important temple which was essentially yet unpublished, and most of all show that very different reasons influenced the orientation choices – some symbolical, but others by far more practical – besides the general rule of orienting “to the rising sun.”


The preprint at arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.02497

Gonna try and keep things categorized, rather than creating an even bigger hodge-podge of links here at the ASTRA forum.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:47 pm 
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Australian Aborigones Knew of Variable Star Betelgeuse before Europe

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"This is very interesting because this ancient story accurately describes the variability of Betelgeuse, which brightens and fades over a period of about 400 days," said one of the study authors, Dr Duane Hamacher.


http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-evo ... use-098982

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:26 pm 
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More variable star goodness:

3,200-Year-Old Papyrus Contains Astrophysical Information about Variable Star Algol
http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/papyr ... 03533.html

Quote:
It also confirms that the first variable star, as well as its period, were discovered much earlier than previously thought. “In 1596, Fabricius discovered the first variable star, Mira. Holwarda determined its eleven month period 44 years later. In 1669, Montanari discovered the second variable star, Algol. Goodricke determined the 2.867 days period of Algol in 1783,” Jetsu and Porceddu said.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:18 pm 
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Looking to the Stars of Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

http://www.ancient-origins.net/history/ ... omy-005072

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:26 am 
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The Ancient Egyptian Discovery of Algol's Period Confirmed
http://arxiv.org/abs/1601.06990

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The Ancient Egyptians wrote Calendars of Lucky and Unlucky Days that assigned astronomically influenced prognoses for each day of the year. The best preserved of these calendars is the Cairo Calendar (hereafter CC) dated to 1244--1163 B.C. We have presented evidence that the 2.85 days period in the lucky prognoses of CC is equal to that of the eclipsing binary Algol during this historical era. We wanted to find out the vocabulary that represents Algol in the mythological texts of CC. Here we show that Algol was represented as Horus and thus signified both divinity and kingship. The texts describing the actions of Horus are consistent with the course of events witnessed by any naked eye observer of Algol. These descriptions support our claim that CC is the oldest preserved historical document of the discovery of a variable star. The period of the Moon, 29.6 days, has also been discovered in CC. We show that the actions of Seth were connected to this period, which also strongly regulated the times described as lucky for Heaven and for Earth. Now, for the first time, periodicity is discovered in the descriptions of the days in CC. Unlike many previous attempts to uncover the reasoning behind the myths of individual days, we discover the actual rules in the appearance and behaviour of deities during the whole year.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:21 pm 
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Ancient Babylonian astronomers used calculus to find Jupiter 1,400 years before Europeans

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-2 ... my/7121548

Quote:
However, one of the tablets — trapezoid text A — provided Dr Ossendrijver with the key to understanding the other four tablets.

"I discovered that they describe the motion of Jupiter as a velocity, the number of degrees it moves across the sky in a day," Dr Ossendrijver said.

"If you plot the velocity of Jupiter against time, you get a creeping curve which looks like a rectangle with a slanted top — that's the trapezoid."

The tablets show two intervals from when Jupiter first appears along the horizon at night, to the planet's position in the sky after 60 and 120 days.

The tablets also computed the time when Jupiter covers half of this 60-day distance by partitioning the trapezoid into two smaller ones of equal area.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:25 pm 
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Not really archaeoastronomy, but it's of historical significance!

The Magnificent Observatory and Discoveries of Johannes Hevelius

http://www.ancient-origins.net/history- ... ius-005288

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
As an astronomer he gained a reputation as "the founder of lunar topography" and described ten new constellations, seven of which are still recognized by astronomers.


Natalia Klimczak writes:

Quote:
When he had the observatory built in 1641, it was equipped with splendid instruments - including a large Keplerian telescope with a 46 m (150 ft) focal length. This was probably the longest "tubed" telescope created before the area of the tubeless aerial telescope.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:10 pm 
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I am not surprised regarding these discoveries. They had very dark skies and there were those dedicated to observing the night sky over many years. Observations were passed down to the next generation of observers and over time patterns began to emerge and noted.

Vic Palmieri


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:35 am 
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Mystery Of The Gotland Grooves – Ancient Astronomical Observatory?
http://www.messagetoeagle.com/mystery-o ... servatory/

Quote:
Researchers have analyzed them and say that 1,256 grooves are aligned with certain positions of the celestial bodies, like the sun or the moon. Most of them are oriented east to west.


NASA appears to concur:

http://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/SED11/P4Gotland.pdf

Quote:
The most important feature of the grooves appears to be in their grand alignment when looked at over the entire island. A recent study of 1256 grooves showed that they are aligned with certain positions of the celestial bodies, apparently the sun or the moon. Most of them are oriented east to west, although the island is itself oriented north-south.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:33 pm 
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One of the oldest and hoariest chestnuts surrounding the pyramids of Giza is the supposed connection between them and Orion's belt.

Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka aren't the inspiration for these wonders of the ancient world, according to Digital Journal.

Archaeology Journal Report Shows Pyramids at Giza Were Built to Mimic Cygnus

http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/2920061

Quote:
Results showed that the three wing stars of Cygnus fit the peaks of the pyramids somewhat better than does Orion. However, more importantly, an additional critical finding was confirmed. When viewed from a distance behind the key survey hill, in the critical timeframe (circa 2550 BCE), the three wing stars of Cygnus were seen to respectively set directly into the peaks of all three pyramids. It is an impressive confirmation of the Cygnus-Giza Correlation Theory.

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 7:40 am 
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Has a Lost Maya City Been Found By a 15-Year-Old Based on Ancient Star Maps?

http://dailygrail.com/Hidden-History/20 ... -Star-Maps

Quote:
According to a French-language Wikipedia page the constellation that Gadoury identified with the star that had no corresponding city was the Maya version of Orion. "Three of the stars of this constellation form a triangle, are: Alnitak ( Zeta Orionis ), Rigel (Beta Orionis) and Saiph ( saiph )", it notes, with two of those corresponding to the ancient Mayan cities of Calakmul and El Mirador. But the third star did not correspond to any known Maya site, leading him to assume that - if his city/correlation theory was correct - there would be a 'lost' city hiding in that position. And, using high-resolution satellite imagery, courtesy of the Canadian Space Agency, Gadoury claims to have found exactly that.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 10:11 am 
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Scientists use planetarium's advanced astronomical software to accurately date 2,500 year-old lyric poem

http://phys.org/news/2016-05-scientists ... tware.html

Quote:
The moon has set
And the Pleiades;
It is midnight,
The time is going by,
And I sleep alone.

-- Sappho

Quote:
Cuntz and co-author and astronomer Levent Gurdemir, director of the Planetarium at UTA, used advanced software called Starry Night version 7.3, to identify the earliest date that the Pleiades would have set at midnight or earlier in local time in 570 B.C. The Planetarium system Digistar 5 also allows creating the night sky of ancient Greece for Sappho's place and time.

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2016 9:55 pm 
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A little bit of self promotion, I wrote for The Daily Grail and contributed this small article:

Archaeoastronomy Finds Sappho's Poetry Written In The Stars

http://dailygrail.com/Hidden-History/20 ... -The-Stars

Scroll to the bottom, I think I might've pinpointed the exact day but it's based on an assumption.

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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 10:34 am 
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Prehistoric Native American Site in Ohio Reflects Ancient Beliefs About the Cosmos

http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-his ... mos-020841

Quote:
Due to the analysis presented by Redmond, it is known that many local tribes had their own vision of the three-layered cosmos: the upper world, the middle world that we live in, and an underworld. According to the researchers, the site is an echo of a conception of the cosmos, common to many Native Americans. - See more at: http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-his ... MmsE7.dpuf

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:51 am 
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Ancient Documents Reveal Sunspots, Auroras and Other Solar Activity before Galileo

http://www.scientificamerican.com/artic ... e-galileo/

7th century China.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:20 am 
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This 6,000-year-old tomb might have been the world's first astronomy telescope

http://www.sciencealert.com/this-6-000- ... -telescope

Quote:
According to researchers in the UK, 6,000-year-old passage graves in Portugal could also have served as the first lens-less astronomy telescopes, creating a tunnel vision effect that would have made it easier to observe the stars above.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2016 10:31 am 
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I'm stretching the definition here, but Dr. Beachcombing has an extract regarding an 18th century person's ideas regarding life on other planets.

http://www.strangehistory.net/2016/07/1 ... r-planets/

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:22 am 
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The Oldest Known Calendar in Europe is based on the Orion Constellation

http://www.ancient-origins.net/artifact ... ion-006296

Quote:
"In the times of the Vučedol culture, Orion's belt, which is the dominant winter constellation, sank under the horizon exactly on March 21, thus marking the spring equinox," said Dr. Aleksandar Durman. The Vučedol realized that Orion marked the beginning of a new year. From this simple fact, they were able to construct an entire calendar of the year.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:13 am 
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Quote:
Orion's belt, which is the dominant winter constellation, sank under the horizon exactly on March 21, thus marking the spring equinox

That's a pretty meaningless statement. Orion's belt is just a small part of the asterism marking Orion, and it would sink under the horizon every day. Either those guys aren't that knowledgeable about practical astronomy, or the "special" time of day when it sets on March 21st was left out of the story somehow. Currently, at our latitude (40°N), Orion's belt sets not too long after midnight on March 21st.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 4:25 pm 
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A Sumerian Heliocentric Universe

http://www.strangehistory.net/2016/07/2 ... c-universe

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Something about circles has been bothering me for some time, and I was wondering whether you or one of your readers can cast any light upon it. We divide a circle into 360 degrees, a 5,000-year-old method that we have inherited from the Mesopotamian civilizations, and which goes back as far as the Sumerians, whose idealized 360-day calendar was divided into twelve 30-day months. But why should this calendar be represented as a circle? A search on the internet yielded the idea that the Sumerians ‘noticed the circular track of the Sun’s annual path across the sky and knew that it took about 360 days to complete one year’s circuit’. But the Sun’s path across the sky is NOT circular; its apparent path oscillates backwards and forwards from north in summer to south in winter. So how can this explain the 360-degree circle? The point is that the 360 degrees of a circle represent an idealized year of 360 days, but the model is very obviously heliocentric, not geocentric. The centre of the circle represents the (idealized) position of the sun, and the 360-degree edge of the circle represents the orbit of the Earth. Now, is it conceivable that the Babylonians could have come up with the idea of a heliocentric ‘universe’ 5,000 years ago? If there is any other explanation, I just can’t see it.


Whaddya think?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:51 pm 
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How ‘The Land of the Stars’ Shaped Astronomy (and Me)

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016 ... y-science/

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:01 am 
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This ancient text reveals a Maya astronomer calculated the movements of Venus over a millennium ago

http://www.sciencealert.com/this-ancien ... ennium-ago

Quote:
Aldana's reading of the Venus Table – incorporating epigraphy (the study of hieroglyphics), archaeology, and astronomy – suggests that an ancient mathematical correction in the text pertaining to the movements of Venus can likely be traced to the city of Chich'en Itza during the Terminal Classic period of 800 to 1000 AD.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:24 pm 
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Astronomy Shown to Be Set in Standing Stone

http://www.newswise.com/articles/astron ... ding-stone

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Examining the oldest great stone circles built in Scotland (Callanish, on the Isle of Lewis, and Stenness, Isle of Orkney ─ both predating Stonehenge’s standing stones by about 500 years), the researchers found a great concentration of alignments towards the Sun and Moon at different times of their cycles. And 2000 years later in Scotland, much simpler monuments were still being built that had at least one of the same astronomical alignments found at the great circles.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 10:03 am 
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Astronomical computers (old ones)

https://forteana-blog.blogspot.com/2016 ... -ones.html

A celebration of the astrolabe from Dr. Andrew May.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:09 pm 
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The world's oldest observatory? How Aboriginal astronomy provides clues to ancient life

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-12/a ... fe/7925024

Quote:
"If you're going to have a stone arrangement where you mark off the seasons throughout the year with the solstices and equinoxes, it kind of makes sense if you're at least most of the year in one specific location to do that,"

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