Archaeoastronomy in the Old World by D. C. Heggie

By D. C. Heggie

This quantity summarises the court cases of a convention which came about on the college of Oxford in September 1981. Held below the auspices of the foreign Astronomical Union and the foreign Union for the heritage and Philosophy of technology, the assembly reviewed examine in outdated global Archaeoastronomy. The writer bought the ultimate typescript for construction in March 1982. The papers during this publication are fascinated with laying off mild on a arguable point of eu prehistory, specially that of north-west Europe: was once astronomy practised the following within the overdue Neolithic and bronze a while, and if that is so, what used to be its function? those questions are of seen curiosity to prehistorians, yet clean curiosity in them has been encouraged principally by way of these whose expert historical past is within the natural and technologies, whereas they elevate technical concerns that have aroused the curiosity of statisticians and astronomers.

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Lewis, J. M. (1974). in Aberdeenshire, on behalf of Proc. Soc. Antiq. , 69, 168-223. Excavations at Rhos-y-clegryn prehistoric site, St Nicholas, Pembs. MacKie, E. W. (1*973). Archaeol. Cambrensis, 123, 13-42. The standing stones at Duntreath. Current Arch- aeology, 2, no. 5, 279-83. MacKie, E. W. (1974). Archaeological tests on supposed prehistoric astronomical sites in Scotland. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. , A. 276, 169-194. MacKie, E. W. (1975). Scotland: An Archaeological Guide. London: Faber and Faber.

Another aspect of megalithic astronomy of importance in the wider context is its purpose. This can be classified in various ways, for example, as ritual, practical or scientific, though these terms have no significance which is universally agreed. But one concept which appears more and more to find favour is the idea that all the orientations for which the evidence is satisfactory can be understood as ritual orientations of no great precision. Again this seems a comfortable idea that makes as few de- mands on us as the construction of such orientations would have done on the megalith-builders.

References Atkinson, R. J. C. (1965). Thorn 1978). Atkinson, R. J. C. Wayland's Smithy, Antiquity, 39, 126-33. (1979). Atkinson, R. J. C. The Thorns' new book (review of Thorn and Archaeoastronomy, 1, 99-102. (1981). Comments on the archaeological status of some of the sites. Baitey, E. (1973). C. In Ruggles and Whittle 1981, 206-9. Archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy so far. Current Anthropology, 14, 389-449. Barber, J. W. (1978). The excavation of the holed-stone at Ballymeanoch, Kilmartin, Argyll, Proc.

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