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Astro-Archaeology & Archaeoastronomy
News Archive 2014

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watch a video explaining
The Antikythera Mechanism
a 2,000-year-old astronomical computer

 

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With satellite imagery increasingly being used for archaeological investigations
The Morien Institute has decided to report discoveries in our
Astro-Archaeology news archive

Likewise, many ancient legends that have previously been dismissed as
purely "mythological" are now proving to be based on fact, and so
The Morien Institute has decided to also report these new
discoveries in our Astro-Archaeology news archive

Discoveries of meteorites in ancient ruins are showing that ancient peoples held these to be "sacred", and The Morien Institute has always believed that
ancient societies built megalithic "early-warning systems" that were
designed to monitor comets and their debris streams. Therefore
new reports of their discoveries will also feature below

Alongside these will be material about archaic astrological beliefs which were inextricably inter-linked with ancient astronomical science




New Astro-Archaeology & Archaeoastronomy Discoveries made in 2014 will appear below as we become aware of them ...

 

"Ancient astronomy: Mechanical inspiration"

October 24 2014, Nature, UK

"The ancient Greeks' vision of a geometrical Universe seemed to come out of nowhere. Could their ideas have come from the internal gearing of an ancient mechanism?

Two thousand years ago, a Greek mechanic set out to build a machine that would model the workings of the known Universe.

The result was a complex clockwork mechanism that displayed the motions of the Sun, Moon and planets on precisely marked dials.

By turning a handle, the creator could watch his tiny celestial bodies trace their undulating paths through the sky.

The mechanic's name is now lost. But his machine, dubbed the Antikythera mechanism, is by far the most technologically sophisticated artefact that survives from antiquity.

Since a reconstruction of the device hit the headlines in 2006, it has revolutionized ideas about the technology of the ancient world, and has captured the public imagination as the apparent pinnacle of Greek scientific achievement.

Now, however, scientists delving into the astronomical theories encoded in this quintessentially Greek device have concluded that they are not Greek at all, but Babylonian ? an empire predating this era by centuries.

This finding is forcing historians to rethink a crucial period in the development of astronomy. It may well be that geared devices such as the Antikythera mechanism did not model the Greeks' geometric view of the cosmos after all. They inspired it.

The remains of the Antikythera mechanism were salvaged from a shipwreck in 1901 (see 'Celestial mirror from the deep') and are now held in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens."
[Read The Full Story]





"Mysterious Slab in Russia May Be a Sundial"

October 16 2014, Discovery News, USA

"A strange slab of rock discovered in Russia more than 20 years ago appears to be a combination sundial and moondial from the Bronze Age, a new study finds.

The slab is marked with round divots arranged in a circle, and an astronomical analysis suggests that these markings coincide with heavenly events, including sunrises and moonrises.

The sundial might be "evidence of attempts of ancient researchers to understand patterns of apparent motion of luminaries and the nature of time," study researcher Larisa Vodolazhskaya of the Archaeoastronomical Research Center at Southern Federal University in Russia told Live Science in an email

By studying the geometry of the Rostov slab, Vodolazhskaya and her colleagues discovered that the carved circles, which are arranged in a pattern spanning about 0.9 feet (0.3 meters) in diameter, correspond with the sunrises at equinoxes and solstices.

And the Bronze Age people who created the sundial weren't only interested in the sun. The circles that didn't correspond to solar movements were linked to lunar wanderings. Because of the angle of the moon's orbit, our lone satellite goes through an 18.6-year cycle.

During this cycle, when it rises, its position shifts from southerly to northerly, and its movements across the sky are relatively high and low.

The Rostov slab tracks these movements with circular carvings indicating the southernmost and northernmost moonrises of these 'low' and 'high' moons."

[Read The Full Story] - [See Images of the Bronze Age Sundial-Moondial]




"Mesolithic sanctuary reveals constellation riddle"

September 25 2014, Past Horizons, UK

"Evidence for ritual and possible astronomical practices during the Mesolithic period, 9000 years ago, has been uncovered in Bolków by lake ?widwie, Western Pomerania, by archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Szczecin, Poland.

This Mesolithic-era site recently became famous for the artefacts found at one particular hut. A number of possible shamanistic ritual objects along with a fragment of meteorite were discovered last year.

To add to this discovery, the archaeologists have investigated the remains of two further pine and aspen pole structures which would have stood to a height of some 5 feet.

Inside both of the structures were buried bundles of pine and birch bark, bunches of grass - Festuca ovina - as well as bone fragments from forest dwelling animals.

Now the archaeologists are more certain than ever that this is a rare glimpse into the world of Mesolithic beliefs.

In addition to the structures made of pine and aspen poles the archaeologists also found seven perfectly preserved yew stakes stuck into the ground on what can only be described as a very recognisable pattern.

According to Prof. Galinski it seems plausible they reflect a part of what we now call the constellation of Ursa Major (the Great Bear) - the brightest of the stars that make up Ursa Major are known as the Big Dipper or Plough."
[Read The Full Story]




"An Arkansas History Minute:
The Toltec Mounds of Lonoke Co."

September 11 2014, Monticello News, USA

"It is a story that stretches back more than twelve hundred years in Arkansas, and it started with a letter.

In 1876, Mary Eliza Knapp wrote to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., to report a curious find on her property near Scott in Lonoke County, one which sparked a sensation in the area.

Knapp had discovered a series of ancient Native American mounds and astronomical calendars that dated back to the seventh century, known as Toltec Mounds.

Eighteen mounds were built in an area of 100 acres at the site by hand over several generations, with some as high as forty feet.

One was used as a burial mound while others were used for religious ceremonies.

The mounds were arranged in patterns to indicate the angle of the sunrise and sunset at important times of the year for farming."
[Read The Full Story]




"Stonehenge of Anatolia"

August 07 2014, Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey

"An area of 1,600-squaremeters, where more than 2,000 stelas have been erected by the Urartian Kingdom through mathematical calculations, and underground rock graves need attention to contribute to Turkish tourism

The structures, which date back to 3,000 years ago when the Urartians lived in the region in the eastern province of Van's Tusba district, shed light on the lifestyle of the past, as well as scientific work in the ancient era.

The stelas and stone circles, located in the necropolis (graveyard) area 1.5 kilometers northeast of the Kalecik neighborhood, reveal that the Urartian people dealt with the science of astronomy.

Yüzüncü Yil University Head of Archaeology Department Associate Professor Rafet Çavusoglu said the 20-500 kilograms of stones, which were brought from the stone pits on the Sahbagi Hill, were placed in the area with great attention.

'Urartians have the gods of the sun and moon. Since they used the moon calendar, we think this place had a religious function. We held observations here on Dec. 21 and June 21, the shortest and the longest days of the year, respectively.

We saw that the sun went down from the skirts of the Süphan Mount Sigirlar Hill on June 21, and went down on Dec. 21 with long shadows on the stones through the Kalecik Fortress and Lake Van.

This place was used as an observation house in the Urartian-era', he explained."

[Read The Full Story]




"Archaeologists discovered a meteorite fragment
in a 9 thousand years old hut"

July 25 2014, Nauka w Polsce, Poland

"Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) PAS in Szczecin discovered a meteorite fragment inside the remains of a hut dating back more than 9,000 years in Bolków by the lake ?widwie in Western Pomerania.

It is a natural pyrite meteorite fragment with cylindrical shape and porous, corrugated side surface. It has a height of 8 cm, width of 5.3 cm at the base and 3.5 cm at the top.

'The meteorite was brought to the shelter as a special object, +not of this world+, which must have been obvious to the contemporary men, knowledgeable of stone raw materials. The thing became an object of belief, and maybe even shamanic magic', told PAP Prof. Tadeusz Galinski of IAE, head of the research project.

According to the discoverer, this is the first such find in the history of archaeology.

The said archaeological site dates back to 3,500 or 4,000 years ago, and it is worth exploring without a doubt."
[Read The Full Story and see the meteorite]




"Archaeologists discover ancient astronomy lab
in northern Peru"

July 23 2014, Peru This Week, Peru

"The archaeological complex of Licurnique, located four hours from Olmos district in Peru's northern region of Lambayeque, reveals evidence of an astronomical laboratory from the formative stage.

According to excavators, astronomical functions were engraved on rocks that have successfully stood the test of time.

The said archaeological site dates back to 3,500 or 4,000 years ago, and it is worth exploring without a doubt."
[Read The Full Story]




"New discoveries confirm astronomical knowledge
of Incas at Machu Picchu"

July 13 2014, Ancient Origins, Australia / UK

"A Polish-Peruvian archaeological team has confirmed what has been suspected for many centuries - the Incas used the ancient city of Machu Picchu as a mountaintop observatory.

Although astronomical observation points at Machu Picchu were recorded in the chronicles of Sarmiento de Gamboa from as early as 1572, science is only just catching up as it is the first time astronomical alignments have been confirmed using high-tech technology.

It has long been known that astronomy played a central role in the culture, religion, and daily lives of the Inca, who used astronomical events to govern ceremonial occasions and for planning agricultural activities.

The city of Cuzco, for example, was constructed in such a way that it would replicate the sky and point to specific astronomical bodies.

Pleiades was one of the important constellations of the Incas who called it 'the Seven Kids', after the seven brightest stars in the cluster, and the rising of the Pleiades star cluster signalled the start of the Incan year."
[Read The Full Story]

[The Pleiades were important "marker stars" warning of the imminent rising of the constellation Taurus from which The Taurid Meteoroid Stream appears to issue when viewed from Earth.

In ancient times The Taurid Meteoroid Stream contained many massive peices of cometary debris which bombarded the Earth on a number of occasions.

Increasingly over the past 30+ years pioneering astronomers, and various other open-minded scientists, especially astro-mythologists who place great value on ancient indigenous knowledge, have come to the conclusion that those bombardments brought about the cataclysmic end of many Bronze Age civilisations.

While many other researchers now believe that this same meteoroid stream may also have been responsible for the abrupt end of the last Ice Age as well as the mass extinctions of the mega fauna at the end of the Pleistocene epoch - Ed]




"Machu Picchu: Incas watched the heavens
at mountaintop observatories"

July 11 2014, Peru This Week, Peru

"Researchers in Peru have announced that they have cause to believe the Incas used observatories on Machu Picchu to track the movement heavenly bodies.

El Comercio reports that a team of Polish and Peruvian investigators looked specifically at the Intimachay area of Machu Picchu, which contains a structure with a front and side window.

The researchers report that Inca astronomers could have watched and tracked a number of astronomical phenomena from the area, including summer and winter solstices and the movement of the moon."
[Read The Full Story]




"Nazis stole Buddha from space"

May 14 2014, ABC Science News, Australia

"About 15,000 years ago, there was a fall of meteorites along the Chinga stream that ran near the border between southern Siberia and Mongolia.

Some 250 meteorite fragments have been recovered - ranging in weight from 85 grams to over 20 kilograms, with a total combined weight of over 200 kilograms.

About 1000 years ago some unknown people in Western Tibet fashioned this meteorite iron into a statue.

Well, carved right in the middle of the chest of this statue made from meteorite iron is a swastika.

It is an anticlockwise swastika - the symbol of auspiciousness, good luck, and what the heck, the female principle of divine energy.

Somehow Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the Nazi SS, found out about it.

Mind you, the Nazi swastika rotated in the opposite direction (clockwise, not anticlockwise) and had a 45 degree tilt, but that didn't bother Himmler.

Regardless of its religious value, and its rather twisted recent history, it's still the only statue of a human being carved from a meteorite."
[Read The Full Story]




"Comet theory false; doesn?t explain cold snap at the end of the Ice Age, Clovis changes or mass animal extinction"

May 12 2014, SMU Research, USA

"Most supposed impact indicators at 29 sites are too old or too young to be remnants of an ancient comet that proponents claim sparked climate change at the end of the Ice Age, killed America's earliest people and caused a mass animal extinction.

Controversy over what sparked the Younger Dryas, a brief return to near glacial conditions at the end of the Ice Age, includes a theory that it was caused by a comet hitting the Earth.

As proof, proponents point to sediments containing deposits they believe could result only from a cosmic impact.

Now a new study disproves that theory, said archaeologist David Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Meltzer is lead author on the study and an expert in the Clovis culture, the peoples who lived in North America at the end of the Ice Age.

Meltzer's research team found that nearly all sediment layers purported to be from the Ice Age at 29 sites in North America and on three other continents are actually either much younger or much older."
[Read The Full Story]




"Ancient Geoglyphs in Peru Predate Nazca Lines"

May 05 2014, Science Now, USA

"Mound complex in Peru's Chincha Valley features linear radiating geoglyph lines that predate the Nazca lines by three centuries.

A recent study of an archaeological mound complex with astronomical orientations and geoglyph lines in southern Peru suggests that the site features a ceremonial or ritualistic center for religious and social interaction in an ancient culture that existed between 800 and 100 BCE.

Known as the Paracas culture, these ancient people constituted an Andean society known for extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management.

The Chincha Valley, about 200 km south of Lima, contains early settlements of the Paracas culture. Previous surveys have indicated at least 30 major Paracas period sites or centers in the valley.

Recently, a study team co-led by Charles Stanish of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and Department of Anthropology, University of California, surveyed and test-excavated among five previously identified mound clusters in the lower Chincha mid-valley area.

Dating them based on excavated pottery to the Late Paracas period (400 - 100 BCE), they found that the mounds featured a total of 71 geoglyph lines that radiated outward from the mounds, forming what they called 'ray centers'.

Two of the mounds, built in a u-shape configuration, were oriented toward the location of the sun at the June solstice."
[Read The Full Story]




"Ancient Geoglyphs in Peru Predate Nazca Lines"

May 05 2014, Popular Archaeology, USA

"Mound complex in Peru's Chincha Valley features linear radiating geoglyph lines that predate the Nazca lines by three centuries.

A recent study of an archaeological mound complex with astronomical orientations and geoglyph lines in southern Peru suggests that the site features a ceremonial or ritualistic center for religious and social interaction in an ancient culture that existed between 800 and 100 BCE.

Known as the Paracas culture, these ancient people constituted an Andean society known for extensive knowledge of irrigation and water management.

The Chincha Valley, about 200 km south of Lima, contains early settlements of the Paracas culture. Previous surveys have indicated at least 30 major Paracas period sites or centers in the valley.

Recently, a study team co-led by Charles Stanish of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology and Department of Anthropology, University of California, surveyed and test-excavated among five previously identified mound clusters in the lower Chincha mid-valley area.

Dating them based on excavated pottery to the Late Paracas period (400 - 100 BCE), they found that the mounds featured a total of 71 geoglyph lines that radiated outward from the mounds, forming what they called 'ray centers'.

Two of the mounds, built in a u-shape configuration, were oriented toward the location of the sun at the June solstice."
[Read The Full Story]




"Ancient City of Petra Built to Align With the Sun"

March 17 2014, National Geographic Daily News, USA

"An ancient civilization built the famous, stone-hewn city of Petra so that the sun would illuminate their sacred places like celestial spotlights, a new study says

Petra, a giant metropolis of tombs, monuments, and other elaborate religious structures carved into stone cliffs, was the capital of the Nabatean kingdom, a little-understood Middle Eastern culture that ruled much of modern-day Jordan from the third century B.C. until the first century A.D

These wealthy spice traders worshiped the sun, among other deities, and may have given importance to the equinoxes, solstices, and other astronomical events that are determined by how the sun moves across the sky.

The results of their study showed that during certain times of the year, such as the winter solstice, the sun would highlight or align with some of the city's most important buildings."
[Read The Full Story]




"Aztatlán astronomical observatory linked to sun worship"

February 08 2014, Past Horizons, UK

"Archaeologists have located an astronomical observatory linked to sun worship in the Cerro de Coamiles site, one of the leading centres of Aztatlán (AD 850/900-1350) culture located in the central coast of Nayarit, Western Mexico.

This discovery has helped define the importance astronomy had for the coastal boreal Mesoamerican.

Mauricio Garduño Ambriz, an archaeologist at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), said the observatory forms part of a ritual architectural complex which was built to record the passage of the sun through the sky at the equinoxes.

Within the Mesoamerican religious tradition, mountains or step pyramids were conceptualised as solar temples."
[Read The Full Story]




"Resurrecting the Pharaoh's Solar Boat"

February 03 2014, Popular Archaeology, USA

"Buried for more than 4,500 years, a well-preserved ancient Egyptian funerary barque sees the light of day, aided by archaeologists and Japanese technology.

Made from Lebanese cedar, the planks of the ships were masterfully pieced together. Strong and buoyant, these vessels were designed to move gracefully across a cosmic sea to transport a king across the heavens after death.

They were Pharaoh Khufu's 'solar' boats, and sailing by his side would be the god Re, the Egyptian sun god, embodying a testament to his piousness as a ruler and the blessings of the gods in his journey through the afterlife.

Because the boats' most important journey was intended to be a cosmic one, they may have seen little or no use in water like other ships.

These boats were buried beside his pyramid tomb and hidden for thousands of years.

It now resides in the Giza Solar Boat Museum, a futuristic looking structure at the base of the Great Pyramid."
[Read The Full Story]




"The midwinter sunset alignment at Kintraw, Argyll
a response"

January 16 2014, Past Horizons, UK

"Scott maintains that Alexander Thom?s interpretation of the Kintraw standing stone, Argyll, as marking an accurate midwinter sunset is a myth, but the evidence he cites is not strictly relevant.

A higher observation point than that at the standing stone ? such as the nearby prehistoric burial cairns ? is needed to see the midwinter notch on Jura over a nearby ridge.

However features of the cairns at the site are not relevant because they do not affect the existence or otherwise of the long alignment.

Other evidence which is relevant is not discussed, and is reviewed here.

An alternative higher observation point was found by Thom on the steep hill slope NE of the stone and excavations here in 1970/71 found a level rubble pavement behind two massive low boulders forming a notch to stand in.

The declination of the mountain notch on Jura as seen from this platform is exactly right for midwinter sunset at about 1800 BC. "
[Read The Full Story]

[The above is part of the summary of an article which seems to have been written especially for Past Horizons as a respose by Euan MacKie to a paper written by Douglas Scott and published in Past Horizons on July 10, 2013 entitled: "Astronomical observations at Kintraw in Argyll".

Both the original paper by Douglas Scott and the response by Euan MacKie are worth reading in full by anyone interested in the ongoing controversy about the capabilities of ancient astronomers to accurately record their observations using megalithic monuments aligned to specific astronomical events - Ed.]




"The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project"
Cardiff/Athens Universites (Cymru/Greece)
[In October 1900, Captain Dimitrious Kondos was leading a team of sponge divers near the the island of Antikythera off the coast of Greece. They noticed a shipwreck about 180 feet below the surface and began to investigate. Amongst the artifacts that they brought up was a coral-encrusted piece of metal that later archaeologists found was some sort of gear wheel.

The rest of the artifacts, along with the shape of the boat, suggested a date around 2000 years ago, which made the find one of the most anomalous that had ever been recovered from the Greek seas. It became known as The Antikythera Mechanism.

In 2006 the journal "Nature" published a
letter, and another paper about the mechanism was published in 2008, detailing the findings of Prof. Mike G. Edmunds of Cardiff University. Using high-resolution X-ray tomography to study the fragments of the anomalous Antikythera Mechanism, they found that it was in fact a bronze mechanical analog computer that could be used to calculate the astronomical positions and various cycles of the Moon - as seen from the Earth: - Ed]


More Antikythera Mechanism Information & Commentary:

"New international mission ready to explore Antikythera shipwreck"
eKathimerini (Greece)
"Return to Antikythera: Divers revisit wreck where ancient computer found"
The Guardian Science Blog (UK)
"In search of lost time"
Nature (UK)
"World?s First Computer Displayed Olympic Calendar"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Antikythera Mechanism - World's earliest existing analogue computer"
HotnHit News (India)
"In search of lost time"
Nature (UK)
"Imaging the Antikythera Computer"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Decoding an Ancient Computer: Greek Technology Tracked the Heavens"
Scientific American (USA)
"2,000 Year Old Computer Yields Her Secrets"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Watch a video explaining the Antikythera mechanism"
Nature (UK)
"Antikythera mechanism"
Wikipedia (USA)
"World's First Computer Rebuilt, Rebooted After 2,000 Years"
Wired Gadget Lab (USA)
"Antikythera: A 2,000-year-old Greek computer comes back to life"
The Guardian Science Blog (UK)
Google image search results for The Antikythera mechanism
Google (USA)

 

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"The 2300 BC Event - Vol. 1:
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Civilizations in Anatolia and Greece, through Egypt and the Middle East, and eastward to India and Central Asia were at their height. The collapse of these civilizations due to earthquakes and climatic changes has been mirrored by similar interruptions on all continents, in the Arctic, and extending to the Pacific.

The discontinuities have long puzzled archaeologists and historians. New religions and accompanying mythologies appeared at this time in all cultural regions describing bombardment and flooding from the skies.

Strangely, the dominant aspect of the mythologies, however, is the observation and worship of a ring appearing to surround the Earth, oriented to the two Ursa (Bear) constellations."

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"Some time around 2300 BC the Eath encountered a dense clustering of space debris, the early Southern & Northern Taurid meteoroid stream. The result was an intense fall of meteoroids, some of them sufficiently large to cause surface destruction.

Simultaneous with the meteoroid fall was a huge downpouring of water which caused flash flooding. Extensive destruction and loss of life resulted. An astonishing aspect of the event was the formation of a ring surrounding the Earth, reflecting sunlight during the day, hiding some stars at night, and moving around the sky through a 24-hour period.

Following the 'main event', there were crustal movements which shifted the location of water sources, and caused earthquakes which destroyed settlements. Abrupt severe climate changes occurred."

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"The 2300 BC Event Vol. 3:
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"The Northern/Southern Taurid meteoroid stream is identified as the specific meteoroid stream that the Earth encountered at 2300 BC.

The Earth's encounter with a dense cluster of large objects would produce atmospheric phenomena very different from the pleasant and interesting night displays of meteor trails that are within our own experience.

The rain of objects would have generated extraordinary visual and auditory effects combined with ground vibrations; and under extreme conditions would bring about severe surface destruction and loss of life.

The overall event was associated by the people with powerful deities and formed the basis for major religions. The mythologies and traditions are, in large part, the residues of those religions."

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"Chaco Astronomy:
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"A Guide to Prehistoric
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"Patterns in the Sky:
An Introduction to Ethnoastronomy"

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This compelling short work helps students fully understand and appreciate the ways in which non-Western indigenous and small-scale societies perceive, conceptualize, and make sure of what they astronomically observe.

With its concise explanations of prominent astronomical phenomena, discussions of relevant crosscultural examples, and instructive suggestions for active field research, Patterns in the Sky is a unique and practical guide for doing ethnoastronomy.

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"Avebury Cosmos:
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"The ancient Britons were inspired by a profound knowledge of the heavens when they erected the monumental stones of Avebury.

Mann throws light on the motive behind the creation of its awe-inspiring mounds and megaliths by demonstrating that they were aligned to the cycles of the Sun, Moon and stars.

This book will help visitors and readers to see Avebury in a wholly new light - the light of the heavenly bodies that guided its Neolithic builders."

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"Stonehenge: A New Interpretation of Prehistoric Man and the Cosmos"
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"Stonehenge has fascinated mankind for centuries, enveloping generation after generation in its haunting mystery. But while much has been learned about this ancient monument, the fundamental questions remain: Who built it? What was its purpose? How was it used?

Drawing on more than 15 years of research, John North has at last succeeded where others have failed. He comprehensively examines Stonehenge from all available angles -- archeological, astronomical, and spiritual -- and considers relevant research from other prehistoric remains in Britain and Northern Europe. He shows, for the first time, that the stones were not so much sighting devices as maps of the heavens and that the design of the monument evolved over thousands of years rather than conforming to a single original blueprint.

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"The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundials, and Stone Chambers
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"The Stones of Time presents one of the most dramatic archaeological detective stories of our time. Predating Stonehenge by at least a thousand years, the stone complexes of ancient Ireland have been extensively studied, yet have refused to give up their mystery. The most complete record of Irish megalithic art ever published.

Martin Brennan is a New York artist who spent three years of study on prehistoric art in Mexico and a similar period in Japan. Of Irish parentage, he was drawn to Ireland and the Boyne Valley, where he spent six years studying the neolithic stone chambers and their symbolic art before formulating the groundbreaking theories set forth in this book."

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"America's Stonehenge:
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"Skywatchers, Shamans and Kings: Astronomy and the
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E.C. Krupp

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"Discover the celestial myths and cosmic rituals of ancient priests and kings ... Drawing on intimate knowledge of the more than 1,300 ancient sites he has visited, E. C. Krupp, acclaimed writer and preeminent researcher, takes you to the world's essential sacred places and celestial shrines. Join him on a rich narrative journey to see where the rulers of old communed with the gods of the sky.

They ruled kingdoms and empires for thousands of years, tracing their lineages to gods in the sky and mastering the forces they believed moved the sun and moon, planets and stars. In an evocative, illustration-rich journey through lost civilizations, E. C. Krupp describes the workings of sky worship practiced by the pharaohs, emperors, lamas, and shamans of old."

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"In Search of Chaco:
New Approaches to an
Archaeological Enigma"

by
David Grant Noble
(Editor)

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"Startling discoveries and impassioned debates have emerged from the "Chaco Phenomenon" since the publication of New Light on Chaco Canyon twenty years ago. This completely updated edition features seventeen original essays, scores of photographs, maps, and site plans, and the perspectives of archaeologists, historians, and Native American thinkers.

Key topics include the rise of early greathouses; the structure of agricultural life among the people of Chaco Canyon; their use of sacred geography and astronomy in organizing their spiritual cosmology; indigenous knowledge about Chaco from the perspective of Hopi, Tewa, and Navajo peoples; and the place of Chaco in the wider world of archaeology."

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"Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy"
by
David Humiston Kelley
&
Eugene F. Milone

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"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, the 'lion horoscope' or 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 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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