The Astronomy Thread

unclefred

Ad Honorem
Dec 2010
6,731
Oregon coastal mountains
I highly recommend this book, it covers the advanced astronomy of the Maya, the Inca, and the megalithic culture of GB.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Stairways-Stars-Skywatching-Ancient-Cultures/dp/0471329762/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327688164&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures (9780471329763): Anthony Aveni: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51QHE4JWAZL.@@AMEPARAM@@51QHE4JWAZL[/ame]
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
Then we have a question what could have stimulated ancient astronomy - what could have made the best conditions? One such "spur" could be if many people had literally wider horizons - if they were able to look at the sky from different places wide apart, and perhaps knew about different peoples experiments. I think that was the case for the ancient greeks.
In addition a relative open intellectual environment, without too powerful authorities could benefit astronomy as well as other types of learning or "proto-science".
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,240
Italy, Lago Maggiore
This is a stone circle, a particular stone circle because of the laying big stone.


The site is near to Aberdeen, it's the last megalithic site I have visited [just last late November].

The local population was active in agriculture and as usual the circle presents the aspect of the observation of the motions of the sun.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,240
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The main point about megaliths is that if they were points of reference to observe objects in the sky, this means two things: "astronomy" in that primitive form was absolutely diffused around the globe.

An idea about where megaliths have been found:



Then there is the little detail that a very ancient megalith site has been found under the sea, in front of Israel (Atlit-Yam). This means that already 8,000 - 7,000 years ago someone used standing stones and if they used them as astronomical points of reference ... "astronomy" can be for real "the most ancient modern science".