List of archaeoastronomical sites by country

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This is a list of sites where claims for the use of archaeoastronomy have been made, sorted by country.

Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte have edited a book on heritage sites of astronomy and archaeoastronomy that provides a list of the main archaeoastronomical sites around the world.[1]

Armenia[edit]

  • Zorats Karer (aka Carahunge), archeological site claimed to have astronomical significance although this is disputed.

Australia[edit]

Brazil[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

  • Magura Cave, Bronze Age "paintings of staggered black and white squares could have been used to count the days in a calendar month", possibly indicating the number of days in the solar tropical year.[4]

Cambodia[edit]

  • Angkor Wat
  • Phnom Bakheng, According to Jean Filliozat of the École Française, the center tower represents the axis of the world and the 108 smaller ones represent the 4 lunar phases each with 27 days.[5]

Canada[edit]

Colombia[edit]

  • El Infiernito, (Spanish for "Little hell"), is a pre-Columbian Muisca site located in the outskirts of Villa de Leyva, Boyacá Department, Colombia. It is composed of several earthworks surrounding a setting of menhirs (upright standing stones); several burial mounds are also present. The site was a center of religious ceremonies and spiritual purification rites, and also served as a rudimentary astronomical observatory.

China[edit]

  • Puyang tomb, dated from 5000 BP, depicts a mosaic of constellations.[6]

Egypt[edit]

  • Abu Simbel, The axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects in such a way that twice a year, on October 20 and February 20, the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculpture on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah, the god connected with the Underworld, who always remained in the dark.[7][8]
  • Great Pyramids of Egypt
  • Nabta Playa

Finland[edit]

  • The so-called Giants' Churches (Finn. jätinkirkko), which are large, from c. 20 metres (66 ft) to over 70 metres (230 ft) long rectangular or oval stone enclosures built in the Neolithic (c. 3000-1800 BC), have axis and doorway orientations towards the sunrises and sunsets of the solstices and other calendrically significant days. For example, the Kastelli of Raahe, which is one of the largest Giants' Churches, had its five "gates", i.e. wall openings, oriented towards the midsummer sunset, the winter solstice sunrise, winter solstice sunset, the sunrises of the mid-quarter days of early May (Walpurgis, Beltaine) and August (Lammas), as well as the sunrise 11 days before the vernal equinox in 2500 BC.[9][10]

France[edit]

Germany[edit]

Guatemala[edit]

Honduras[edit]

Indonesia[edit]

India[edit]

For a full list see the chapter on India in the ICOMOS book edited by Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte.[12][13] These sites include:

J.M. Malville and Rana P.B. Singh have done much work on the archaeoastronomy of sacred sites in India.[14][15]

Iran[edit]

Ireland[edit]

  • Brú na Bóinne, AKA Newgrange, once a year, at the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the chamber for about 17 minutes and illuminates the chamber floor.[16]
  • Knowth
  • Dowth
  • Loughcrew
  • Carrowkeel
  • Mound of the Hostages
  • Drombeg stone circle, at the winter solstice, the sun sets into a v formed by two distant overlapping hills and makes an alignment with the altar stone and the two main uprights. Due to the nature of the site and the western hills, local sunset is c. 15:50.
  • Beltany stone circle
  • Beaghmore Stone Circles, a complex of early Bronze Age megalithic features, stone circles and cairns. Some archaeologists believe that the circles have been constructed in relation to the rising of the sun at the solstice, or to record the movements of the sun and moon acting as observatories for particular lunar, solar or stellar events. Three of the stone rows point to the sunrise at the time of the solstice and another is aligned towards moonrise at the same period.

Italy[edit]

Kenya[edit]

Korea[edit]

Republic of Macedonia[edit]

  • Kokino Situated 1030 m above sea level on the Tatićev Kamen Summit near Kumanovo.

Malta[edit]

Mexico[edit]

Netherlands[edit]

Pakistan[edit]

Peru[edit]

Portugal[edit]

Romania[edit]

Russia[edit]

Spain[edit]

Syria[edit]

Sweden[edit]

Switzerland[edit]

Turkey[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

United States[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte (ed.), Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy. ICOMOS and IAU, Paris, 2010.
  2. ^ Australian Aboriginal Astronomy at the CSIRO site. Accessed on 2009-08-02.
  3. ^ Norris, R.P.; Norris, P.M.; Hamacher, D.W.; Abrahams, R. (2013). "Wurdi Youang: an Australian Aboriginal stone arrangement with possible solar indications". Rock Art Research. 30 (1): 55–65.
  4. ^ Stoev, Alexey; Maglova, Penka (2014), "Astronomy in the Bulgarian Neolithic", in Ruggles, Clive L. N., The Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, New York: Springer, pp. 1377–1384, ISBN 978-1-4614-6140-1
  5. ^ Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Southeast Asia: A Past Regained (1995) p.93-4
  6. ^ Zhentao Xu; David William Pankenier; Yaoting Jing (2000). East Asian Archaeoastronomy: Historical Records of Astronomical Observations of China, Japan and Korea. CRC Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-90-5699-302-3.
  7. ^ Alberto Siliotti, Egypt: temples, people, gods,1994
  8. ^ Ania Skliar, Grosse kulturen der welt-Ägypten, 2005
  9. ^ Okkonen, J. & Ridderstad, M. 2009: Jätinkirkkojen aurinkosuuntauksia; in Ei kiveäkään kääntämättä, Juhlakirja Pentti Koivuselle, pp. 129-136.
  10. ^ Tähdet ja Avaruus, Ursa astronomical assosiacion's magazine 4 / 2009 p.15
  11. ^ Rohde, Claudia: Kalender in der Urgeschichte. Fakten und Fiktion, Rahden 2012
  12. ^ Clive Ruggles and Michel Cotte (ed.), Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy. ICOMOS and IAU, Paris, 2010.
  13. ^ Subhash Kak, Archaeoastronomy in India. arXiv:1002.4513v2
  14. ^ J.M. Malville and L.M. Gujral, Ancient Cities, Sacred Skies. New Delhi, 2000.
  15. ^ Rana P.B. Singh, Cosmic Order and Cultural Astronomy. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-10-12.
  17. ^ Anthony Aveni, Stairway to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1997) 135-138 ISBN 0-471-15942-5
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-15. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  19. ^ Langbroek M., Huilen naar de maan. Een verkennend onderzoek naar de orientaties van Nederlandse hunebedden. P.I.T. 1:2 (1999), 8-13
  20. ^ Carolyn Kennett, (2018), Celestial Stone Circles of West Cornwall: Reflections of the sky in an ancient landscape
  21. ^ "Sensational new discoveries at Bryn Celli Ddu". British Archeology. August 2006. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  22. ^ A History of Britain, Richard Dargie (2007), p. 12.
  23. ^ "Solar Astronomy in the Prehistoric Southwest". www.hao.ucar.edu.
  24. ^ "Solar Astronomy in the Prehistoric Southwest". www.hao.ucar.edu.
  25. ^ "Solar Astronomy in the Prehistoric Southwest". www.hao.ucar.edu.
  26. ^ Newark Earthworks
  27. ^ Page II, Joseph (2013). New Mexico Space Trail. Arcadia Publishing Library. p. 87. ISBN 978-1531667368. Retrieved 16 December 2017.