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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference

ROAD TO THE STARS

ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Edited by

A. César González García, Patricia Martin-Rodilla and Juan A. Belmonte

ISBN: 978-84-697-5608-9
INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Astronomy, as part of culture and society, has a clear social character that needs to be studied.
Cultural Astronomy attempts to do so by exploring the way in which different societies
across history and in present times deal with the issues where the sky is involved.
Santiago de Compostela is at the end of the most important European Pilgrimage route, the
‘Road to Santiago’ (Camino de Santiago). Compostela, from Latin Campus Stellae, can be
translated as the ‘field of the steles’, but has also traditionally has been nicknamed as the
‘Field of the Star’. Indeed, cultural and traditional astronomy has played a significant role in
the configuration of the actual place of Santiago, a role that probably links with a deep and
very old tradition of astronomy in the local culture across centuries and millennia (for
instance, in Spain, the Milky Way is traditionally known as “El Camino de Santiago”). Such
tradition has inspired artists, rulers and the like and we can now profit from the experience of
a truly astronomical landscape with different layers of knowledge added at different epochs
from the megalithic phenomenon to present time, including Bronze Age rock art and
medieval hierophanies in churches.
Such landscape and setting is the place for the conference “Road to the Stars”, a joint meeting
of the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture (ISAAC), the
European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC) and the Inspirarion of Astronomical
Phenomena conferences (INSAP). This volume includes all abstracts of the presentations
accepted to be delivered in diferent formats (oral, poster and artistic manifestation) at this
conference, the first time in the history of our discipline, of a composite meeting of all three
main traditional forums on Cultural Astronomy worldwide.

The editors
Santiago de Compostela, September 2017

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

INDEX

A SKY FAMILY: DIFFERENT ASTRONOMICAL INTERPRETATIONS OF DIEGO VELASQUEZ’ LAS MENINAS. ANGELO ADAMO............... 8
FRAMING ASTRONOMICAL EXPLANATIONS IN EMOTIONAL SPACES – POPULARIZING ASTROPHYSICAL TOPICS USING COMICS.
ANGELO ADAMO .................................................................................................................................................. 10
DÍAS DE MUERTOS, ASTRONOMY AND THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD AT ANCIENT TEOTIHUACAN. GERARDO ALDANA ........... 12
AN ARCHAEOASTRONOMICAL APPROACH TO THE MEGALITHIC SITES OF SAUDI ARABIA. MUNIRAH A ALMUSHAWAH ............... 13
INCA PRECISE ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTS: THE OBSERVATORY OF INKARAQAY - EL MIRADOR (NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL
PARK OF MACHU PICCHU, PERU). FERNANDO ASTETE VICTORIA, MARIUSZ ZIÓŁKOWSKI, JACEK KOŚCIUK ............................. 15
WALKING IN FIELDS OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT. MAREA ATKINSON ................................................................................... 17
HISTORY OF THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN IN ASTRONOMY. ALAN H. BATTEN ................................................................ 19
THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE ‘RISCO CAÍDO AND THE SACRED MOUNTAINS OF GRAN CANARIA’: A PARADIGMATIC PROPOSAL WITHIN
UNESCO ‘ASTRONOMY AND WORLD HERITAGE’ INITIATIVE. JUAN ANTONIO BELMONTE, JULIO CUENCA SANABRIA, JOSÉ CARLOS
GIL, JOSÉ DE LEÓN, CIPRIANO MARÍN AND CLIVE RUGGLES .......................................................................................... 20
ECLIPSES ASSOCIATED WITH ABANDONMENT OF TEMPLES AT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF BUENA VISTA, PERÚ: 2200 BC—
1780 BC. ROBERT A. BENFER, LARRY R. ADKINS ....................................................................................................... 22
LUX EX ORIENTE OR A NEW SOURCE OF LIGHT IN THE DARK AGES OF GREECE. MARY BLOMBERG, GÖRAN HENRIKSSON ............ 24
ANCIENT GREEK RELIGIOUS SPACES AS ARENAS OF A SHARED EXPERIENCE OF THE COSMOS. EFROSYNI BOUTSIKAS .................... 26
ASTRONOMY AND THE INSPIRATION OF GOOD AND EVIL: MORALITY, ETHICS AND THE PLANETS. NICHOLAS CAMPION............. 27
SOURCES OF IBERIAN ASTRONOMY DURING THE 16TH CENTURY. WALMIR THOMAZI CARDOSO, ROBERTO DE ANDRADE MARTINS
......................................................................................................................................................................... 28
LAND- AND SKYSCAPE IN MADINAT AL-ZAHRA. GRACE CASAR........................................................................................ 30
THE INKA RITUAL LANDSCAPES TO THE NORTH AND SOUTH OF THE TROPIC OF CAPRICORN FROM A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE.
GUSTAVO CORRADO, JOSÉ LUIS PINO MATOS, SIXTO GIMÉNEZ BENÍTEZ, NICOLÁS BALBI ................................................... 32
THE ALMOGAREN OF RISCO CAÍDO: THE LOST ASTRONOMICAL SANCTUARY OF THE ANCIENT CANARIANS. JULIO CUENCA SANABRIA,
JOSÉ CARLOS GIL, JUAN A. BELMONTE, CARLOS GIL SARMIENTO. JOSÉ DE LEÓN HERNÁNDEZ AND JOSÉ MIGUEL MÁRQUEZ
ZÁRATE ............................................................................................................................................................... 34
THE PATH OF THE SPIRITS: THE MATERIAL AND ASTRONOMIC HERITAGE OF STONE ROWS IN THE EASTERN ALTAI MOUNTAINS,
MONGOLIA. CECILIA DAL ZOVO, CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA .......................................................................................... 36
ON THE ORIENTATION OF EARLY CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN PRAEFECTURA ILLYRICUM. T.G. DALLAS ...................................... 39
ARE THE MOONS OF NINNION A REPRESENTATION OF EARTHSHINE? T.G. DALLAS ............................................................ 40
LOUIS POPE GRATACAP´S MARS: MARTIANS, REINCARNATION AND RADIO TELEGRAPHY. CLIVE DAVENHALL........................ 431
CONSOLIDATION OF THE RAPANUI ASTRONOMY CONCEPT INVENTORY AND RE-APPRAISAL OF APPLIED ASTRONOMIC
OBSERVATION AT PAPA UI HETU’U, RAPA NUI. EDMUNDO EDWARDS, BARTHELEMY D’ANS, ALEXANDRA EDWARDS ............... 43
FIRST RESULTS ON THE URBAN ORIENTATION OF COLONIA ULPIA TRAIANA (XANTEN, GERMANY). DAVID ESPINOSA ESPINOSA, A.
CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA, MARCO V. GARCÍA QUINTELA ............................................................................................ 45
CLAVA CAIRNS OF SCOTLAND, MIDSUMMER FULL MOON AND THE MAJOR LUNAR LIMITS. J. ANNA ESTAROTH ......................... 46
ASTRONOMY AND RITUAL IN THE PROTOHISTORY OF SOUTHERN IBERIAN PENINSULA. CÉSAR ESTEBAN.................................. 47
ASTRONOMICAL KNOWLEDGE IN ARMENIAN RIDDLES. SONA V. FARMANYAN................................................................... 48
SKY LORE OF ORION AND ITS NEIGHBOURS IN THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO. NURUL FATINI JAAFAR ......................................... 49
WEAVING THE SKYLINE: A SYNTHESIS OF TWO CULTURAL MANIFESTATIONS OF CONTEMPORARY COSMOLOGY. MORAG FEENEY-
BEATON .............................................................................................................................................................. 51

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

STONE ROWS OF THE PRESELI MOUNTAINS. DAVID FISHER ........................................................................................... 52


IN SEARCH OF THE INDIGENOUS ORIGINS OF THE PILGRIMAGE ROUTE OF SANTIAGO: A FUSION OF SKYSCAPE AND LANDSCAPE.
ROSLYN M. FRANK ................................................................................................................................................ 53
REVISITING THE NEOLITHIC SANCTUARY AT PARTA ROMANIA: NEW AND OLD ARCHAEOASTRONOMICAL CONSIDERATIONS. MARC
FRINCU, IOANA GIURGINCA .................................................................................................................................... 55
THE ASTRONOMY OF THE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES OF AUSTRALIA’S SYDNEY BASIN. ROBERT S. FULLER..................................... 57
ICHMAC, A MAYA TERMINAL CLASSIC SITE, WHERE THE TRIUMPH OF THE SUN WAS COMMEMORATED WITH A CALENDRIC-
ASTRONOMICAL ARCHITECTURAL ALIGNMENT. JESÚS GALINDO TREJO.............................................................................. 59

STARS AND THEATRE. FROM RENAISSANCE STAGE ASTROLOGERS TO ASTRONOMY-FLAVORED SCIENCE PLAYS. GIANGIACOMO
GANDOLFI ........................................................................................................................................................... 61
ET SUMMIS SURGENTIA TECTA SUB ASTRIS: IS VILLA FARNESINA AN ASTROLOGICALLY ORIENTED BUILDING? GIANGIACOMO
GANDOLFI ........................................................................................................................................................... 62
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A UTOPIAN CITY? LAND- AND SKYSCAPE IN SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA. ALEJANDRO GANGUI, JUAN A.
BELMONTE .......................................................................................................................................................... 64
ARCHAEOASTRONOMY IN NORTHERN CHILE: ANDEAN CHURCHES OF THE ARICA AND PARINACOTA REGION. ALEJANDRO GANGUI,
ÁNGEL GUILLÉN, MAGDALENA PEREIRA .................................................................................................................... 66
THE BAROÑA HILLFORT ROCKY SANCTUARY (PORTO DO SON, A CORUÑA, SPAIN) AS A SHIFTING DEVICE AMONG THE WORLD
LAYERS OF THE CELTIC COSMOLOGY. MARCO V. GARCÍA QUINTELA, A. CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA....................................... 68

THE LUNAR CALENDAR AND ITS POSSIBLE IMPACT ON EGYPTIAN OLD KINGDOM CHRONOLOGY. RITA GAUTSCHY ..................... 70
CHURCHES ORIENTATIONS IN THE JESUITS MISSIONS AMONG GUARANI PEOPLE. SIXTO GIMÉNEZ BENÍTEZ, ALEJANDRO MARTÍN
LÓPEZ, MARTÍN GAMBOA, ARMANDO MUDRIK.......................................................................................................... 71
E LUCEVAN LE STELLE: ENGAGING THE PUBLIC OF ROME IN A CULTURAL REPOSSESSION OF THE URBAN SKY. STEFANO
GIOVANARDI ........................................................................................................................................................ 73
ROMAN OR GAULIC: ORIENTATION AS A FOOTPRINT OF CULTURAL IDENTITY? A. CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA, MARCO V. GARCÍA
QUINTELA ........................................................................................................................................................... 75
SKYLORE OF INDIGENOUS HUNTER-GATHERERS OF NORTHERN JAPAN: HOUSE AND BURIAL ORIENTATIONS OF HOKKAIDO AINU.
AKIRA GOTO ........................................................................................................................................................ 77
A DURABLE TALE: A 250-PAGE ARTIST’S BOOK. MARILYN GOTTLIEB-ROBERTS ................................................................. 79
ARCHAEOASTRONOMY AND REFRACTION: A DISCUSSION. THOMAS T. GOUGH ................................................................. 81
TO THE SKY AND BACK: PHILOSOPHICAL AND SYMBOLIC EXPLORATION OF COSMIC SPIRIT-TRAVEL IN INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIAN
CULTURES. DUANE HAMACHER ................................................................................................................................ 83

WITH BITS OF STRING AND SHEETS OF PERSPEX: NAUM GABO'S MODELING OF TIME AND SPACE. JOHN G. HATCH................. 85
FROM THE GROUND TO THE STARS: EARLY BRONZE AGE POSTHOLES ALIGNMENTS IN LINSMEAU SHOWING A POSSIBLE
ASTRONOMICAL INTENT. FRÉDÉRIC HELLER, SILVIA MOTTA, ADRIANO GASPANI, GEORG ZOTTI ............................................ 87

THE BRIGHT SUPERNOVA 1355 BC IN CHINESE TEXTS AND ON SWEDISH ROCK-CARVINGS. GÖRAN HENRIKSSON ..................... 89
SUNHONEY RECUMBENT STONE CIRCLE: EXCEPTION OR TEMPLATE? LIZ HENTY ................................................................ 91
TESTING, TESTING 1, 2, 3 …. TESTING, TESTING WHAT YOU SEE. GAIL HIGGINBOTTOM, ROGER CLAY .................................... 93
THE GENESIS OF HIPPARCHUS’S CELESTIAL GLOBE – RECONSTRUCTING HIS WORK BY MEANS OF MODERN COMPUTATIONAL
ASTRONOMY AND ANALYSING POSSIBLE IDOLS AND SOURCES. SUSSANE M. HOFFMANN...................................................... 94

ASTRONOMY DEVELOPMENT AND FILMMAKING IN THE KAROO. JARITA HOLBROOK ........................................................... 95


VISUALIZING THE UNIVERSE: THE INTERSECTION OF ART AND ASTRONOMY. CHRIS IMPEY, DINAH JASENSKY ........................... 96
OUR FUTURE OFF-EARTH AND THE ROAD TO THE STARS. CHRIS IMPEY............................................................................ 98

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

SURVEY, ARCHAEASTRONOMY AND COMMUNICATION: THE MAUSOLEUM OF GALLA PLACIDIA IN RAVENNA (ITALY). MANUELA
INCERTI, GAIA LAVORATTI....................................................................................................................................... 99
THE OBSERVATIONS OF THE MOON AT NARANJO - NEW FACTS AND INTERPRETATIONS. STANISLAW IWANISZEWSKI ................ 101
ABOUT STARLIGHT AND THE EPR-PARADOX IN PYNCHON’S NOVELS AND THE FILMS OF JIM JARMUSCH. BERND KLÄHN........... 103
THE NEPAL TEMPLE PROJECT. ARCHEOLOGY OF A HINDU TEMPLE: ............................................................................... 104
THE ANANTALIṄGEŚVARA MAHĀDEVA TEMPLE IN DHADHIKOṬA/BHAKTAPUR, NEPAL ...................................................... 104
1500 YEARS OF ASTRONOMY AND COSMOLOGY IN NEPAL. PERRY LANGE....................................................................... 104
BATTLE FOR THE MILKY WAY: PLATO VS ARISTOTLE THROUGH THE AGES. GEORGE LATURA .............................................. 105
APPLICATION OF A METHODOLOGY FOR TESTING HORIZON ASTRONOMY IN ABORIGINAL CULTURAL SITES: A CASE STUDY. TREVOR
M. LEAMAN, DUANE W. HAMACHER .................................................................................................................... 107
MIXTEC GENEALOGY, DYNASTIC HISTORY? MYTHOLOGY? OR COSMOLOGY? THE CASE OF LORD 8-MAZATL. ARNOLD LEBEUF.. 109
INTERDISCIPLINARY, INTERCULTURAL, COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATION PRACTICES AT THE INTERSECTION OF ART-SCIENCE-
CULTURE. ANNETTE S. LEE, WILLIAM WILSON, JEFF TIBBETTS, ANNE MEYER, CARK GAWBOY, TRAVIS ZIMMERMAN, WILFRED
BUCK, DAVID PANTALONY ................................................................................................................................... 111
CREATIVITY AND CURIOSITY: EXPLORING THE SPACE IN-BETWEEN ASTRONOMERS AND ARTISTS. ALISON LOCHHEAD, GILLIAN
MCFARLAND, IONE PARKIN, DIPAK MISTRY, JULIET BOWMAKER, MARTIN A. BARSTOW, CAROLINE CRAWFORD, THOMAS J.
HAWORTH, ROBERTO TROTTA ............................................................................................................................... 113
“NATIVES’ KNOCKING ON HEAVEN’S DOORS”: CONFLICTS BETWEEN INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL PROJECTS AND LOCAL
COMMUNITIES. ALEJANDRO M. LÓPEZ .................................................................................................................... 115

ASTRONOMY AND DYNASTIC HISTORY IN THE FUNERARY LANDSCAPES OF THE CHINESE EMPERORS. GIULIO MAGLI.................. 117
THE POK-COURSERA ARCHAEOASTRONOMY MOOC AFTER ONE YEAR: A STATUS REPORT. GIULIO MAGLI ............................... 118
FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS CONNECTED WITH ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS AND PRACTICES ON THE TERRITORY OF THE KOVIL ROCK-
CUT MONUMENT, BULGARIA. PENKA MAGLOVA, ALEXEY STOEV, VASSIL MARKOV, MINA SPASOVA .................................. 119

THE ARCHAEOASTRONOMY OF HIGH ALTITUDE INCA CEREMONIALISM. J. MCKIM MALVILLE , JOHAN REINHARD ................. 121
THE NEVERENDING STORY OF THE INFINITE COSMOS. VICENT J. MARTÍNEZ, ALBERT MARTÍNEZ-ARTERO .............................. 123
EXTRACTING SOFTWARE REPRESENTATION AND INFORMATION VISUALIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR A DIACHRONIC STUDY OF
ASTRONOMICAL ALIGNMENTS IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES. PATRICIA MARTIN-RODILLA, ANTONIO CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA ... 124

CASE STUDIES WITH ARCHAEOASTRONOMIC APPROACH IN THE STATE OF TABASCO, MEXICO. HANS MARTZ DE LA VEGA......... 126
WHAT CAN ARCHEOASTRONOMY REVEAL ABOUT THE FUNCTION AND MEANING OF THE BIBRACTE BASIN AND ITS BUILDERS?
CLAUDE MAUMENÉ............................................................................................................................................. 128
ARCHAEASTRONOMICAL REFRACTION RECONSIDERED. STEPHEN MCCLUSKEY ................................................................. 130
CULTURAL ASTRONOMY DEGREE IN HONDURAS: THE NEXT FORMATIVE STEP FOR THE DISCIPLINE. JAVIER MEJUTO, EDUARDO
RODAS ............................................................................................................................................................. 132
MEDICINE WHEEL ASTRONOMY. IVY MERRIOT, JACK ROBINSON.................................................................................. 134
ANALYZING SOUTH AFRICAN AND NON-SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN PREPAREDNESS FOR STEM CAREER, USING “THE SKY IN OUR
LIVES SURVEY” SINAKO MGUDLWA ........................................................................................................................ 136
COSMIC TREE IN ARMENIAN CULTURE. AREG M. MICKAELIAN, SONA V. FARMANYAN ..................................................... 138
QHAPAQ ÑAN, “ROAD TO THE STARS” OF THE INCA ROAD SYSTEM. SILVIA MOTTA, ADRIANO GASPANI .............................. 139
THE CASE OF THE TWO CHURCHES OF SANT’APOLLINARE IN PIEDMONT (ITALY): CAN ARCHAEOASTRONOMY HELP TO IDENTIFY
WHICH OF THEM IS THE TEMPLAR ONE? SILVIA MOTTA, ADRIANO GASPANI ................................................................... 141

SKYSCAPE ARCHAEOLOGY AS A ROAD TO CULTURAL INSIGHT RESEARCH EPISTEMOLOGY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR CURRICULUM
DESIGN. ANDREW M. MUNRO, STEVEN R. GULLBERG ............................................................................................... 143
COULD THE ‘SKY PATH’ IN SAXONY-ANHALT ESTABLISH A MODERN PILGRIMAGE ROUTE? REINHARD MUSSIK ........................ 145

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

ANCIENT CHINESE OBSERVATORIES IN AUSTRALIA AND THE VENUS TRANSIT A.D. 1275. LYNDA NUTTER, JILL THOMPSON-WHITE
....................................................................................................................................................................... 147
THE PREHISTORIC VILLAGES OF THE AEOLIAN ARCHIPELAGO AND MILAZZO: ASTRONOMY AND LANDSCAPE. ANDREA ORLANDO,
SEBASTIANO TUSA, DAVIDE GORI........................................................................................................................... 149
ARCHAEOASTRONOMICAL STUDY OF THE SHAFT TOMBS OF THE PROTOHISTORIC NECROPOLIS OF THAPSOS (SICILY). ANDREA
ORLANDO, CARLO VECA, DAVIDE GORI ................................................................................................................... 151
THE ARCHAEOLOGY OF LIGHT – CELESTIAL SYMBOLS OF THE EUROPEAN BRONZE AGE. EMÍLIA PASZTOR ............................... 153
ASTRONOMY AND CARTOGRAPHY IN BENAHOARE: AN ORIENTATED MAP OF THE CANARY ISLAND OF LA PALMA IN AN ANCIENT
PETROGLYPH. MANUEL PÉREZ GUTIÉRREZ, FELIPE JORGE PAIS PAIS, Mª ANTONIA PERERA BETANCORT, JULIO CUENCA SANABRIA,
A. CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA, JUAN ANTONIO BELMONTE.......................................................................................... 155
THE UNINTENTIONAL WINTER SOLSTICE HIEROPHANY IN THE” SANTI ANGELI CUSTODI” CHURCH IN ROME AND ITS IMPLICATION.
VITO FRANCESCO POLCARO .................................................................................................................................. 157
ALL IN DOUBT: ASTRONOMICAL IMAGERY AND COSMOLOGICAL UNCERTAINTY IN EARLY MODERN WRITERS. RICHARD L. POSS
....................................................................................................................................................................... 158
CRUCIFORM ARCHITECTURE IN WESTERN EUROPEAN NEOLITHIC PASSAGE TOMBS —A PRELIMINARY SPATIAL ANALYSIS AND
CULTURAL ASSESSMENT. FRANK PRENDERGAST ......................................................................................................... 159

LAND AND SKYSCAPE DURING THE 13TH CENTURY IN THE CZECH LANDS. NIKOLAOS RAGKOS.............................................. 161
THE WORLD AS A LIVING ENTITY: ESSENTIALS OF A COSMIC METAPHOR. MICHAEL RAPPENGLUECK.................................... 163
ON THE ROAD TO UNDERSTAND POSSIBLE ARCHAEOASTRONOMY AROUND ORKNEY: MAESHOWE, NESS OF BRODGAR AND
BRECKNESS. VICTOR REIJS .................................................................................................................................... 165
FIRST STEPS TOWARDS AN ARCHAEOASTRONOMICAL SOFTWARE. EDUARDO RODAS, JAVIER MEJUTO .................................. 167
AN ARCHAEOASTRONOMICAL APPROACH TO ROMAN URBANISM: ORIENTATION OF ROMAN SETTLEMENTS ACROSS THE EMPIRE.
ANDREA RODRÍGUEZ ANTÓN, JUAN ANTONIO BELMONTE, A. CÉSAR GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA ................................................. 170
THE UTTER FAILURE OF THE LUNAR STANDSTILL MYTH IN ARCHAEOASTRONOMY. BRADLEY E. SCHAEFER ............................ 172
A NEW HIEROPHANY AT MONTE CROCCIA (BASILICATA). ALBERTO SCUDERI, ANDREA ORLANDO, EMMANUELE CURTI, LEONARDO
(1)
LOZITO , VITO FRANCESCO POLCARO ................................................................................................................... 174
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA SYMPHONIA COELESTIS. GIUSEPPE SEVERINI, ANDREA ORLANDO ........................................... 176
ASTRONOMICAL IMAGERY IN THE WORK OF THE PRERAPHAELITE BROTHER (AND SISTER) HOOD. VALERIE SHRIMPLIN ............ 178
INFERRING ALIGNMENTS 2: A PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF THE MAXIMUM LIKELIHOOD PRINCIPLE. FABIO SILVA ..................... 180
REVISITING STELLAR LIMITING MAGNITUDES: RESULTS FROM PRELIMINARY LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS. KIERAN SIMCOX, DANIEL
BROWN, FABIO SILVA .......................................................................................................................................... 182
AVERTING COSMIC COLLAPSE: DUAL AND REVERSIBLE PRINCIPLES IN PREHISTORIC MONUMENT COMPLEXES. LIONEL SIMS ........ 183
ASTRONOMICAL PHENOMENA NORTH OF THE ARCTIC CIRCLE. ROLF SINCLAIR ................................................................ 185
HYPATIA OF ALEXANDRIA (C. 355-415 AD), TEACHER OF PHILOSOPHY. FENNY SMITH ..................................................... 186
DE QUATTUOR PARTIBUS MUNDI. MEDIEVAL SACRED BUILDINGS ON THE VIA FRANCIGENA ORIENTATION AND LIGHT INCIDENCE IN
SOLSTITIAL CHURCHES. EVA SPINAZZÈ ..................................................................................................................... 187

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BABYLONIAN ZODIAC. JOHN STEELE .................................................................................. 189


THE GREAT COMET OF 1858: A ROAD SIGN TO THE STARS. CHRISTIAAN STERKEN ............................................................ 190
EVOLUTION OF ASTRONOMICAL FACILITIES AND PRACTICES IN ANCIENT THRACE. ALEXEY STOEV, PENKA MAGLOVA, MINA SPASOVA
....................................................................................................................................................................... 191
ΒΩΜΟΣ ΔΟΔΕΚΑ ΘΕΩΝ / ALTAR OF THE TWELVE GODS: AN ASTRO-ARCHAEOLOGICAL ANALYSIS. VANCE TIEDE ............ 194
G-ASTRONOMY: THE UNIVERSE WITH ALL YOUR SENSES. ROBERTO TROTTA, JOZEF YOUSSEF, STEFANO DE COSTANZO ........ 196

THE SIGNS OF MORNING STAR AUŠRA IN BALTIC TRADITION: REGIONAL AND INTERCULTURAL FEATURES. VYTAUTAS TUMĖNAS 198

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

THE UNIVERSE HIDDEN INSIDE GALICIAN CANTIGAS: MOONS, SUNS AND STARS POPULARLY SUNG OVER GENERATIONS. ANA ULLA-
MIGUEL ............................................................................................................................................................ 200
PREVIOUS TRADITION? COINCIDENCE? DESIGN? HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE TO CREATE THE ILLUMINATION EFFECTS AT THE CATHEDRAL
OF SAINT JAMES (GALICIA, SPAIN)? BENITO VILAS-ESTEVEZ, ENCARNACIÓN RUTH VARELA-RODRIGUEZ, ANTONIO CÉSAR
GONZÁLEZ-GARCIA ............................................................................................................................................. 202
BLACK SKY: AESTHETICS OF THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL LANDSCAPE. GARY WELLS ............................................................... 204
BEYOND 3D MODELS: SIMULATION OF PHASED MODELS IN STELLARIUM. GEORG ZOTTI, FLORIAN SCHAUKOWITSCH, MICHAEL
WIMMER .......................................................................................................................................................... 206
ARTWORKS .................................................................................................................................................. 208
WALKING THROUGH THE FIELD OF DARKNESS AND LIGHT. MAREA ATKINSON .................................................................. 208
FROM COSMOS TO CRATERS. DINAH JASENSKY ......................................................................................................... 209
NATIVE SKYWATCHERS – EARTH SKY CONNECTIONS. ANNETTE S. LEE, WILLIAM WILSON, JEFF TIBBETTS, ANNE MEYER, CARK
GAWBOY, WILFRED BUCK .................................................................................................................................... 210
CREATIVITY AND CURIOSITY: EXPLORING THE SPACE IN-BETWEEN ASTRONOMERS AND ARTISTS. ALISON LOCHHEAD, GILLIAN
MCFARLAND, IONE PARKIN, DIPAK MISTRY, JULIET BOWMAKER, MARTIN A. BARSTOW, CAROLINE CRAWFORD, THOMAS J.
HAWORTH, ROBERTO TROTTA ............................................................................................................................... 212
CATCHING THE EQUINOX. A TEMPORARY INSTALLATION. JOHN DAVID MOONEY ............................................................. 214
A NEW ASTRONOMICAL LIFE FOR OLD BLUE JEANS: DRAWING AND PAINTING OF THE UNIVERSE HERE DOWN ON A RECYCLING
PLANET EARTH (ASTRO-BLUEJEANS&THINGS). CARMEN VILLAR-RIVERA, RITA LANDEIRO-SUÁREZ, ANA ULLA-MIGUEL........... 216

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

A Sky Family: different astronomical interpretations of Diego Velasquez’


Las Meninas.
Angelo Adamo
INAF-OAPA/GAL Hassin – Centro Internazionale per le Scienze Astronomiche di Isnello
(IT), University of Insubria – Como (IT)

Many scholars have attempted to give an interpretation of the enigmatic masterpiece Las
Meninas by Diego Velasquez (Seville, 1599 - Madrid, 1660), court painter to the Spanish
King Philip IV of Hapsburg. The panel - whose real title is "La familia de Felipe IV " or just
"La familia" - dating from the summer of 1656, depicts the Infanta Margarita surrounded by
the various members of the court and the painter himself, intent on portraying them. The hall
of mirrors implemented on this large canvas (cm318 x 276 cm) disorients: the painter and the
courtiers observe everyone in the direction of the viewer (you), almost as if taken by surprise
by your arrival, but a mirror placed at the bottom of the great hall of the Alcazar building, the
royal palace later destroyed by fire, reveals that most likely their attention was caught by the
unexpected entry of the king and his wife Marianna of Austria in the large auditorium of the
scene. This painting has the power of disorienting the viewer by putting them in the situation
of asking themselves: “which is the subject of the painting? The infanta and her court, the
king and his wife or me while looking at them?” Among those who have attempted to
interpret the canvas, the most famous is certainly the French philosopher Michel Foucault,
who dedicated an entire chapter of his book Les Mots et les choses to this famous painting.
On the basis of this profound meditation in search of a hidden meaning, other scholars such
as John Searl, Joel Snyder and Ted Cohen, Leo Steinberg, Svetlana Alpers … followed him
in the same intellectual adventure. Among the many interpretations, there is also an
astronomical one: according to Jacques Lassaigne, who proposed this idea, in my opinion, in
a weak manner, the main characters in the scene painted by Velasquez represent the
constellation Corona Borealis.
In this talk I will try to underline the arbitrariness of such an interpretation based on a
questionable form of historical-scientific objectivity, by simply proposing another
astronomical explanation of the position of the various characters in the painting, putting
them in relation to different star-planet-constellation configurations: all have could be just as
plausible as Lassaigne’s hypothesis. This way, I intend to highlight the likely presence of the
common problem of finding correlations between events, images, intentions, … that a more
careful analysis could reveal to be largely uncorrelated.

References

 Michel Foucault, Les suivantes, in Les Mots et les choses. Une archéologie des
sciences humaines, Gallimard, Paris 1966, pp. 19-31
 John R. Searl, Las Meninas and the Paradoxes of pictorial Representation, in
“Critical Inquiry”, Spring 1980, Vol. VI n.3, pp. 477-488
 Joel Snyder, Ted Cohen, Reflections on Las Meninas: Paradox Lost. Critical
Response, in “Critical Inquiry”, Winter 1980, Vol.VII n.2, pp. 429-447
 Leo Steinberg, Velasquez’ Las Meninas, in “October”, 1981, n.15, pp. 45-54
 Svetlana Alpers, Interpretations without representation, or the Viewing of Las
Meninas, in “Representations”, February, 1983, n.1, pp.31-42
 Joel Snyder, Las Meninas and the Mirror of the Prince, in “Critical Inquiry”, June
1985, Vol. XI n.11, pp. 539-572

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 Jacques Lassaigne, Velázquez, Les Ménines, Fribourg, l’Office du Livre, 1973, p. 40.

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Framing astronomical explanations in emotional spaces – Popularizing


astrophysical topics using comics.
Angelo Adamo
INAF-OAPA/GAL Hassin – Centro Internazionale per le Scienze Astronomiche di Isnello
(IT), University of Insubria – Como (IT)

In recent years, coinciding with a certain renewed interest in the comics medium and its use
for educational and informative purposes, I was involved in projects for various costumers,
among them many scientific research institutions (INAF, INFN, EVN, MAS, EUCLID,
I.S.A.S.-S.I.S.S.A., ...), to produce short stories that would explain astronomy to different
audiences. The different tipology of clients and their target audiences, compelled me to
differentiate the communicative strategies. This in order to combine the best educational and
outreach requirements with others, such as a simple goal of promoting sales in the case of
magazines and newspapers, and the aim of promoting all research activities in the case of
scientific institutions. This way, the works I have already produced, and those still in progress,
assume various characters: some stories have a historical flavour, others have a more
technical one, others instead make use of an emotional communication, in which the
scientific message is pleasantly diluted, buried, and almost seems secondary. For my INSAP
and SEAC talk, I have decided to describe all the general lines of the strategies widely used
in the so-called "concept comics", focusing my attention on those produced for the Chilean
institution Millenium de Astrophysics (MAS, http: // www. astrofisicamas.cl), who asked me
to write and draw twelve short comic stories, in which I explain as many astrophysical topics.
The theoretical communication research underlying these works has its foundation in
epistemology and sociology of science. Its aims are to highlight the pros and cons of a correct
use of comics, as tools to design a teaching and outreach strategy that are both scientifically
correct and engaging, as requested by the precepts of the new theoretical framework called
engagement, the current frontier in pedagogy.

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References

 Tatalovic, M., Science comics as tools for science education and communication: a
brief, exploratory study, J-Comm, SISSA – International School for Advanced
Studies Journal of Science Communication
 Kakalios, J. (2005), The Physics of Superheroes, New York, Gotham Books.
 Vilchez-Gonzales J.M.; Palacios, F.J.P. (2006), Image of science in cartoons and its
relationship with the image in comics, Physics Education 41 (3): 240-249.
 Nagata, R. (1999), Learning Biochemistry through manga - helping students learn
and remember, making lectures more exciting, Biochemical Education 27 (4): 200-
203.
 Szafran, Z., Pike R.M., Singh M.M. (1994), Microscale Chemistry in the Comics,
Journal of Chemical Education 71 (6): A151
 Keogh B. et al. (1998), Concept cartoons: a new perspective on physics education,
Physics Education 33 (4): 219-224

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Días de Muertos, Astronomy and the Archaeological Record at Ancient


Teotihuacan.
Gerardo Aldana
UC Santa Barbara

Historians have long recognized the connection between modern Días de Muertos activities
in Mexico and Central America and specific ceremonies performed under the Aztec Empire.
Enjoying less consensus is how far back in time such ceremonies may have been held and at
which Mesoamerican cities. Archaeologist Annabeth Headrick, for example, suggests that
some elements of Dias de Muertos may have been present at Teotihuacan, 1000 years before
the Aztec Empire, while archaeologist George Cowgill has expressed some doubt about the
association. This paper brings new evidence to the debate in the form of astronomical context
and a reinterpretation of Teotihuacan iconography. In doing so-and in association with
Mayan hieroglyphic records-I argue that the archaeological record supports both an annual
performance of Dias de Muertos ceremonies and a shift over time in the political
infrastructure supporting them.

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An Archaeoastronomical approach to the Megalithic Sites of Saudi Arabia.


Munirah a Almushawah
This study attempts to decipher the cultural significance of standing stones left by the past
civilizations in late Stone Ages. This study employs a multi-disciplinary approach to reveal
the true meaning behind the architecture, construction and decorative art of megalithic stone
structures. The study provides a statistical list of 21 megalithic sites within Saudi Arabia with
more focus on sites in northwest Saudi Arabia. The result indicates that the construction and
alignment of some of these prehistoric structures are highly sophisticated. The architecture of
these structures reveals complex symbolism. Sites were places of socio-ritual interactions
where monuments offered places for seasonal gatherings. Details within the sites reflect
many aspects of the community that built them.
Speculation as to their purposes differ, some were used for religious activities, burial sites,
and astronomical observatories for the sun and other celestial bodies.
In this study a survey conducted to the late 5th millennium BC site of AlRajajil in Al-Jawf
Region (Arabic: ‫ ال جوف‬al-Ǧawf) in northwest Saudi Arabia indicated that there is a clear
alignment of sight-lines along the north-south axis, too accurate to be considered as a
coincidence, especially that the majority of megalithic sites including AlRajajil belong to the
era of agricultural revolution where agricultural activities demand astronomical knowledge,
therefore its logical to see traces of astronomy dating back to that stage. Petroglyphs of
celestial objects carved on some standing stones such as the figures carved in Kubat
Altamathil megalithic site in Tabuk (Arabic: ‫ ت بوك‬Tabūk) the capital city of the Tabuk
Region in northwestern Saudi Arabia. Or Petroglyphs with in the area of some of the
megalithic sites also indicate that ancient cultures around the world systematically observed
the sky and noticed the motions of celestial objects and reflected that knowledge in their
remains.
To ensure that the functional purposes of ancient archaeological sites might affect the type of
inscriptions found in the surroundings, I traced examples of ancient natural observatories still
used to the present time e.g. ( Majarda observatory, in Taif, SA) and (Hilat Alshams
observatory, in Al Baha, SA) and celestial Petroglyphs were found around.
The study will open doors to new research of functional analysis of megalithic sites of Saudi
Arabia distinct from previous descriptive studies, with a view to understand the sophistication
of ancient civilizations that occupied the Arabian Peninsula.

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Figure 1. Standing stones in AlRajajil site in Al-Jouf, SA with a north-south alignment


(Image by Munirah Almushawah 2015)

References

 Belmonte, J., Garcia, A., & Polcaro, A. (2013). On the Orientation of Megalithic
Monuments of the Transjordan Plateau: New Clues for an Astronomical Interpretation.
Journal for the History of Astronomy, 44 (1), 429-55
 Jennings, R., et al. (2013). Rock art landscapes beside the Jubbah palaeolake, Saudi
Arabia. Antiquity, 87(1).
 Winnett, W., & Reed, F. (1970). Ancient records from North Arabia. Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 81.

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Inca precise astronomical instruments: the observatory of Inkaraqay - El


Mirador (National Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, Peru).
Fernando Astete Victoria (1), Mariusz Ziółkowski (2), Jacek Kościuk (3)
1. Parque Arqueológico Nacional de Machu Picchu
2. Centre for Precolumbian Studies, University of Warsaw,
3. Laboratory of 3D Scanning and Modelling, Wroclaw University of Technology

The rapid expansion of the Inca Empire (ca 1400 – 1572 AD), from a small polity in the
Cuzco region to an empire running the length of the Andes, created tremendous pressure on
Incan social and political institutions.
The astronomical know-how was very important during the state expansion, providing the
Inca elites (and particularly the Inca Emperor) with an instrument to assert their right to rule
through control of rituals and by their dominant position within the state cosmology.
Astronomical knowledge is based primarily on practical observation of celestial phenomena.
It should be noted that, when discussing devices used for tracking the movement of celestial
bodies, two different categories of objects are considered:
- Those, due to religious and ceremonial reasons, aimed at an approximate orientation
towards the rising or setting of the Sun (or other celestial body) at some important moment in
its annual transition across the horizon to create a visual effect for the masses of faithful.
- Those, which may be called ‘astronomical instruments’, intended for use by few priests-
astronomers, as mentioned in some sources.
The latter category of objects was very scarce, but Intimachay, presented at the 20th SEAC
Conference in Ljubljana, in September 2012, and now El Mirador (both in Machu Picchu)
appear to be an example.
Inkaraqay’El Mirador is a small structure situated on the northern slopes of Huayna Picchu.
Architectural remains consist of three parallel walls placed perpendicularly to the steep slope
of the hill. The middle wall is ca. 1.25 m wide and its façade is preserved to a height of ca.
3.5 m. Two sets of niches are extant on the back of this wall. Three of them, roughly 1.6 m
high, start directly above the floor of the building. They are approximately 0.70 m in width.
The middle niche and the most northern one are equipped with two observation openings,
very precisely made and oriented. Observation in situ carried out in 2013, 2014 and 2016
showed that the most spectacular phenomenon is observing the Sunrise right over the
Yanantin summit during the June solstice. Other celestial phenomena, as the heliacal rising of
the Pleiades, were seen in the 15 c. from the middle opening.

References

 Ziółkowski, Mariusz Jacek Kościuk and Fernando Astete Victoria (2013)


Astronomical Observations at Intimachay (Machu Picchu): A new approach to an Old
Problem” In Ancient Cosmologies and Modern Prophets. Proceedings of the 20th
Conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture, edited by Ivan Sprajc
and Peter Pehani, pp. 391 – 404. Slovene Anthropological Society, Ljubljana
 Ziółkowski, Mariusz Jacek Kościuk and Fernando Astete Victoria (2014) Inca Moon:
Some Evidence of Lunar Observations in Tahuantinsuyu. In Handbook of
Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, edited by Clive L.N. Ruggles, pp. 897 – 912.
Springer Science+Business Media, New York
 Ziółkowski, Mariusz (2015) Pachap Unancha. El calendario metropolitano del Estado
Inca. Ediciones El Lector – Sociedad Polaca de Estudios Latinoamericanos, Arequipa

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Figure 1. The Inkaraqay – El Mirador façade (top) and interior (bottom). Arrows indicate the
outlets of observation openings (photo by Mariusz Ziolkowski, 3D scan by Jacek Kościuk)

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Walking in fields of darkness and light.


Marea Atkinson
Today due to increasing light and air pollution, most people living in cities are not aware of
the gradual disappearance of the night sky, although it is still observable in unpolluted
regions. One such place is Uluru a sacred site featuring Australia’s largest rock formation set
in the red centre in the Uluru-Kata National Park. Formerly known as Ayres Rock, it has
received dual World Heritage listing by UNESCO for its outstanding natural and cultural
values. Described as an ancient landscape where Tjukurpa whispers the creation stories, the
traditional landowners are the Yankunytjatjara and Pitjantjatara people, whose knowledge
clearly links the celestial with the terrestrial. Due to its unpolluted skies the arc of the Milky
Way and other astronomical phenomena is resplendently visible above Uluru. Aboriginal
people have a long association with experiencing a full view of the night sky, and as Charles
Jencks suggests it is that experience whereby we measure ourselves against the immensity of
the universe.
In 2016-2017, the enclosing landscape of Uluru became the site for a light art installation by
Bruce Munro titled the Field of Light, whereby the artist has used tens of thousands of fibre
optic globes, set in the earth, partly surrounding the rock. The work becomes fully visible at
night and perhaps evokes the imaginative Field of Stars, referencing the resting place of Saint
James. The installation gives the viewer an immersive experience, walking amongst lights in
the desert darkness with the dramatic backdrop of the silhouette of Uluru and the firmament
above.
The use of artificial lighting is an exciting area for contemporary artists to explore, the rise of
Light Art Festivals around the world are becoming increasingly popular in the major cities.
These are short ephemeral events and maybe a continuation of ancient nocturnal fire festivals.
However, this spectacle of artificial light employed over a long term basis set in nature and in
unpolluted regions raises environmental concerns about the protection of the Quality of the
Night Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars as addressed by the 2007 International Starlight
conference in Spain. Artificial light at night creates confusion in bird migration patterns and
the habits of nocturnal animals. And it also raises the lack of awareness about the loss of the
visible night sky, which is often excluded in World Heritage listings. However in 2012 New
Zealand received UNESCO World Heritage status to create the Aoraki Mackenzie
International Dark Sky Reserve emphasising the Protection of the Night Sky as a
Fundamental Right for Humankind.
This paper explores unique methods of engagement between the celestial and the terrestrial
giving examples from Aboriginal knowledge, contemporary art and raises issues of
environmental concerns and initiatives to protect the right to observe the stars for future
generations.

References

 Starlight A Common Heritage, Starlight Initiative Conference, In Defence of the


Quality of the Night Sky and the Right to Observe the Stars, La Palma Canary Islands,
Spain, April 2007.
 Charles Jencks, Architecture of the Jumping Universe, (London: Academy Editions,
Revised edition, 1997) 132-133
 Diane Ackermann, The Human Age, the world shaped by us, (London: Headline
Publishing Group 2014), 18,74
 Verlyn Klinkenborg, “Our Vanishing Night,” National Geographic, Vol, 214 No 5,
(2008):123.

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 Francis Hodgson, Thierry Cohen Photography Darkened Cities website,


htpp://thierycohen.com/pages/testtext.html
 Marea Atkinson, Remapping the City with the Ephemeral Night Sky, ISEA 2014
Location, The 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art, Conference
Proceedings, Dubai University Books Dubai, UAE, 2015. 436-442
 Walter Seitter, On the Physics and the Technology and the Aesthetics of the Night. A
contribution to the Nyctology, in Awakening the Night, Art from Romanticism to the
Present, eds. Agnes Husslein-Arco, Brigitte Borchhardt-Birbaumer and Harald Krejci.
(Munich, London and New York: Prestel, 2012, 32-37

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History of the Argument from Design in Astronomy.


Alan H. Batten
Victoria, B.C. Canada ahbatten@telus.net

The Argument from Design, possibly the oldest attempt to “prove” the existence of a deity, is
ancient and seductive. It can be found in poetic form in the Psalms of the Hebrew Bible, it is
discussed by Plato, who was somewhat ambivalent about it, and Cicero, who accepted it.
Much later, St Thomas Aquinas gave it a Christian form, which has become the classical
statement. All these exponents stressed the regularity of planetary motions. Newton, in the
General Scholium of the second edition of his Principia revived the Argument, but, rather
than arguing from the regularity of planetary motions, he pointed to the uniformity of the
structure of the solar system: all the planets and satellites known to him revolved in the same
direction and in nearly the same plane. This, he thought, could come about only by Divine
Providence, although Laplace was later to question this. He was by no means the first to
question the Argument; objections to it are as old as the Argument itself.
The argument has also been presented in the context of biology, where it was particularly
urged by Newton’s older contemporary John Rae. In this form, it became increasingly
popular during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. William Paley and William
Whewell both advocated it, but in the mid-nineteenth century Darwin’s Origin of Species
seriously eroded its credibility in biological contexts. The astronomical versions of the
argument, however, although intertwined with the biological versions, are sufficiently distinct
that they can stand alone, even if the latter have been invalidated by Darwinian natural
selection. In modern times, anthropic reasoning has again revived astronomical design
arguments. Will a natural explanation be found for the so-called “fine-tuning” of the universe?
Some think that one has already been found in the concept of a “multiverse”, but this is still a
matter of speculation and the question remains open.

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The cultural landscape ‘Risco Caído and the sacred mountains of Gran
Canaria’: A paradigmatic proposal within UNESCO ‘Astronomy and
World Heritage’ initiative.
Juan Antonio Belmonte (1), Julio Cuenca Sanabria (2), José Carlos Gil (2), José de
León (3), Cipriano Marín (4) and Clive Ruggles (5)
1. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
2. PROPAC and Cabildo de Gran Canaria
3. Heritage Division, Cabildo de Gran Canaria
4. UNESCOCAN and Cabildo de Gran Canaria
5. Leicester University

Cultural astronomy studies have now a tradition of a quarter century in the Canary Islands.
The statistical relevance of astronomical implications for a certain number of sites and the
spectacular character of some of the astronomical hierophanies so far discovered clearly
points out to an intentionality (Belmonte 2015). This suggests that the chase of the path of the
celestial bodies was presumably an important element for the erection and purpose of many
pre-Hispanic sanctuaries. In this sense, Gran Canaria (see Figure 1) presented the most
evolved and richest pre-European culture of the archipelago. The social structure was
complex and hierarchical, similar to a proto-state. This island is characterized by the presence
of sanctuaries at the top of significant mountains and on the scarps of the huge volcanic
calderas of the island (the so-called almogarenes) where particular rituals took place at
precise moments of the year. In particular, the area of the Caldera de Tejeda (Fig. 1) presents
a paradigmatic example of an adaptive process to a harsh but attractive environment, offering
an excellent horizon, with impressive natural monuments such as the Roques Bentayga and
Nublo acting as reference landmarks, where land- and skyscapes could be in close contact
and permanent interaction.
This chain of facts suggests it as the perfect location for a Cultural Landscape which might be
defended within UNESCO and IAU Astronomy and World Heritage initiative (Ruggles and
Cotte, 2010). Of special interest is the existence of priests, the faicanes, who belong to the
nobility and were dedicated to religious, political and social duties, possibly including the
observation of the sky and the control of time. The relatively high cultural level of the ancient
Canarians or “Canarios”, a name later extended to the rest of the archipelago, is clearly
illustrated by the existence of irrigated land agriculture, with the stock of the products in
communal granaries such as the ones in Mesa de Acusa, in the western border of the Caldera.
A large number of petroglyph stations, including alphabetic inscriptions, have been reported
in Gran Canaria. The examples of Risco Chapín and Risco Caido (inside the Cultural
landscape limits, Fig. 1) with the largest collection of pubic triangles in the world − that
could be interpreted within a fertility cult − are among the most relevant. The recently
discovered light and shadow effects at Risco Caído (Cuenca Sanabria, 2012) are indeed a
highlight within this particular context. In Gran Canaria, dedicated fieldwork strongly
suggests that most of the high-mountain sanctuaries, often located at high spots dominating a
wide, and sometimes, impressive panorama, could be related with solar and lunar
observations and, probably, astral cults (Belmonte 2015 and reference therein).
This presentation will show how Gran Canaria ought to be considered as an excellent
laboratory where the close relationship between land- and skyscapes in human culture can be
illustrated; and how the area selected within the island (Fig. 1) is a paradigm, within this
particular framework, as a marvellous example of a Cultural Landscape worth being declared
as World Heritage.

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Figure 1. Map of Gran Canaria showing the sites with special astronomical relevance
discovered so far, including (in red) the area of the Cultural Landscape ‘Risco Caido and the
Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria’ proposed to UNESCO (in green the corresponding
buffer-zone). Stars stand for important archaeoastronomical sites.

References

 Belmonte, J.A. (2015) Pre-Hispanic sanctuaries in the Canary Islands. In: Handbook
of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, C. Ruggles (ed), Springer, Heidelberg,
1115-1124.
 Cuenca Sanabria J. (2012) La arquitectura de lo sagrado de los antiguos canarios. In:
VIII Congreso de Patrimonio Histórico: Arquitectura indígena. Cabildo de Lanzarote,
Arrecife.
 Ruggles, C.L.N. and Cotte, M. (2010) Heritage sites of astronomy and
archaeoastronomy in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention,
Icomos, Paris.

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Eclipses Associated with Abandonment of Temples at the Archaeological


Site of Buena Vista, Perú: 2200 BC—1780 BC.
Robert A. Benfer (1), Larry R. Adkins+ (2)
1. Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65203, USA
2. Astronomy & Physics, Cerritos College, Norfolk, CA, USA

Field archaeologists have greater concern for the import of on-theground data to
interpretation of historical and archaeological questions than might be expected from
archaeoastronomers (Henry 2016). Although concerned with theoretical questions, the first
author (RAB) is first of all a field archaeologist, a research role that centrally identifies
features whose functions can be deduced from ethnohistory and archaeological context.
Structural features may be related to astronomical phenomena. The second author (LRA) was
an astronomer-physicist, who in that endeavor sought to assure that astronomical data were
the most reliable possible. Here we consider physical structures, particularly their relation to
changes through history in any interpretation.
Here we report five total solar eclipses at temples at the site of Buena Vista, Chillón valley,
Perú; these possibly were associated with feasting (Duncan et al. 2009) and another special
ceremony. Calculations were made and verified using Starry Night and Stellarium. That five
eclipses occurred within 460 years was a rare coincidence (p < 0.005) and coincided with the
rise of monumentality in the Chillón (Benfer 2012). Radiocarbon dates seem to link
abandonment of three of the temples to the eclipses. Spanish chroniclers reported that coastal
peoples lamented lunar eclipses, and that solar eclipses were welcomed as victories of the
moon over the sun (Eeckhout 1998, p. 126). Findings at Buena Vista showed a lunar-solar
cult (Adkins and Benfer 2009; Benfer et al. 2011). Such a cult could be expected for peoples
whose primary animal protein came from the sea but who farmed cotton intensively for their
fishing nets. Figure 1 represents the five total eclipses within the 460-year period. They are
related to radiocarbon dates for the abandonment stages of temples at Buena Vista in three
contexts, M-I, M-II, and M-III (Fig. 1A). Photographs show architectural evidence of
celebration for two interment events (Fig. 1C and 1D) in M-I and M-III, and closure of an
offering chamber in M-II (Fig.1B).
The broad probability distributions of radiocarbon dates do not alone permit the two feasting
events to be linked securely to eclipses (Fig. 1A). However, given the ethnohistory of coastal
peoples and archaeological evidence for moon importance at Buena Visa, these events were
plausibly stimulated by eclipses of the enemy sun. Another architectural event—the
construction of an offering chamber (Fig. 1B), may be related to lunar or solar eclipses near
the date of abandonment since two lunar eclipses (2016 BC and 1998 BC) and one solar
eclipse (2010 BC) occurred close to its closure. The chamber brackets a niche that captures
the light of the December solstice sunrise (Fig. 1B). That represented a cosmological shift,
lunar to solar, the former having been signaled by the disk sculpture that gazed to the June
solstice sunset (Benfer and Atkins, 2008). Late Pre-ceramic temples often were ritually
covered at closing Burger and Salazar-Burger 1986; Quilter 2008; Benfer 2012). Eclipses
may have impelled such temple abandonment. A second instance of eclipse associated with a
final ceremony has recently been proposed (Benfer and Ocas 2017).
References

 Adkins, L.R. and Benfer, R.A. 2008. "Lunar Standstill Markers at Preceramic
Temples at the Buena Vista Site in Peru." Cosmology Across Cultures, Astronomical
Society of the Pacific Conference Series, 409: 267-271.

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 Benfer, Robert A. and Andrés Ocas 2017. "A Prehistoric Pyramid in the Shape of a
Volcanic Cinder Cone, Nepeña Valley, Perú." Archaeology Gallery, 90. June.
 Benfer, Robert A. 2012. "Monumental Architecture Arising from an Early
Astronomical/Religious Complex in Perú." In The Origins of New World
Monumentality, edited by R.M. Rosenswig and R. L. Burger, 313-363. Gainesville,
University of Florida Press.
 Benfer, Robert A. and Larry R. Adkins 2008. "The Americas Oldest Observatory."
Astronomy Magazine 35:40-43.
 Benfer, Robert, Louanna Furbee and Hugo Ludeña R. 2011. "Four- Thousand Years
of the Myth of the Fox in South America." Journal of Cosmology, 16
 (http://journalofcosmology.com/AncientAstronomy120.html),
 Duncan, N.A., Pearsall, D.M., and Benfer, R.A. 2009. "Gourd and Squash Artifacts
Yield Starch Grains of Feasting Foods from Preceramic Peru." Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, 196:13202-13206.
 Eeckhout, P. 1998. "La renarde yunga: une figure symbolique préhispanique." Revista
Españolade Antropología Americana, 28, 119-148, Madrid.
 Henry, Liz 2016. Skyscape Archaeology: An Emerging Interdisciplne for
Archaeoastronomers and Archaeologists. Journal of Physics: Conference Series 68 5
(http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742- 6596/685/1/012003/pdf).

Figure 1: 1A. Eclipses plotted against radiocarbon probability distributions; 1B. 2000 BC,
solstice chamber in M-II; 1C. 2200 BC, feast that filled an offering chamber in M-I; D. 1750
BC, feast in special chamber in M-III.

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Lux ex oriente or a new source of light in the Dark Ages of Greece.


Mary Blomberg, Göran Henriksson
In the centuries after the middle of the second millennium BCE, the great cultures of the
eastern Mediterranean were disrupted by internal and external devastation which, according
to Egyptian texts, were attributed to the “peoples of the sea” (Oren 2000). The causes were
not so simply; the chaos began at different times in different places and lasting for several
centuries. In the Aegean area the burning of the palaces in Minoan Crete and the takeover of
the island by the Mycenaeans not only ended the brilliant Minoan culture but spread to the
Mycenaean strongholds in Greece (Dreissen and Macdonald 1997). Greece entered a long
period of decline known as the Dark Ages. For many years scholars maintained that this was
a period of utter stagnation and that the great intellectual development beginning in Archaic
Greece was due to renewed contacts of the Greek Ionian city-states on the west coast of
Anatolia with the Near East from about the 8th century BCE. Especially the adoption of the
Phoenician alphabet led to the cultural revival. The resulting brilliant accomplishments in
almost all fields have been the foundation of western cultures, and Greek astronomy was a
part of this. Each time we look up at the sky and name the stars and constellation we are
using knowledge passed on to us from that time; about 80% of the names were given by the
Greeks.

Recent research has shown that the history of the Dark Ages and the later Greek fluorescence
is much more complex. It was discovered that there were stages of development in Greek
literature and science dating from the early Mycenaean age on down into the Classical period
(West 1997). The largest influence was from the Semitic cultures of western Asia. Semitic
words were already apparent in the Minoan Linear A tablets, many more appeared in the later
Mycenaean Linear B tablets and survived in the Greek vocabulary.
At last year’s SEAC conference in Bath we presented our study of Minoan celestial
iconography to see if the sun, moon or stars were depicted as divinities. Our result confirmed
the findings of the earlier study on the iconography of the Minoan ruler (Davis 1995), which
found little evidence in Minoan art. The same conclusion can even be reached with regard to
depictions of gods or goddesses. This phenomenon of aniconic art in a culture is
characteristic of certain Semitic groups from the west and northwestern areas of West Asia,
the area where the ancestors of the Amorites and the Canaanites settled after the Neolithic
revolution and where the Minoans lived before their arrival to Crete in the eighth millennium
(Evans 1994). Some of these groups of Semites considered figural representative of sacred
objects or persons to be sacrilegious. We offered as an hypothesis that the Minoans were
descendants of such groups of Semites. We will elaborate this hypothesis with respect to the
intellectual development in Greece after the Dark Ages, clarifying the history of Greek
Astronomy.

References

 Davis, E. N. 1995. ‘Art and politics in the Aegean: the missing ruler’, in The role of
the ruler in the prehistoric Aegean (Aegaeum 11), ed. P. Rehak, Liege, 11-19.
 Driessen, J. and Macdonald, C. 1997. The troubled Island. Minoan Crete before and
after the Santorini eruption (Aegaeum 17). Université de Liège, Liège and Austin.
 Evans, J. D. 1994, “The Early Millennia: Continuity and Change in a Farming
Settlement,” in Knossos, the history of a labyrinth (papers presented in honour of
Sinclair Hood), eds R. D. G. Evely, H. Hughes-Brock and N. Momigliano, British
School of Athens, Athens.

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 Oren, E. D. 2000. The Sea Peoples and their world: a reassessment. University
Museum Monograph 108. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
 West, M. L. 1997. The east face of Helicon: west Asiatic elements in Greek poetry
and myth. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Ancient Greek religious spaces as arenas of a shared experience of the


cosmos.
Efrosyni Boutsikas
Recent research has linked astronomical observations with religious performances in ancient
Greece (e.g. Boutsikas 2015). These ideas have also been the subject of discussion in other
cultures, such as Egypt (Belmonte et al 2010) and Rome (Hannah and Magli 2011). In the
case of ancient Greece, the purpose of these observations appears to have been twofold:
firstly as temporal markers signifying the arrival of the time for the celebration of the
festivals (e.g. Boutsikas 2015), but more importantly, the same astronomical observations
seem to have been linked with the foundation myths and deities worshipped during these
festivals (e.g. Boutsikas and Ruggles 2011). This latter effect greatly influenced religious
experience with regards to the senses, emotions and memories of these performances.
The paper investigates the impact of attested astronomical observations during religious
performances on sensory memory, spatial movement, imagination, and cognition of the
participating cosmos, in order to understand the reasons behind such a practice. Mythological
narratives shaped memory, identities, and experience during nocturnal ritual performances
and through movement within religious space. The study of multi-sensory experience of a
space as influenced by the time of the day/night can reveal a great deal about the way the
participant’s sense of reality is articulated. Religious architecture, spatial movement and
astronomical observations provide the ground for experiencing and understanding the world.
These three factors direct attention and shape experience. It transpires that certain ancient
Greek religious sanctuaries can be seen as arenas where groups re-enact their mythical pasts
using astronomical observations as the medium in achieving this. The analysis concludes that
astronomical symbolism played a role not only in the experience of these rituals, but also in
the construction of identities and perceptions of the cosmos.
The paper seeks to arrive at a synthesized image of ancient Greek ritual experience involving
the development of spatial understanding affected by the experience of the night-sky from the
specific vantage points, where the sanctuaries were built. By achieving this, it is hoped that
this paper will facilitate a discussion on ritual experience.

References

 Belmonte, J.A., Fekri, M., Abdel-Hadi, Y.A., Shaltout, M. and García, A.C.G. 2010.
‘On the orientation of ancient Egyptian temples:(5) testing the theory in Middle Egypt
and Sudan’ Journal for the History of Astronomy, 41(1): 65-93.
 Boutsikas, E. 2015. ‘Landscape and the Cosmos in the Apolline rites of Delphi, Delos
and Dreros’. In V. Pothou and L. Käppel (eds), Human Development in Sacral
Landscapes: Between Ritual tradition, creativity and emotionality. Göttingen:
Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht Unipress. Pp. 77–102
 Boutsikas E. and Ruggles C. 2011. ‘Temples, Stars, and Ritual Landscapes: the
Potential for Archaeoastronomy in Ancient Greece’ American Journal of Archaeology.
January 2011, vol. 115.1: 55–68.
 Hannah, R. and Magli, G. 2011. ‘The role of the sun in the Pantheon’s design and
meaning’ Numen, 58.4: 486-513.

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Astronomy and the Inspiration of Good and Evil: Morality, Ethics and the
Planets.
Nicholas Campion
University of Wales Trinity Saint David n.campion@uwtsd.ac.uk

This paper explores the ways in which astronomy has inspired theories of good and evil. It
will argue that astronomy invariably has a moral component and either inclines humanity to
good or evil acts, and can be used in order to justify standards of human behaviour.
The codification of morality in astronomy developed in the Hellenistic world and can be
traced in detail to the first century CE, particularly to Claudius Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, in
which the planets were ascribed personalities. These personalities were embodied in every
individual human personality and could incline people to good or evil depending on the
planets disposition at any one time. The notion of the seven deadly sins (one sin for each
planet) can be traced to this system. The idea is, then, that morality is a dynamic and
relativistic system, moving in space and time as the planets move. While an individual may
be inclined to do evil at a particular moment or location in space and time, they might equally
be disposed to do good.
The system was challenged from two main perspectives. The 3rd century Platonic philosopher
Plotinus argued that the entire cosmos, stars and planets included, was inherently good, so
there could be no inherent evil in the planets. The 13th century Catholic theologian Thomas
Aquinas critiqued the claim that the planets could directly influence moral choice. For
Aquinas, the planets retained moral qualities, but God as the sole source of good, could
overrule them. From an additional, third, perspective classical Hermetic and Gnostic
cosmology proposed that, because the entire cosmos was evil, the only solution was to escape
from it entirely.
The paper will suggest that such moral astronomy can provide a context for understanding
both archaeoastronomy and the need for mathematical astronomy before the modern era. It
will also conclude with reference to the inspiration of modern astronomy in theories of
morality: firstly, the use of Newtonianism to inspire theories of natural justice and universal
human rights, hence that morality in the form of justice and equality is written into the fabric
of the universe; and, secondly, the application of Einsteinian relativity to inspire the theory of
cultural relativism, in which no one culture can claim to be morally superior to any other.

References

 Aquinas, Thomas, Summa Contra Gentiles, 4 Vols, trans. Vernon J. Bourke (Notre
Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1975).
 Bloomfield, Morton W., ‘The Origin of the Concept of the Seven Cardinal Sins’, The
Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 34 no 2 (Apr. 1941), pp. 121-128.
 Plotinus, 'On Heaven', 'On the Movement of Heaven', 'On Whether the Stars are
Causes', ‘Against the Gnostics’, Ennead II, 1 - 3, Vol., 2, trans., A.H. Armstrong,
Cambridge Mass., London: Harvard University Press, 1966.
 Ptolemy, Claudius, Tetrabiblos, trans. F.E. Robbins (Cambridge MA: Harvard
University Press, 1940).

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Sources of Iberian astronomy during the 16th century.


Walmir Thomazi Cardoso (1), Roberto de Andrade Martins (2)
1. PUC-SP; GHTC-USP walmir.astronomia@gmail.com
2. FESB; UNIFESP; GHTC-USP roberto.andrade.martins@gmail.com

The aim of this work is to describe different kinds of astronomical sources that were written
in the sixteenth century, with special emphasis on Portuguese and Spanish texts. This period
is especially relevant in the development of astronomical culture in Portugal and Spain, since
this was the age of the great oversea explorations developed by those countries, when
astronomical navigation became of fundamental importance. This, of course, was not the only
astronomical subject studied during that period. The astronomical culture of that time
involved ancient and new concepts, and old revisited narratives about the cosmos and its
influence in many facets of the sublunary world. A representative work of that time is a
manuscript treatise on the sphere written in the form of a dialogue, supposedly attributed to
Dom João de Castro, Vice Roy of Portuguese India, around 1530. It contains many elements
and astronomical concepts in common with other texts of that period that were used to teach
navigators or to serve as reference to an extensive public interested in themes related with
astronomical subjects in that time. Taking this work as a starting point, the present research
will describe the influence and transformation of the classical and medieval astronomical
culture in the specific context of sixteenth century Iberian texts. A significant and popular
source of astronomical knowledge at that period was the medieval Tractatus de Sphaera of
Sacrobosco, together with a hugely impressive number of its commentators. These and other
older or more recent productions, grounded upon Greek, Roman and Islamic sources, were
influential in shaping the content of the European astronomical culture of that period. There
were, however, some peculiarities of the Iberian works produced during that century. There
were, for instance, many popular treatises called Chronographia, or Reportorio dos tempos,
which provided the astronomical and astrological information required by the general public.
Several Iberian authors also produced Cosmographies, containing both geographical and
astronomical knowledge, and manuals for navigators, with plenty of astronomical
information. Some of those treatises had a strong influence all over Europe, during that
period. Even in the case of Iberian works directly hooked on former treatises (such as the
Sphaera) we find a mixture of tradition (with plenty of quotations of ancient thinkers and
natural philosophers as Aristotle, Pliny the Elder or Ptolemy, for example) and innovation
(such as the new geographical knowledge that corrected and complemented the old tradition).
The present research provides an overview and characterization of the vast literature
encompassing the Iberian astronomical culture of that time, including theoretical and
technical astronomical knowledge, practical uses of astronomy (including astrology) and also
religious thought. This mapping of those sources can contribute to a better and more
comprehensive understanding of the astronomical culture in that period.

References

 CARDOSO, Walmir Thomazi. Conceitos e fontes do Tratado da Esfera em forma de


diálogo atribuído a João de Castro. São Paulo: Educ, 2004.
 CASTRO, João de. Tratado da Sphaera, da Geografia, Notação Famosa, Informação
sobre Maluco. Prefácio e notas de A. Fontoura da Costa. Lisboa: Agência Geral das
Colônias, 1940.
 MARTINS, Roberto de Andrade. La herencia de Sacrobosco en España: intercambio
entre estudios universitarios y la práctica de navegación durante el siglo XVI. Pp.

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371-379, in: GARCÍA, Pío; MOREY, Patricia (eds.). Epistemología e Historia de la


Ciencia. Selección de Trabajos de las XIV Jornadas. Facultad de Filosofía y
Humanidades.Córdoba: Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, 2004.
 NUNES, Pedro. Obras. Lisboa: Academia de Ciências de Lisboa, 1940.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Land- and skyscape in Madinat al-Zahra.


Grace Casar
More than a thousand years ago, in the 10th century and at the edge of Western Europe,
Córdoba was the capital of Islamic Iberia, the “Jewel of the World”, symbolizing cultural and
intellectual efflorescence. Owing to historical sources, the ruins of the mythical caliphal city-
palace of Madīnat al-Zahrā were located a short distance further west of La Mezquita, the
Great Mosque of Córdoba. The raison d’etre of this citadel has been investigated from a
multidisciplinary approach for more than two decades. The present investigation illustrates
the significance of the roles architecture, astronomy and philosophy exerted at a time when
self-proclaimed caliph Abd al-Rahman III embarked on building the city of al-Zahrā, literally
meaning “The Brilliant City”, in 941 CE. The main focus of this investigation is to explore
the symbolic and possible cosmological motives behind the layout and compositional
architecture of the royal ceremonial quarters of the upper terrace and the aljama, the main
mosque of al- Zahrā.
Through the combined methodologies provided by the academic fields of sacred geography
and archaeoastronomy, this research is aimed at providing an integrated interpretation of both
these disciplines’ qualitative and quantitative results. One part of the investigation considers
how the sacred architecture of the city-palace can be articulating an ideological language
underscoring a distinct perspective of Islamic sacred cosmology. The other part of this
project examines the data retrieved from the fieldwork conducted in situ at the city of al-
Zahrā. The archaeoastronomical results allowed the virtual recreation of the 10th century
Andalusi skyscape that revealed two significant outcomes. The data evidenced that on the
day of the caliphal proclamation, Friday 16th January 929CE, the pre-sunrise sky displayed a
Venus-Jupiter conjunction rising above the Andalusi east-south-easterly horizon.
Additionally, the orientation of the relatively-precise aligned aljama of the citadel of al-Zahrā
was found to align with Sirius, the brightest star in the sky.
In direct relation to an understanding of the prime motives behind the monumental building
of the first Iberian Umayyad caliphate, it is the purpose of this research to address how the
use of astronomical and astrological knowledge was politically instrumentalized so as to
bolster the consecration of the newly-ordained caliph. As an additional expression of Abd al-
Rahman III’s religio-political manifesto the architectural design and compositional principles
of the upper terrace, including the aljama’s orientation, are interpreted as encoding a
cosmology attesting to the tradition of sacred geography within the Islamic worldview of
tenth century al-Andalus.

References

 Eliade, Mircea, The sacred and the profane: The nature of religion, Vol. 144 (London
and New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1959)
 Fierro, Maribel, Abd al-Rahman III: the first Cordoban caliph (London: Oneworld
Publications, 2005)
 Gutas, Dimitri, Greek Thought, Arabic Culture: The Graeco-Arabic Translation
Movement in Baghdad and Early 'Abbasid Society (2nd-4th/5th-10th centuries)
(London: Routledge, 2012)
 King, David A., ‘The orientation of medieval Islamic religious architecture and cities’,
Journal for the History of Astronomy, 26.3 (1995), 253–274

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

 Morley, Iain, and Colin Renfrew, The archaeology of measurement: comprehending


heaven, earth and time in ancient societies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
2010)
 Pauketat, Timothy R., An archaeology of the cosmos: rethinking agency and religion
in ancient America (London and New York: Routledge, 2012)
 Pearson, Mike Parker, and Colin Richards, ‘Ordering the world: perceptions of
architecture, space and time’, Architecture and order: approaches to social space
(1994), 1–37
 Silva, Fabio, ‘The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology: An Introduction’,
in Skyscapes: The Role and Importance of the Sky in Archaeology, ed. by Fabio Silva
and Nicholas Campion, pp. 1–7 (Oxford and Philadelphia, PA: Oxbow Books, 2015)

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

The Inka ritual landscapes to the north and south of the Tropic of
Capricorn from a comparative perspective.
Gustavo Corrado (1), José Luis Pino Matos (2), Sixto Giménez Benítez (3),
Nicolás Balbi (4)
1. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, UNLP, Argentina grrado@gmail.com
2. Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima. Peru josepinomatos@gmail.com
3. Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, UNLP, Argentina
sixto@fcaglp.unlp.edu.ar
4. Ministerio de Cultura y Educación, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
nicolasbalbi@outlook.com.ar

The importance of perceptions of geographic latitude and its calendrical properties have been
emphasized in studies of Cultural Astronomy (Broda 2004), as well as the link that is
generated between landscapes that serve as horizons and the observations themselves,
especially solar.
The pre-Hispanic worldviews were quite possibly heavily loaded with dualist perspectives,
especially astronomical phenomena among the American tropics (Isbell 1982: 354). The
search for temporal referents, especially seasonal, associating them with contrasting moments
such as sowing versus harvest, with positions of the sun, both zenith and nadir.
In this context, Incan archeology has identified spatial configurations, which could be
described as ritual landscapes, consisting of carefully designed settlements and their
corresponding geography of the environment, immediate geography as well as geographic
aspects at great distances. Settlements and geographies closely linked by scheduled ritual
activities, such as pilgrimage tours, territorial exercises and memory constructions. These
particular configurations were denominated as Cuzco, which the Inca society replicated in
several territories and many of them to great distances at continental level (Hylop 1990,
Farrington 1999), while Cuzco represented a concept goes beyond trying to repeat Symbolic
spaces in the Inca foundations in the wamanis (spaces where certain ancestors exercised
territoriality), in an attempt to hierarchize the spaces as part of a process of constitution and
unification of the Tawantinsuyu. In this sense, in the "New Cuzcos" we find manifestations
of the Inka ideology, but these are not copies or repetitions of their imperial capital, but they
sought to adapt to particular situations in the conquered territories (Pino Matos 2004). The
strategy of appropriation of the conquered sacred sites was based on the re-signification of
the local wakas (deities and ancestors located in notable aspects of geography) in function of
a significant solar phenomenon, (Example: In Chinchaycocha, the ushnu de Pumpu is in the
direction of an important local mountain -Nevado de Ulcumayu-, that coincides with the
sunrise the day of the passage of this star by the zenith (Pino Matos and Moreano Montalvan
2014), in the Shincal the ushnu is oriented towards the exit of the sun on the mean temporal
equinox and to the west to Mount Pissis (Corrado et al., 2014, 2015).
In the present work we will analyze sites in Argentina (such as El Shincal and Hualfin Inca)
and in Peru (Huanuco Pampa and Pumpu), trying to understand the management of time and
the construction of ritual landscapes at different latitudes during the Inka period, both Close
to the equator as close to the tropics, from a comparative perspective.

References

 Broda, Johana 2004 “La percepción de la latitud geográfica y el estudio del calendario
mesoamericano”. Estudios de Cultural Nahuatl, vol. 35: 15-43, IIH, UNAM, México.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

 Corrado, G., Giovannetti, M., Gimenez, S., Pino Matos, J., Moreano Montalván, W.
2014 “El Shincal: Paisaje Ritual y Astronomal”. Actas de las II Jornadas
Interamericanas de Astronomía Cultural. INAH, ENAH. DF México. (en prensa)
 Corrado, G. y Gimenes Benites, S. 2015 “El Ushnu, como organizador del Espacio
sagrado en el Shincal (Catamarca, Argentina)”. Ponencia presentada en la Tercera
Jornada de Astronomía Cultural y La Cuarta Escuela Interamericana de Astronomía
Cultural, Brasil.
 Farrington, I. 1999 “El Shincal: un Cusco del Kollasuyu”. Actas del XII Congreso
Nacional de Arqueología Argentina. Diez Marín, C. (Ed.). Tomo I. Pag: 53-62. La
Plata.
 Hyslop, J. 1990 “Inca settlement planning”. University of Texas Press, Austin.
 Isbell, Billie Jean. 1982 “Culture Confronts Nature in the Dialectical World of the
Tropics”. Annals New York Academic Sciences, Vol. 385. Pag. 352-363.
 Pino Matos, J. L. 2004. “Observatorios y alineamientos astronómicos en el Tampu
Inka de Huánuco Pampa”. Arqueología y Sociedad Nº 15.Pag. 173-190.
 Pino Matos, J. L. y Moreano Montalvan. W. 2014 “El ushnu, el Qhapaq Ñan y las
huacas en el Altiplano del Chinchaycocha. Una aproximación a las estrategias de
apropiación y control territorial Inca, desde la lectura de los paisajes rituales y la
astronomía. Investigaciones Arqueologicas del Tahuantinsuyo. Revista Haucaypata.
Pag. 60-90.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

The Almogaren of Risco Caído: the lost astronomical sanctuary of the


ancient Canarians.
Julio Cuenca Sanabria, José Carlos Gil, Juan A. Belmonte, Carlos Gil
Sarmiento. José de León Hernández and José Miguel Márquez Zárate
In 1996, the almogaren (rock-cut sanctuary) of Risco Caído was discovered in the
Canary island of Gran Canaria, a paradigmatic example of a complex with light and shadow
effects of an astronomical character. This archaeological complex is located on the northern
perimeter of the mythical Caldera de Tejeda, in the Highlands of the Northwest slopes of the
island of Gran Canaria, at 960 meters a.s.l., in a somehow secluded area of the ravine of
Barranco Hondo, between the municipalities of Artenara and Gáldar. Risco Caído is one of
the most recent archaeological discoveries of monuments of a religious and ritual character in
the Canaries (Cuenca, 2008). It is perhaps the most important ancient Canarian sanctuary
discovered so far, not only because of its construction characteristics, but especially from the
ritual and astronomical point of view.
The main artificially excavated camera of the cultural complex takes the form of a
cylinder, topped with a dome in the form of paraboloid. In this dome, a 2m long tunnel is
excavated by which the light of the Sun penetrates at dawn, from spring to autumn equinox.
The same can be argued for the light of the autumn and winter full moons. The entering light
projects enigmatic images on the western wall of the sanctuary, where numerous pubic
triangles (vulvae -- the universal symbol of fertility --) are recorded in low relief. The last
works and a decade-long of in situ detailed observations (see e.g. Fig. 1), have permitted a
more precise approximation to the astronomical phenomenology and functionality presented
on the site unparalleled in other ancient sites in the Canaries (Aveni and Cuenca 1994,
Belmonte and Hoskin 2002).
Two dots of light of the sun first illuminate the decorated wall in March 19th in the
proleptic Gregorian Calendar, forming a single image for the time of the equinox, thus
allowing the accurate determination of a middle point in time between the solstices. The
rising and ascending sun them penetrates the cave during the spring and summer months,
reaching its extreme, when the light takes the form of a phallus illuminating the vulvae, at the
moment of the summer solstice (see Fig. 1). Then the light comes back entering the cave for
the last time in a date extremely close to the autumn equinox.
Interestingly, when the sun ceases to illuminate the sanctuary, the light of the full moon
takes its own role as a lightening luminaria producing a similar phenomenology but during
the autumn and winter months, the period of raining in the island. This contribution will show
the series of illuminating effects and will discuss how this could have been interpreted by the
ancient inhabitants of the island within a cycle of fertility and permanent regeneration of life.

References

 Aveni, A. and Cuenca J. (1992-94): Archaeoastronomical fieldwork in the Canary


Islands. Revista del Museo Canario. Nº 49
 Belmonte, J.A. and Hoskin, M (2002): Atlas de Arquoastronomía del Mediterraneo
Antiguo. Equipo Sirius.
 Cuenca, J. et alli (2008): El culto a las cuevas entre los aborígenes canarios: El
Almogaren de Risco Caído (Gran Canaria). Rev. Almogarés. Nº 39. Pp. 153-190.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Figure 1. Sunlight effects in the western wall of Risco Caído sanctuary as a function of time
during the spring and summer months. Notice the pubic triangles, niches and cup-marks
decorating the wall.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

The path of the spirits: the material and astronomic heritage of stone rows
in the Eastern Altai Mountains, Mongolia.
Cecilia Dal Zovo & A. César González-García
Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit – CSIC)

In 2011, in the archaeological landscape of Ikh Bogd Uul Mountain (Eastern Altai
Mountains, Mongolia) we documented a NW-SE oriented row of 54 little stone cairns that is
known by locals as ‘the path of the spirits’. Significantly, the line of 54 stone cairns is located
on the western slope of the rich Late Bronze Age funerary complex documented on the top of
the hill of Puntsag Oboo, which has been previously considered in an archaeoastronomical
perspective by the same authors (Dal Zovo & al., 2014). According to the
archaeoastronomical measurements, the line of 54 stones is precisely oriented towards the
setting of the sun in the western sky at the summer solstice. And 54, as a multiple of number
9, and an undermultiple of 108, is an extremely significant number in Buddhist tradition
(Baumann, 2008). In this paper, we will explore the possible connections with other examples
of NW-SE oriented rows of five or nine small stone cairns we documented through satellite
imagery in association with Bronze Age funerary mounds on the Ikh Bogd Uul Mountain. To
our knowledge, these oriented rows of small stone cairns that are generally oriented in a NW-
SE direction have never been properly approached in the archaeological literature, although
in the surroundings of Mongolian Buddhist monasteries it is common to find rows of 13 or
108 oboo cairns that have a significant cosmological symbolism (Charleux 2003; Evans &
Humphrey, 2003). Furthermore, we will investigate the idea that the articulation of powerful
symbolic numbers and oriented lines of cairns in the sacred and funerary geographies of Ikh
Bogd Uul Mountain is likely to be significant in the light of several ancient and traditional
Eurasian cosmologies, in particular the astronomical knowledge and symbolism of Altaic and
Siberian folk cosmologies and Buddhist cosmovision (Marazzi, 1984; Pedersen, 2007;
Raganin, 2013; Shirikoroff, 1935), as well as in comparison with ancient prehistoric
traditions of stone alignments in Mongolia and Northern China (Fitzhugh, 2009; Pankenier &
al, 2008; Pankenier, 2013). Based on the analysis of relevant anthropological and historical
sources, we will formulate the conclusive hypothesis that the line of 54 stone cairns and other
numerical variations could be regarded as axial lines pointing towards a specific portion of
the horizon, in order to indicate a symbolical passage towards heaven or the underworld in
the ancient cosmologies of the local communities, and thus survived in the local toponymy as
‘path of the spirits’.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Figure 1. 'Path of the spirits'. NW-SE oriented row of 54 cairns on the western side of
Puntsag Oboo Hill in Google Earth satellite image (A); a view from the hill of Puntsag Oboo
towards the west (B); and in situ picture towards SE (C).

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

References

 Baumann Brian Gregory 2008, Buddhist mathematics according to the anonymous


Manual of Mongolian astrology and divination, Brill, Leiden.
 Charleux Isabelle 2003, “Buddhist monasteries in Southern Mongolia”, in PICHARD
Pierre and LAGIRARDE François (eds.), The Buddhist monastery: a cross-cultural
survey, École Française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris: 351-390.
 Dal zovo Cecilia, GONZÁLEZ-GARCÍA A. César and SEOANE-VEIGA Yolanda
2014, “Orientation of Bronze Age mounds in Mongolian Altai Mountains”,
Mediterranean Archaeology And Archaeometry, 14(3): 223-232.
 Evans Christopher and HUMPHREY Caroline 2003, “History, timelessness and the
monumental: the oboos of the Mergen environs, Inner Mongolia”, Cambridge
Archaeological Journal, 13 (2): 195-211.
 Fitzhugh William 2009, “The Mongolian deer stone-khirigsuur complex: dating and
organization of a late Bronze Age menagerie”, in BEMMANN Jan & al. (eds.),
Current archaeological research in Mongolia, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-
Universität, Bonn: 183-199.
 Marazzi Ugo 1984 (2009), Testi dello sciamensimo siberiano e centro-asiatico,
UTET, Torino.
 Pankenier David 2013, Astrology and cosmology in Early China: conforming Earth to
Heaven, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
 Pankenier David, LIU Ciyuan and DE MEIS Salvo 2008, “The Xiangfen, Taosi site: a
Chinese Neolithic observatory?”, in VAIŠKŪNAS Jonas (ed.) Astronomy and
cosmology in folk traditions and cultural heritage, Archaeologia Baltica, 10, Klaipeda
University Press: 143-148.
 Pedersen Morten Axel 2007a, “Talismans of thought: shamanist ontologies and
extended cognition in Northern Mongolia”, in HENARE Amiria, HOLBRAAD
Martin and WASTELL Sari (eds.), Thinking through things: theorising artefacts
ethnographically, Routledge, London: 141-166.
 Ragagnin Elisabetta 2013, “The concept of death in Turco-Mongolian shamanism: ‘to
die’ in ancient Turkic and Mongolian sources and their reflexes in modern Turkic
languages of Mongolia”, in FABRIS Antonio (ed.), Tra quattro paradisi: esperienze,
ideologie e riti relative alla morte tra Oriente e Occidente, Hilal, Edizioni Ca’
Foscari, Venezia: 49-59.
 Shirokogoroff Sergei M. 1935, The psychomental complex of the Tungus, Paul
Keagan, London.

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On the Orientation of Early Christian Churches in Praefectura Illyricum.


T.G. Dallas
Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly,
Greece

KEYWORDS: Early Christian Churches, Astronomical Alignment, Orientation, Azimuth, Horizon,


Patron Saint’s Day.

Christian churches are oriented to the east, but as the Sun rises at a different point of the
horizon each day of the year, how is east determined? There are many proposals: at the day
the construction began, at the sunrise on the patron saint’s day, at major feasts, at equinox.
The latter is attested rather early in the christian literature; the rest are modern conceptions;
all have appeared in the literature in relation to the orientation of churches. This is the fourth
paper in our attempt to answer these questions; to this end we study by remote sensing
(namely using Google Earth and its satellite images) more than 100 churches in the roman
perfecture of Illyricum that date from the 4th to the 8th centuries.

References

 Dallas, T.G. (2015): “On the Orientation of Byzantine Churches in Thessalonike”,


Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 15(3), 213-224.
 Gonzalez-Garcia, A.C. (2015): “A Voyage of Christian Medieval Astronomy:
Symbolic Ritual and Political Orientation of Churches”. In Pimenta, F. &al (ed.) Stars
and Stones: Voyages in Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy, BAR
International Series 2720, BAR, 268-275.
 Varalis, I. (2000): The Influences of the Divine Liturgy and the Offices on the
Ecclesiastical Architecture of the Eastern Illyricum. PhD Thesis, Aristotelian
University of Thessalonike.
 Vogel, C. (1962): “Sol aequinoctialis. Problemes et tecnique de l’orientation dans le
culture chretien”. Revue Sciences Religieuses, 36:175–211.

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Are the Moons of Ninnion a Representation of Earthshine?


T.G. Dallas
Department of History, Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly,
Greece

KEYWORDS: Ancient Greek Vase Painting, Eleusinian Mysteries, Moon, Earthshine

The so-called “Ninnion Tablet” is a votive red-figured attic clay plaque, found in the
Sanctuary of Eleusis in 1899, and dated to ca. 370 C.E. It is a private offering, not of the
utmost artistic quality, with an original and so far unique subject of mortals encountering the
Eleusinian deities. The complex iconography has been ex-tensively discussed in classical
scholarship. The main scene is crowned by a frieze depicting a series of lunar discs and
crescents, which however has not been given much attention yet. In the present paper we
examine the iconography of these moons and conclude that they may be the oldest
representation of the phenomenon of earthshine in western art.

References

 Dallas, T.G. & Mitsopoulou, C. (2007): “The Moons of Ninnion”. Presentation to the
8th Hellenic Astronomical Conference, Thassos, 13-15/9/2007.
 Olson, R.J.M., Pasachoff, J.M. (2001): “Moon-struck: Artists Rediscover Nature and
Observe”, Earth Moon and Planets, 85-86, 303-341.
 Robertson, N. (1988): “The Two Processions to Eleusis and the Program of the
Mysteries”, The American Journal of Philology, 131, 547-575.
 Skias, A. (1901): "Eleusinian Ceramographies", Archaeological Ephemeris, 1901, 1-
39.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Louis Pope Gratacap’s Mars: Martians, Reincarnation and Radio


Telegraphy.
Clive Davenhall
Louis Pope Gratacap’s The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars (1903)[1] is a tale of
proto-science fiction in which the father and son team of Randolph and Bradford Dodd
attempt to establish radio communication with Mars. The elder Dodd believes that the souls
of the deceased are reincarnated there and hopes to establish communication and to contact
his recently deceased wife. Randolph Dodd dies part way through the narrative but his son
carries on the work and establishes contact before also dying and, it is implied, passing to the
Red Planet himself. Implausible as this synopsis sounds, the story tapped into a number of
ideas common around the turn of the century.
Gratacap’s book was published at the height of the martian ‘canal craze’ when the
planet was reported to be criss-crossed with a network of fine lines, the famous ‘canals’[2].
The canals, first noticed by Giovanni Schiaparelli in 1877, were popularly regarded as
artificial waterways, constructed by intelligent beings to stave off extinction by husbanding
their scarce and dwindling water supplies. These ideas were, at best, problematic amongst
astronomers (and in the event the canals proved optical illusions), but they were popular with
the public, partly due to the persuasive advocacy of Camille Flammarion and Percival Lowell,
and were widely discussed in numerous books and magazine and newspaper articles.
The late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were also the heyday of
spiritualism[3]. One strand of spiritualist thought, originally due to the Swedish mystic and
visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), held that the souls of the deceased were
reincarnated on other planets. In the later nineteenth century this view was popularised by
Flammarion, a life-long enthusiast for spiritualism. A number of spiritualists reported visits
to other worlds and communication with souls reincarnated on other planets[4]. Finally, at the
turn of the century radio technology was in its infancy, but in 1901 Nikola Tesla had already
reported receiving what he believed to be extra-terrestrial radio communications[5].
For most of his career Louis Pope Gratacap (1850-1917)[6] was Curator of Minerals
at the American Museum of Natural History. He was also a prolific author who wrote several
works of proto-science fiction (though Certainty was the only one with an extra-terrestrial
setting) and a couple of mainstream novels. He also wrote several non-fiction books,
including well-respected texts on mineralogy, and numerous articles on a wide variety of
subjects.
Gratacap’s Certainty brings together the contemporary understanding of Mars,
reincarnation on other worlds and radio technology. As with his other books the purpose was
partly pedagogic; there are numerous mentions of astronomers, past and contemporary,
references to articles in Scientific American, and an article by Schiaparelli is reprinted as an
appendix. This paper will examine Gratacap’s book, situate it amongst other fiction and
reportage of extra-terrestrial reincarnation and spiritualism and discuss its presentation of the
contemporary understanding of Mars.

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Notes

[1] - Louis Pope Gratacap, The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars: Being the Posthumous
Papers of Bradford Torrey Dodd (New York: Irving Press, 1903).
[2] - The martian canal craze has been well-studied. See, for example, Michael Crowe, ‘The
battle over the planet of war’, Chapter 9 of The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750-1900
(New York: Dover, 1999), pp480-546.
[3] - Janet Oppenheim, The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England
1850-1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1985).
[4] - Clive Davenhall, ‘Mars and the Mediums’, in press in the Proceedings of INSAP IX, the
Ninth International Conference on The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena, held in 24-
27 August 2015 and Chapter 7 of Robert Crossley, Imagining Mars, (Middletown, CT:
Wesleyan Univ. Press, 2011) , pp129-148. There is also useful material in Chapter 8 of
Jerome Clark, Hidden Realms, Lost Civilizations and Beings from Other Worlds (Detroit:
Visible Ink, 2010), pp129-168 and Gareth Medway, ‘Mediums, Mystics and Martians’,
Magonia, 99 (2009), pp3-9.
[5] - Michael Crowe, The Extraterrestrial Life Debate 1750-1900, op. cit. (note [2]), pp398-
99.
[6] - Gilman S. Stanton, ‘Louis Pope Gratacap’, The American Mineralogist, 3 (4), (April
1918), pp31-34 (obituary).

Figure 1. The dust jacket of Louis Pope Gratacap’s The Certainty of a Future Life in Mars
showing one of Schiaparelli’s maps

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Consolidation of the Rapanui Astronomy Concept Inventory and Re-


appraisal of Applied Astronomic Observation at Papa Ui Hetu’u, Rapa Nui.
Edmundo Edwards, Barthelemy d’Ans, Alexandra Edwards
KEYWORDS: 3D modelling, archaeoastronomy, digital planetarium, Easter Island, ethnoastronomy,
photogrammetry, Polynesia, Rapa Nui, toponymy

Figure 1. Comparative images of the Matariki stone at Papa Ui Hetu’u—on the right, with

photogrammetry, which brings out the details of the cupules representing the Pleiades.
(Images by Barthelemy d’Ans). NOTE: The photogrammetry image is not fully processed at
this time, hence its white colour. Once complete, the object will appear in natural stone
colour to be viewed in 3D.

Rapa Nui, the easternmost settlement and most isolated trade outpost in ancient Polynesia,
represents one of the most ambitious feats in Polynesian wayfinding, and by default reflects
the high level of competence in navigation and interpretation of astronomical and natural
phenomena, currently a popular field of inquiry in Polynesian ethnoastronomy. However, as
skywatching was not limited to navigation, the full scope of Rapanui applied astronomical
observation and complexity of astronomical devices was much broader. The present
investigation re-examines and extends the Astronomy concept inventory of the ancient
Rapanui, with regards to the toponymy of local stars and asterisms, an inquiry into the stars
and methods used by traditional navigators to locate Rapa Nui in past times, and a re-
appraisal of the astronomical functions of the Matariki (Pleiades) stone and related
petroglyphs in the area of Papa Ui Hetu’u (star-gazing rock) on Poike Peninsula. Previous
studies on Rapanui archaeoastronomy have been carried out principally by William Mulloy,
William Liller, and Liller and Georgia Lee, while most of the more recent fieldwork and
analyses of ethnographic data have been conducted by E. Edwards, and also by E. Edwards
with Juan Antonio Belmonte, Malcolm Clark, and A. Edwards. Observatories, calendric
calibration systems, “star-maps,” and structures with astronomical alignments, have all been
identified for Rapa Nui, yet the two main challenges confronting researchers is the scarcity of
extant information on the subject as well as the difficulty in determining the exact positioning
of Rapa Nui sites due to errors in the official mapping of the island. In addition, the erosion
of related petroglyphs by natural elements degrades the bank of material information. For the
first time, the collected data has been evaluated within the context of a digital planetarium,
permitting the review and identification of alignments between astronomical phenomena and
sites of observation as if viewed in situ and in the pertinent chronology; together with
photogrammetry/3D-modelling of astronomical devices at Papa Ui Hetu’u, these techniques

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

offer a new and more precise line of research, rendering intriguing results, which have been
analysed within both a local and regional context.

References

 Belmonte Juan Antonio, and Edwards Edmundo, “Astronomy and landscape in Easter
Island: New hints at the light of ethnographic sources,” inPapers for the Annual
Meeting of the SEAC. Edited by Emília Pásztor, 2007, pp. 79-85.
 Belmonte, Juan Antonio, and Edmundo Edwards. “Archaeoastronomy: Archaeology,
topography and celestial landscape from the Nile to Rapa Nui,” in Highlights of
Spanish Astrophysics VI: Proceedings of the IX Scientific Meeting of the Spanish
Astronomical Society (SEA)., 2011, pp. 786-796.
 Edwards, Edmundo, and Alexandra Edwards. When the Universe Was an Island.
Santiago: Hanga Roa Press, 2010.
 Edwards, Edmundo, and Juan Antonio Belmonte. “The Megalithic astronomy of
Easter Island: A reassessment.” Journal For The History of Astronomy, Vol. 35, Part 4,
N° 121, 2004, pp. 421-433.
 Edwards, Edmundo, and Malcolm Clark. “Preliminary report of possible astronomical
relationships in Quadrangle 31, Ahu Ra’ai, Easter Island, South Pacific.” Unpublished,
no date.
 Edwards, Edmundo, and Malcolm Clark. “Sun, moon, and volcanoes on Easter Island.”
Scientific paper delivered at the First International Congress: Easter Island and
Eastern Polynesia, Centro de Estudios de Isla de Pascua, University of Chile. Hanga
Roa: September 6-11. 1984
 Lee, Georgia. The Rock Art of Easter Island: Symbols of Power, Prayers to the Gods.
The Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, Monumenta Archaeologica, N° 17, 1992.
 Lee, Georgia and William Liller. “The sun stones of Easter Island: A re-evaluation.”
Archaeoastronomy, N° 11, pp. 1-11, 1987.
 Liller, William. “The megalithic astronomy of Easter Island: Orientations of ahu and
moai.” Archaeoastronomy, N° 13, 1989, pp. 21-48.
 Liller, William. The Ancient Solar Observatories of Rapanui: the Archaeoastronomy
of Easter Island. Woodland: The Easter Island Foundation, 1993.
 Liller, William. “Ancient Astronomical Monuments in Polynesia,” in Astronomy
Across Cultures: The History of Non-western Astronomy. Edited by Helaine Selin.
Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publications, 2000, pp. 127-160.
 Liller, William, and Julio Duarte. “Easter Island’s Solar ranging device, Ahu Huri A
Urenga, and vicinity.” Archaeoastronomy, N° 9, 1986, pp. 39-51.
 Routledge, Katherine. The Mystery of Easter Island: The story of an Expedition.
London: Hazell, Watson, and Viney, 1919.
 Routledge, Katherine. Papers of Mrs. Katherine Scoresby Routledge relating Chiefly
to Easter Island. Reels 1, 2, 3, 4, Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, Research School of
Pacific Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra, unpublished, 1911-
1923.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

First results on the urban orientation of Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Xanten,


Germany).
David Espinosa Espinosa (1), A. César González García (2), Marco V. García
Quintela (1)
1. Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
2. Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit – CSIC)

There is increasing evidence to suggest that cosmological factors were employed in the
planning and orientation of Roman towns. Such is the case, among others, of Augusta
Praetoria Salassorum (Aosta) in Italia, Carthago Nova (Cartagena) in Hispania, Lugdunum
(Lyon) in Gallia Lugdunensis, Augusta Treverorum (Trier) in Gallia Belgica and Ara
Ubiorum (Cologne) in Germania Inferior. In this regard, for the sake of strengthening the
sample of towns studied, and identifying orientation patterns from a chronological and
astronomical perspective, a number of public structures from Colonia Ulpia Traiana (Xanten)
in Germania Inferior have been measured. This was a Roman colony founded in A.D. 98 by
Trajan with a contingent of veteran soldiers and a group of Cugerni. The result was the
establishment of an orthogonal urban grid whose planning and orientation took cosmological
factors into account. In this case, in contrast to the above examples, the decumanus maximus
of Colonia Ulpia Traiana was not oriented eastward in compliance with the solar arc, but with
the apparent movement of the moon across the sky. This is an interesting and non-accidental
fact because the so-called nova urbs of Italica (Santiponce) in Hispania has a similar
orientation. This circumstance is highly significant because Italica became a Roman colony
under Hadrian. In addition, the Gallo-Roman temple supposedly dedicated to the Matronae in
Colonia Ulpia Traiana was oriented according to the major lunar standstill (“lunastice”).
Therefore, this work aims to make known the first results concerning the urban orientation of
Colonia Ulpia Traiana according to astronomical events, and to provide a preliminary
historical explanation for it.

References

 Bertarione, S.V. and Magli, G. (2015): “Augustus’ Power from the Stars and the
Foundation of Augusta Praetoria Salassorum”, CArchJ 25/1, 1-15.
 Espinosa Espinosa, D., González-García, A.C. and García-Quintela, M.V. (2016):
“On the Orientation of Two Roman Towns in the Rhine Area”, MAA 16/4, 233-240.
 García-González, A.C. et al. (2015): “Orientatio ad sidera: astronomía y paisaje
urbano en Qart Hadašt/Carthago Nova”, Zephyrus 75, 141-162.
 García-Quintela, M.V. and González-García, A.C. (2014): “Le 1er août à Lugdunum
sous l’empire romain: bilans et nouvelles perspectives”, RAE 63, 157–177.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Clava cairns of Scotland, midsummer full moon and the major lunar limits.
J. Anna Estaroth
University of Wales Trinity, Saint David.

The Clava Cairns of the Central Highlands of Scotland were recognised by Aubrey Burl
(1973) as largely lunar orientated. Their defining feature is a southwest orientation, as
described by Stuart Piggott (1982), Richard Bradley (2000), Audrey Shore Henshall (1972)
and Clive Ruggles (1999). However Balnuaran of Clava has two passage-graves which Ewan
MacKie (1975) stated was aligned with midwinter sunset and Bradley (2016) compared them
with such monuments as Maes Howe, Durrington Walls and Stonehenge. Bradley (2000) also
recognised midsummer sunrise at Balnuaran of Clava, connected with the central ring-cairn
and a separate monument at Mains of Clava, not directly opposite the passage-graves. This
posed questions about the separate roles of ring-cairns and passage-graves, light versus dark,
potentially summer versus winter.
This paper considers the major lunar limit, by exploring the topography of the region's
river systems which are orientated northeast-southwest. Skyscape archaeology fieldwork
focussed on the southern horizon and the major lunar limit at one hundred and thirty eight
locations. One hundred riverside locations constituted the expected baseline for data, plus
thirty eight cairn sites. All exhibited a lunar horizonal event during major lunar limit years,
ranging from normal to invisible. Most cairns were located at sites where interesting lunar
phenomena was visible, such as skimming, disappearing and emerging, despite the bulk of
the terrain being in midsummer full moon darkness (invisibility) during major limit years.
Balnuaran of Clava was significantly different experiencing midsummer full moon darkness,
confirming Ruggles' (1999) description of the site as exceptional.
Regionally cairns divided into orientation upon midsummer sunrise and major lunar limit
(summer festival) compared to midwinter sunset and minor lunar limit (winter festival).
Although contrasting cairn styles did not yield a dichotomy of purpose, as both provided the
same seasonal facilities to the community.

References

 Bradley, Richard, The Good Stones a new investigation of the Clava Cairns
(Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Monograph Series Number 17, 2000)
 Bradley, Richard, 'The dark side of the sky: the orientations of earlier prehistoric
monuments in Britain and Ireland', in The Archaeology of Darkness ed. by Marion
Dowd and Robert Hensey (Oxford: Oxbow books, 2016).
 Burl, Aubrey, 'Dating the British Stone Circles: A provisional chronology for the
geometrical designs of the megalithic sites is based on evidence from architecture,
carbon-14, and artefacts.' American Scientist Vol. 61, No. 2 (March-April 1973),
pp.167-174, Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society.
 MacKie, Euan, W., Scotland an Archaeological Guide from earliest times to the
twelfth century AD (London: Faber & Faber Ltd., 1975).
 Henshall, Audrey Shore, The Chambered Tombs of Scotland Vol. 2 (Aberdeen:
Edinburgh University Press, 1972).
 Piggott, Stuart, Scotland before History (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press,
1982)
 Ruggles, Clive, Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland (New Haven and
London: Yale University Press, 1999).

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Astronomy and Ritual in the Protohistory of Southern Iberian Peninsula.


César Esteban
Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

Along the first millennium BC and up to the Roman invasion in the III BC, the southeast part
of the Iberian Peninsula was in contact and colonized by Phoenicians, Greeks and Punics. All
these cultures influenced diverse aspects of the religious and funereal worlds of the
indigenous peoples that occupied the territory. Tartessians and Iberians were the main
Protohistoric cultures product of such external influences.
In this talk, I will discuss the main results of archaeoastronomical works carried out in
Protohistoric archaeological sites of the south and southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. With
these works, we have gathered pieces of information that can provide a diachronic view of
the role of astronomy in the ritual in this part of present-day Spain during the first millennium
BC. Esteban & Escacena Carrasco (2013) studied the Tartessian/Phoenician sanctuaries of
the Guadalquivir Valley, finding indications that the cult to Baal and Astarte may have rituals
related to the sun at solstices and Venus at its southernmost setting, respectively. Very recent
results seem to indicate that solstices were also present in the ritual held in coastal sanctuaries
of the Andalusian coast and in other early sanctuaries of the Iberian Culture of southeast
Spain. However, a change in the astronomical elements of the ritual seems to appear around
the IV BC. Many Iberian sanctuaries dated at or after that century and dedicated to a female
fertility goddess show a clear equinoctial relation that has been extensively described in
different works (e.g. Esteban 2003, 2015, 2016). We will discuss these archaeoastronomcal
results in their archaeological context and of other related geographical zones.

References

 Esteban, C. (2003) Equinoctial markers and orientations in pre-Roman religious and


funerary monuments of the Western Mediterranean. In Ad Astra per Aspera et per
Ludum. European archaeoastronomy and the orientation of monuments in the
Mediterranean Basin, A.-A. Maravelia (Ed.), Oxford, BAR International Series.
Archaeopress, 83–100.
 Esteban, C. (2015) Iberian Sanctuaries. In Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and
Ethnoastronomy, C. L. N. Ruggles (Ed.), New York, Springer, 1163-1168.
 Esteban, C. (2016) Equinoctial Markers in Protohistoric Iberian Sanctuaries,
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 16, 297-304.
 Esteban, C. and Escacena Carrasco, J. L. (2013) Oriented for Prayer: Astronomical
Orientations of Protohistoric Sacred Buildings of the South Iberian Peninsula.
Anthropological Notebooks, 19 (Supplement), 129-142.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Astronomical Knowledge in Armenian Riddles.


Sona V. Farmanyan
sona.farmanyan@mail.ru

Riddles with the topic of astronomy have their own unique place in the field of Cultural
astronomy. Although there are many studies devoted to the study of folk and individual
authors riddles, there is no separate study neither by Armenian nor foreign scholars on the
nature of astronomical riddles. At the present study we discussed riddles both from folklore
and individual authors. As a result, we found out that folklore riddles are rich with allegory
and metaphors. In the written riddles meaningful and philosophical mood is highlighted from
one hand connected by educational purposes, on the other hand with the personal preferences
and astronomical knowledge of the authors. All these is also related to the ancient and
traditional usage of the riddles, which aimed to go deep into ideological understanding, as
well as in the terrestrial and cosmic mysteries and try to identify them in their own way.
Although there are a number of riddles about night sky, Armenians never told riddles at night
time they were afraid to get poor (Ghanalyan 1960). Taking into account the cosmic
perceptions of the time, we made an attempt to decode some of the astronomical riddles,
those answers are either missing or are given in coded way. The simplest and original form of
the riddle is the question or question-riddle. By studying folk riddles we face the following
names: fable, myth, mystery and riddle songs. As some of the listed names are related not
only to the riddle but also to the other works of literature. In addition to these names in
medieval manuscripts also appear the following notions: Fable and proverb, Philosophical
word, Hidden word, Question and answer. The most remarkable riddles are related to the
celestial bodies, which occupy their significant place in the Armenian riddles both by their
quantity and antiquity. Particularly, mostly appear the concepts of the Sun and the Moon,
they are either together or separately, each of which are the result of different ideas and
beliefs. The riddles in which the mentioned celestial bodies come together, day and night
sequence is associated with the Sun and the Moon, they are mostly manifested as brother and
sister, and sometimes even husband and wife. This physical phenomenon is associated with
the day circle of the Sun and the Moon, it is expressed in the same way in folk riddles. The
riddle shows not only the relationship of the Sun and the Moon, but also notes the
phenomenon of the day cycle of the Sun and the monthly cycle of the Moon. Another folk
talk about Sun wife and Moon husband tells how the Moon fell in love with the Sun and
darkened, eclipsed and lost his consciousness. Both falk talks and riddles are based on the
same understanding of the Universe.

References

 A.Ghanalyan, Aratsani, 1960, 296 p.


 S. Harutyunyan, Armenian folk riddles, monograph, 1960, 363 p.
 A.Mnatsakanyan, Armenian Medieval Riddles, 1980, 522 p.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Sky Lore of Orion and Its Neighbours in the Malay Archipelago.


Nurul Fatini Jaafar
Postgraduate Studies, School of Distance Education, Universiti Sains Malaysia
nurulfatinijaafar@gmail.com

KEYWORDS: Malay Archipelago, sky lore

The Malayo-Polynesian language is understood by many ethnic groups living around the
Indian and Pacific Oceans. The maritime realm of these Malay natives encompasses
Madagascar, Sri Lanka, southern coast of Burma, south-eastern coast of Vietnam, Malaysia,
Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Papua, Oceania, Torres Strait Islands, New Zealand, to as
far as Hawaii and Rapa Nui (Shaharir, 2015). The Malayo-Polynesians are the successors of
the Austronesian-speaking peoples who left Taiwan in 3,000 B.C.E. and later ruled kingdoms
such as Funan, Srivijaya, Majapahit, Malacca and Gowa. The Malay sailors had set off on
voyages to China and later to East Africa, and their invention of sails and ships had inspired
the Chinese, Arabs also the Portuguese. The all-sea sailing route from Sri Lanka to South
China Sea initiated international trading between the East and the West, therefore the ports in
the Malay Archipelago became temporary stopovers for merchants while waiting for the
build-up of the monsoons (Shaffer, 1996).

The Malay seafarers’ skills in navigating and piloting rely mostly on stars, winds and ocean
swells. Because most of the islands in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Papua lie near
the equator, Orion, Taurus, Pleiades, Sirius and Procyon are among prominent constellations
and stars which served as sidereal compasses for the navigators (Ammarell, 1999). As for
paddy farmers and fishermen, the asterisms in the night sky were useful as natural time
markers (Ambrosio, 2005; Ammarell, 1988). This study aims at collecting the Malayo-
Polynesian sky lore focusing on the winter sky, and to explore its relationship with
environmental adaptations and seasonal variations, both on land and sea. We found out
similarities in the nomenclature of the asterisms, mythologies and calendar development
which proves the connections between the various regions, continuities and cosmovision
among the natives of the Malay Archipelago.

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(a) (b) (c)


Figure 1. Asterisms (a) Belantik (Kedah)/Balatic/Balatik/Bayatik/Batik/Belatik (natives of
the Philippines) and Baur Bilah (Meratus), (b) Seletar, Bakà and Kufukufu (Tiruray) and (c)
Waluku (Java)/Rakkalaé (Bugis)/Pajjékoé (Makassar) and Kartika (Java)/Ketika (Kedah)/
Kereti (Sunda)/Karantika (Banjar).

References

 Ambrosio, D. L. (2005). Balatik: Katutubong Bituin ng mga Pilipino. Philippine


Social Sciences Review, 57(1), 1-28.
 Ammarell, G. (1988). Sky Calendars of the Indo-Malay Archipelago: Regional
Diversity/Local Knowledge. Indonesia, (45), 85-104.
 Ammarell, G. (1999). Bugis Navigation. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University
Southeast Asia Studies.
 Shaffer, L. N. (1996). Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500. New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc.
 Shaharir Mohamad Zain (2015). Pendahuluan. In Shaharir M. Z. (Ed.), Unsur
Etnosains Malayonesia dalam Bahasa Melayu Sejak Abad Ke-5 Masihi.
(xix-xlix). Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Weaving the Skyline: a synthesis of two cultural manifestations of


contemporary cosmology.
Morag Feeney-Beaton
This paper draws together two fields of research upon which I am currently engaged, the
notion of cosmology within the making of textiles, and a phenomenological study of tall
buildings against the London skyline. Both fields separately investigate perceived
expressions of cosmology within today’s society. However, the means of bringing them
together is not so much through the written or spoken word, but in their synthesis as a textile,
as a woven document. Therefore this paper could be regarded as an exposition of the
theoretical threads required to weave them together into tangible evidence for contemporary
cosmology.
My research has predominantly focused upon the cosmological associations apparent within
the making of textiles, drawing upon mythological and ethnographic sources, many of which
point cross-culturally to rich cosmic symbolism attached to the making process itself. In the
view of Mircea Eliade, an act of creation can be regarded as a symbolic re-iteration of the
cosmogony,1 and for Christopher Tilley, the logic of production is directly analogous to the
logic of procreation and reproduction.2 Thus the aim of my UK-based research has been to
evaluate to what extent contemporary spinners and weavers incorporate these symbolic
concepts into their practice, with initial data detecting small but significant resonances
amongst a section of those surveyed.
The idea of a connection between earth and heaven, a cosmic pillar or axis mundi,3 allowing
the gods to descend to earth, and for the earthly spirit to rise, has prompted human endeavour
to build upwards. Such edifices aspire to touch the sky and are reflective of status. The Tower
of Babel, for example, a byword for human vanity, hubris, and even unintelligibility, was
explicitly designed to ‘reach unto heaven’,4 and has become the biblical precursor of the tall
buildings that characterize our modern urban skyline, which, for Henri Lefebvre, amount to
‘phallocracy as the orientation of space’. 5 My focus is upon the interaction of two iconic
buildings upon the London skyline, the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the tower of the
Shard. The translucent upward energy of the latter is complemented by the former’s inner and
outer cosmos generated by the internal sky depicted within the dome’s canopy.6
My ongoing photographic research documents the shared relationship of these buildings
against the ever-changing backdrop of the London sky. The aim is to map their fluctuating
symbolic profiles, perhaps male and female, sun and moon, even Mars and Venus, serving to
highlight their perceived contemporary mythological status. The resultant textile, created in
direct response to this paper, is the representation of the research’s physical and visual
experience, and it could be said to lie within an ancient cultural tradition of woven textiles
depicting the sky, in this case the contemporary urban skies over London.

1
Mircea Eliade, The Sacred and the Profane: The Nature of Religion, (trans. Willard R. Trask),
Harcourt, Inc., San Diego, New York, London, 1959, p.12.
2
Christopher Tilley, Metaphor and Material Culture, Blackwell, Oxford and Malden, MA, 1999, p.57.
3
Eliade, M., (1959), p.33.
4
Genesis, 11, v.4.
5
Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, in (ed.) Jen Jack Gieseking, William Mangold et al, The
People, Place and Space Reader, Routledge, New York and London, 1991, p.291.
6
Karl Lehmann, The Dome of Heaven, The Art Bulletin, Vol. 27, No, 1, (Mar, 1945), pp. 1-27.

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Stone Rows of the Preseli Mountains.


David Fisher
Independent Researcher

Much has been written on the investigations into astronomical orientations of megalithic sites
in England, Scotland and Ireland, but there is a paucity of research information regarding the
megalithic monuments of Wales. A review of the scant literature that exists typically
provides brief descriptions of the stones themselves, Williams, (1988), Barnwell, (1875).
There exists a catalogue of Welsh sites that includes a little more detail regarding the sites
along with their locations, Burl (1993). However, investigations into any astronomical
significance, does not appear to exist. This research has specifically targeted the 2 stone rows
that are situated at the base of the Preseli mountains, from whence the bluestones of
Stonehenge are said to be derived, Bevins (2013), Parker-Pearson (2015). Utilizing
computerised 3-dimensional topographical modelling of several sites, an investigation into
astronomical orientations, if any, of the stones is underway. The investigation will be
completed in time to present results in September.

References

 Barnwell, E. L. 1875. On Pillar-Stones In Wales. Publisher unknown.


 Bevins, Richard. 2013. Carn Alw as a source of the rhyolitic component of the
Stonehenge bluestones: a critical re-appraisal of the petrographical account of H.H.
Thomas. Journal of Archaeological Science Vol 40, Issue 8, Pages 3293–3301.
 Burl, Aubury. 1993. From Carnac to Callandish. Yale University Press.
 Lynch, Frances, Aldhouse-Green, Stephen and Davies, Jeffrey L., 2000. Prehistoric
Wales. Sutton Publishing. Stroud.
 Parker-Pearson, Mike, et al. 2015. Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith
quarry for Stonehenge. Antiquity Volume 89, Issue 348 , pp. 1331-1352
 Williams, George. 1988. The Standing Stones of Wales and South-West England
BAR British Series 197.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

In search of the indigenous origins of the pilgrimage route of Santiago: A


fusion of skyscape and landscape.
Roslyn M. Frank
University of Iowa

When viewed critically, the historical evidence behind the belief that the remains of Saint
James are buried at Santiago is meagre, ranging from the fantastic to the absurd. It consists of
a veritable thicket of contradictory legends, fragmentary bits and pieces, repeated ad
infinitum by those intent on promoting the veracity of the story.
Most noteworthy is the fact that the earliest written documents speak of the discovery
occurring not in the town of Santiago de Compostela, but rather as linked to two nearby
locations, Padron, known in Roman times as Iria Flavia, and, even more importantly, a
mountain called Pico Sacro (Sacred Peak), situated twelve kilometers away from Santiago de
Compostela. In these early versions, no mention is made of the apostle’s remains having been
discovered in Compostela. Rather oral tradition situates the main action on the slopes of Pico
Sacro, a zone once rampant with megaliths, dolmens and stone uprights.
Oral traditions concerning the Saint were repeatedly reworked, woven together in a myriad of
ways to form what eventually became a more or less coherent narrative. In the process a
pious legend was fabricated, a tale that starts out near the port of Padrón at the mouth of the
River Ulla where the ‘stone boat’ carrying Santiago’s remains allegedly docked. It moves on
to narrate events that took place nearby on Pico Sacro. It is a story that across many centuries
was reshaped and reinterpreted to help consolidate the power of ecclesiastical and secular
authorities.
The talk consists of four parts beginning with a review of conceptual linkages between
popular traditions—incorporated into the earliest texts, dating from the 12th century—and
megaliths and natural rock formations. It then compares and contrasts the narrative line,
motifs and actions, of the legend of Santiago with those instantiated in two sets of well-
known pan-European tales, both of which harken back to the archaic European belief that
humans descended from bears. One set is known collectively as the Bear’s Son tales, which,
according to researchers, was the model from which more contemporary figures such as
Beowulf and King Arthur ultimately derive. The saga tells of the birth and adventures of the
Bear’s Son, describing his journey to a location described as “the End of the Earth” where he
ends up trapped underground, deep inside in a well-like hole in the ground. The second set,
known variously as “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” and “Beauty and the Beast”, tells
the story of the Bear Son’s wife who goes in search of her half-human, half-bear husband. In
the process, she undertakes a pilgrimage to a location known in folktales all across Europe as
“Crystal Mountain” where an animal-like predator queen is holding her beloved captive.
The questions that arise are whether the locations referenced by the expressions “the End of
the Earth” and “Crystal Mountain” ever corresponded to geographically concrete sites at the
western edge of Europe and since both narrative lines are clearly attached to the notion of
pilgrimage, whether these narratives mesh in any way with the oral traditions collected in and
circulating around Pico Sacro, whose summit is crowned by what is one of Europe’s largest
veins of crystalline quartz with a cave entrance leading down to a nearly vertical shaft
some120 m. deep.
The talk concludes with a discussion of how the narrative elements serve to fuse together
landscape and skyscape, understood at the cosmological level, with a mapping not just onto
sky resources but also onto actual terrestrial ones.

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References

 Erdész, S. (1984). The world conception of Lajos Ámi, storyteller. In A. Dundes (ed.),
Sacred Narratives: Readings in the Theory of Myth (pp. 315-335). Berkeley:
University of California Press.
 Fita y Colomé, F. (1880). Recuerdos de un viaje a Santiago de Galicia. Madrid:
Imprenta de los Señores Lezcano y Comp.
 Frank, R. M. (2014). The origins of ‘Western’ constellations. In C. L. N. Ruggles
(ed.), Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy (pp. 147-163). Berlin:
Springer.
 Frank, R. M., & Arregi Bengoa, J. (2001). Hunting the European Sky Bears: On the
origins of the non-zodiacal constellations. In C. Ruggles, et al. (eds.), Astronomy,
Cosmology and Landscape (pp. 15-43). Bognor Regis, England: Ocarina Press.
 Peake, H. (1919). Santiago: The evolution of a patron saint. Folklore, 30, 208-226.
 Wey, W. (1857). The Itineraries of William Wey to Jerusalem, A.D. 1458 and A.D.
1462; and to Saint James of Compostella, A.D. 1456. London: Nichols and Sons.

Figure 1. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela with Pico Sacro in the distance.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Revisiting the Neolithic Sanctuary at Parta Romania: New and Old


Archaeoastronomical Considerations.
Marc Frincu (1,2), Ioana Giurginca (2)
1. Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science,
West University of Timisoara
2. The Romanian Society for Cultural Astronomy

The Neolithic settlement at Parta, Romania was uncovered after a series of excavations that
had started in 1931. The settlement is part of the Banat Culture which dominated the region
in the mid-Neolithic (4600-4200 BCE). Its architecture is unique, the site being a religious,
socio-economic, and commercial center of the region in Neolithic times.
The site has at its center a sanctuary which lies at the midpoint of the NS axis of the
settlement and is cardinally oriented 7 . The sanctuary itself has been subject of
archaeoastronomical studies8 yet possible astronomical symbols such as the conic idol with
engravings mimicking the Cassiopeia constellation 9 have been discovered around the
settlement.
Lazarovici first studied the orientation and alignment during equinoxes and solstices. The
entire sanctuary was dedicated to the fertility and fecundity cult having numerous relevant
symbols such as a hand-loom, the corn vessel, the Sun and the crescent Moon, and the bull
statues. Interestingly, during the time of its construction the constellation of Taurus rose
helically during the spring equinox.
Szűcs-Csillik et al. has also intensively studied the interpretation of the Sun and the crescent
Moon symbols found at the sanctuary10. She interprets the crescent Moon and the Sun (Figure
1 bottom right) as a partial solar eclipse11.
In this work we extend the work of Szűcs-Csillik and theorize the crescent Moon on the
round window through which the equinox sun shines illuminates at sunset the interior
represents a solar eclipse which took place at equinox sunset around the time the sanctuary
was built. Using Stellarium we found one eclipse matching our setting and dates on April 30,
4592 BCE around 18:14 EET, about one day after the equinox. We also discuss the alignment
with distant mountains which could have acted as markers for the equinox and winter solstice
sunrise. Two mountain ranges are visible at 88km and 123.83˚ azimuth (Mt. Semenic) in the
direction of the WSSR and at 94km and 87.34˚ azimuth (Mt. Pades) in the direction of the
equinox sunrise. In 4300 BCE WSSR was from 125.05˚ azimuth.

7
Gheorghe Lazarovici, Gheorghe Chis, Tiberiu Oproiu, Iharka Szűcs-Csillik, ‘Neolithic Shrine at
Parta’, Konkoly Monographs, Vol. 4, (2002): pp. 7–17.
8
Iharka Szűcs-Csillik, Alexandra Comșa, Zoia Maxim, ‘Archaeoastronomical World from Romania’,
in Michael A Rappengluck, Barbara Rappengluck, Nicholas Campion and Fabio Silva (ed.),
Astronomy and Power: how worlds are structured (Oxford: British Arcaeological Reports, 2016).
9
Gheorghe Lazarovici, Cornelia Lazarovici, ‘The Architecture of Temples/Sanctuaries in the Banat
and Transylvania during Neolithic and Copper Age Periods’, Arheologia
Spiritualităţii preistorice în ţinuturile carpato-ponto-danubiene (Fundația Rădăcinile Europei, editura
Arhiepiscopiei Tomisului, 2009), pp. 65-76.
10
Iharka Szűcs-Csillik, Zoia Maxim, ‘Goddess of Nocturnal Light at Parta’, in Sorin Forțiu and
Andrei Stavilă (ed.), Arheovest III vol. 2 (Szeged: JATEPress Kiadó, 2015), pp. 605-620.
11
Iharka Szűcs-Csillik, Zoia Maxim, ‘Eclipsele si Sanctuarul Neolitic de la Parta’ (En: Eclipses and
the Neolithic Sanctuary from Parta), in Andrei Stavilă, Dorel Micle, Adrian Cîntar, Cristian Floca and
Sorin Forțiu (ed.), Arheovest I vol. 2 (Szeged: JATEPress Kiadó, 2013), pp. 847-855.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Figure 1. From left to right: (top) Original image of the disk used to test the equinox
alignment on September 23 1982, panorama of the reconstructed sanctuary, the hand-loom;
(bottom) the shrine and the pillars with astronomical symbols between the horns of the bull
figures (only the left one is visible), alignment with the distant mountains at equinoxes and
winter solstice sunrise, the crescent Moon and the Sun hole through which light entered at
equinoxes’ sunset.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

The Astronomy of the Aboriginal Peoples of Australia’s Sydney Basin.


Robert S. Fuller
School of Humanities and Languages, FASS. UNSW AUSTRALIA.
UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA

We present results of a preliminary study of the astronomical knowledge and traditions of


seven major Australian Aboriginal cultural groups in the Sydney Basin of New South Wales,
Australia. As part of a larger study on the astronomical knowledge and traditions of
Aboriginal Australians along the coast of eastern Australia, we seek to understand the role of
astronomy in creating songlines, mapping the landscape, navigating country, developing
social structure, and how the Sun, Moon, and stars can be used for food economics and
calendar development.

To accomplish this, we draw from ethno-historical documents, material culture, and


ethnographic fieldwork with Aboriginal consultants to reconstruct the myriad fragments of
knowledge across the seven language groups into a more comprehensive and complete body
of knowledge. Collaborating with Aboriginal communities, we also chart ruptures and
changes to this knowledge over time by examining the effects of European colonisation on
the Aboriginal communities of the Sydney region.

This paper will present results of a thematic analysis that places this knowledge within a
larger framework of comparative studies with Aboriginal communities in south-eastern
Australia to connect songlines and navigation routes up and down the coast. We also examine
the cultural interface between Indigenous astronomical Knowledge and Western Science to
explore applications of our results to education, heritage management, and cultural revival.

Figure 1. The Sydney Basin and surrounding language groups

References

 Attenbrow, V. 2002, Sydney’s Aboriginal Past, Sydney, UNSW Press.


 Brothers, R. 1897, Myth of Australia – Thowra and the seven myalls: South coast
legend, Australasian Anthropological Journal v.1, No. 3, pp. 10-11.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

 Bursill, L. and Jacobs, M. 2007, Dharawal, the story of the Dharawal speaking
people of Southern Sydney, Sydney, Kurranulla Aboriginal Corporation.
 Clarke, P. 2014, The Aboriginal Australian Cosmic Landscape. Part 1: The
Ethnobotany of the Skyworld, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage 17(3),
pp. 307-325.
 Nakata, M, 2007, Disciplining the Savages, Savaging the Disciplines, Chapter 9 -
Disciplining Indigenous Knowledge, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, pp. 182-192

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Ichmac, a Maya Terminal Classic site, where the triumph of the Sun was
commemorated with a calendric-astronomical architectural alignment.
Jesús Galindo Trejo
Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas. UNAM, Mexico

The Maya site of Ichmac, located in the State of Campeche on the Yucatan Peninsula, still
possesses various architectural, sculptural and even pictorial remains. Its maximum cultural
apogee was reached between century VI and IX AD. The so-called West Group still has
buildings standing, these are organized around two courtyards. In this group were located
several carved stones with hieroglyphic inscriptions. At the western end of this group is
situated the Building of Paintings. It is a two-story building, the ground floor has five rooms,
all facing east and there is a staircase to access the second level. In front of this building
stands a large rectangular platform containing a central stone altar (Benavides, 2000). Inside
the room No. 8 on the ground floor one can still recognize several pictorial scenes of vivid
colors, although very deteriorated. They are mainly scenes of war. In particular, an armed
personage and richly dressed maintains by the hair to an opponent. This personage shows a
solar glyph in his headdress. It could be precisely a solar warrior defeating the leader of the
counterpart associated with darkness. Considering that the Sun was one of the main deities
for the Maya (Milbrath, 1999) and that the Mesoamerican calendrical system took into
account the solar periods to establish the cycle of religious ceremonies, we have analyzed the
orientation of this building with respect to the apparent motion of the Sun. Measuring the
azimuth of the axis of symmetry of the entrance and the height of the horizon, in this case an
architectural height, of that room, we have calculated the dates of the solar alignment of the
building. Such dates do not correspond to astronomically significant moments, such as
solstices and equinoxes, but rather to a pair of dates located 65 days before and after the
winter solstice day. This practice of orientation has been found in numerous Mesoamerican
sites and reflects the interest of Mayan priest-astronomers to assign to the architectural
structure a symbolic value of the highest ritual importance. The 65-day account corresponds
to 5 trecenas, that is, 5 times the basic period of the Mesoamerican calendar. These dates of
solar alignment have been identified initially in Oaxaca and in North-Central Mexico
(Galindo Trejo, 2016). This demonstrates that the Maya used the same principle as the
Zapotec of Oaxaca to link the architectural orientation with certain moments of the apparent
motion of the Sun by associating them with some characteristics of the calendar, considered
sacred by the Mesoamericans.

References

 Benavides, Antonio, 2000, Ichmac, un sitio Puuc de Campeche, Mexicon, Vol. XXII,
pp. 134-138.
 Galindo Trejo, Jesús, 2016, Calendric-astronomical orientation as an expression of
power in Mesoamerica, in Astronomy and Power: How Worlds are structured, M.A.
Rappenglück, B. Rappenglück, N. Campion and F. Silva Editors, BAR International
Series 2794, Oxford, pp. 197-203.
 Milbrath, Susan, 1999, Star Gods of the Maya, University of Texas Press, Austin.

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Figure 1. Fragment of the mural painting inside the room No. 8 of the West Group of Ichmac.
It is a procession of warriors.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

STARS AND THEATRE. From Renaissance Stage Astrologers to


Astronomy-flavored Science Plays.
Giangiacomo Gandolfi
Zetema/Planetario di Roma

The Theatre has a longstanding and surprising tradition of familiarity with the starry night
and its investigators but alas, since Ariosto’s “Negromante”, Della Porta’s “Astrologo” and
the many comedias of the Golden Age of Spanish Theatre the adepts of the stars are almost
invariably portrayed as tricksters, buffoons and greedy cheaters pretending to be experts of
astrology and magic. Comedy is everywhere in modern Europe the only genre associated to
such characters and to the study of the universe, at least until the XIX century, when farcical
dramaturgy is complemented by some minor tragedies (e.g. Nievo’s pioneering Galilei,
Andreev “To the Stars”, Gsantner’s Tolternicus and Ogilvie’s Hypatia) that slowly pave the
way to XX century dramas centered on science (the prototype is Brecht’s Life of Galileo). I
propose a voyage through the history of theatrical astrologers/astronomers tracing the
evolution of the complex relationship between stars and stage and at the same time analyzing
the ascent of the contemporary science-play format where the dramaturgy either inflates
becoming verbose, philosophical and sometimes ironical or tends to dissolve in a
multisensory experience of cosmos, history and society called Postdramatic Theatre.

References

 Armas, F., “Zodiacal Plays: Astrology and the Comedia” in A Confluence of Words:
Studies in Honor of Robert Lima. Eds. W. H. Finke & B.J. Luby. Newark, DE: Juan
de la Cuesta, 2011: 59-76.
 Campos, L., Sciences en Scène dans le Theatre Britannique Contemporain. Rennes:
Presses Universitaire de Rennes, 2012
 Lanuza-Navarro, T., “The Representation of Astrology in Golden Age Spanish
Theatre: Different Points of View in Calderon’s El astrologo fingido”, eds. Nicholas
Campion and Rolf Sinclair, Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 16 nos. 1 and 2, 2012, pp. 305-
317.
 Lehmann, H.-T., Postdramatic Theatre, Abingdon: Routledge, 2006
 Reeves, E., “Astrology and Literature”, in A Companion to Astrology in the
Renaissance. Ed. B. Dooley. Leiden: Brill, 2014: 323-327.
 Shepherd-Barr K.: Science on Stage, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006

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Et Summis Surgentia Tecta sub Astris: is Villa Farnesina an astrologically


oriented building?
Giangiacomo Gandolfi
Zetema/Planetario di Roma

The celebrated Villa Farnesina in Rome, the elegant XVIth century retreat of the the sienese
banker Agostino Chigi built along the Tiber by Peruzzi and frescoed by Raphael and
Sebastiano del Piombo, is a masterpiece of Renaissance art renowned for its paradigmatic
astrological vault. The astral decorations of the Sala di Galatea have been studied during the
XXth century by iconologists of the calibre of Aby Warburg and Fritz Saxl, and in 1984 their
horoscopic nature has been proven conclusively by Ingrid Rowland on the basis of the
discovery of the baptistry register of Chigi in the Archivio di Stato of Siena. And yet no
consensus has emerged among the scholars about the exact time of the birth: while the date
and the represented planetary positions are certain and confirmed, three possible and equally
consistent scenarios have been proposed for the horoscope, choosing Italic hours (counting
from the sunset: Lippincott, 1990 and 1991), french or astronomical hours (counting from
midnight: Quinlan McGrath, 1984 and 1995) or using sidereal time (a very technical notation
that would imply the presence of a professional astrologer: Esteban Lorente, 2014). I will try
to assess this complex situation analyzing the role of the hitherto ambiguous extra-zodiacal
pendentives and constraining the celestial configuration also through the central panels of the
vault. In the end the key to interpreting the whole representation seems to be connected to the
orientation of the diagonal of the hall along the North-South axis: such a disposition, roughly
corresponding to the Midheaven of the horoscope, appears as a voluntary harmonization of
the fictive starry vault with the outer roman sky, transforming the villa in a cosmic building
with the Sala di Galatea (formerly an open loggia) oriented to the north-eastern azimuth of
Chigi’s Taurus ascendant. Such an elegant architectural solution implying an astronomical
alignment has never been proposed by scholars but can be considered highly plausible
because adopted for a number of other more or less coeval buildings (e.g. the medicean Villa
of Poggio a Caiano and the Palladian Villa La Rotonda in Vicenza) and especially for the
Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. Villa Farnesina may thus become a paradigm of the
astrological orientation of secular Renaissance buildings, opening an entirely new and
stimulating field of archaeoastronomical research.

References

 Saxl, F., La fede astrologica di Agostino Chigi: interpretazione dei dipinti di


Baldassare Peruzzi nella Sala di Galatea della Farnesina, Roma: Reale Accademia
d’Italia, 1934
 Lippincott, K., “Two Astrological Ceilings reconsidered: the Sala di Galatea in Villa
Farnesina and the Sala del Mappamondo at Caprarola”, Journal of the Warburg and
Courtauld Institutes, LIII, 1990, pp. 185-196
 Lippincott, K., “Aby Warburg, Fritz Saxl and the Astrological Ceiling of the Sala di
Galatea”, in Sonderdruck aus: Aby Warburg – Akten des Internationalen Symposions
– Hamburg 1990, Eds. H. Bredekamp, M. Diers and C. Schoell-Glass, Weinheim:
VCH, 1991, pp. 213-232
 Quinlan-McGrath, M., “The Astrological Vault of the Villa Farnesina: Agostino
Chigi’s Rising Sign”, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, XLVII, 1984,
pp. 91-105

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 Quinlan-McGrath, M., “The Villa Farnesina, Time-Telling Conventions and


Renaissance Astrological Practice”, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes,
LVIII, 1995, pp. 53-71
 Esteban Lorente, J. F., “El Horoscopo de Agostino Chigi en la Farnesina de Roma”,
Ars Renovatio, 2, 2014, pp. 3-19.

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The development of a utopian city? Land- and skyscape in San Cristobal


de la Laguna.
Alejandro Gangui (1), Juan A. Belmonte (2)
1. Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (CONICET-UBA), Buenos Aires,
Argentina
2. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, La Laguna, Tenerife, España

Common wisdom surrounding San Cristóbal de La Laguna, in the Canary Island of Tenerife
(Spain), suggests that this city, which was the first non-fortified ideal Spanish colonial town –
founded in 1496 – would have been laid out according to utopian assumptions inspired by
Greek philosophical principles (Navarro Segura, 1999). The old city, whose historical center
was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, would hence be the materialization
of an especially conceived geometric plan, even including the golden proportion (Herráiz
Sánchez, 2007), with deep roots in Plato’s design for the ideal city of Magnesia, a main topic
of the philosopher’s last and unfinished work "Laws".
By analyzing the exact spatial orientation of the more than twenty old Christian churches and
chapels currently existing in La Laguna, we have tried to falsify those hypotheses as part of a
larger Canarian church orientation and plan project (Gangui et al., 2016). We have been able
to determine that a definite orientation pattern was indeed followed, but it was probably much
more simple than imagined. The declination histogram (see Fig. 1) shows a representative
pattern which singles out the feast day of San Cristóbal de Licia, the saint to whom La
Laguna was originally dedicated (hence its name). We also find some emblematic churches
oriented in the canonical way, namely towards the equinoxes, and a couple more aligned with
the summer solstice, a characteristic time-mark of the island aboriginal population before the
conquest (Belmonte, 2015).
Altogether, we suggest that the plan of the city resulting from the spatial layout of the studied
religious buildings can be understood from simple principles including canonical examples,
the by-product of Christianization and a preference for the old town patron saint date. Under
these premises, we believe that there is no need for additional hard-to-verify philosophical
hypotheses.

References

 Belmonte, J.A. (2015), Pre-Hispanic Sanctuaries in the Canary Islands, Handbook of


Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Ruggles, C.L.N. (ed.), New York: Springer-
Verlag, pp. 1115-1124.
 Gangui, A. et al. (2016), On the orientation of the historic churches of Lanzarote:
when human necessity dominates over canonical prescriptions, The Materiality of the
Sky. Proceedings of the 22nd Annual SEAC Conference, Silva, F. et al. (eds.),
Lampeter: Sophia Centre Press, pp. 125-134.
 Herráiz Sánchez, F. (2007), La Laguna oculta. El cielo y la piedra, Santa Cruz de
Tenerife: Ediciones Idea.
 Navarro Segura, M.I. (1999), La Laguna 1500: la ciudad-república. Una utopía
insular según "Las Leyes" de Platón, San Cristóbal de La Laguna: Ayuntamiento de
San Cristóbal de La Laguna.

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Figure 1. Absolute value declination histogram for the churches at La Laguna (Tenerife).

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Archaeoastronomy in northern Chile: Andean churches of the Arica and


Parinacota region.
Alejandro Gangui (1), Ángel Guillén (2), Magdalena Pereira (2)
1. Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (CONICET-UBA), Buenos Aires,
Argentina
2. Fundación Altiplano, Chile

Soon after the Spanish settlement in the Viceroyalty of Peru, Francisco de Toledo decided to
reorganize the territory and population. He paid special attention to the trade routes of the
southern Andean area, whose main objective was to organize the transport of silver from
Potosi to the Pacific and also that of quicksilver from Huancavelica to the high Andean mines.
On the way to Arica, official maritime port for the merchandise since 1574, there appeared
small villages and tambos with stable populations. Andean churches in this region emerged in
strategic locations along the route which trajinantes marched to transport the precious metals
from Potosi to Arica beaches, particularly around the Lluta and Azapa valleys.
In this work we report on our recent measurements of the exact orientations of almost forty
old Christian churches located in the Arica and Parinacota region. This is an extended and
difficult to travel area that received little attention from parish priests, and where one might
expect some dialogue to have taken place between the Western tradition and the local
Aymara culture in regard to the design and construction of temples.
In our analysis we took into account that in many of the sites we explored geographical
conditions are unique and certainly have played a role in choosing the location of the
churches; for example, those placed along rivers in some of the deep valleys of the region.
Moreover, apart from these riverbeds and streams, numerous volcanoes and snowy peaks can
serve as points of reference –like tutelary hills, even related to ancestor worship– when
deciding the location and orientation of the temples, so we also checked our data to verify
that possible orographic features.
The declination histogram (see Fig. 1) shows two statistically –but not too notorious–
significant peaks above the 3-sigma level (overall, there are three peaks within the solar
range). The frequency of events outside the lunisolar range (vertical lines) does not show
significant peaks and suggests that a non-negligible number of churches were constructed
with orientations different from those dictated by the canonical rules (Gangui et al., 2016).
Our results show that, unlike what is commonly found in studies involving old European
churches, in the temples we studied here we found no single orientation pattern valid
throughout the whole region. However, we found that almost half of the churches surveyed
have an orientation that falls within the solar range, with a dominant share in those presenting
their altar towards the west. We have also identified some notable cases where the orientation
of the temples seems to follow the location of distinctive elements of the landscape –as
volcanoes or other aboriginal culturally relevant Apus (Reinhard, 1983)– rather than the
rising or setting Sun during meaningful dates for the particular dedication of the churches, a
fact that brings to mind more the Aymara worship (Bouysse-Cassagne, 1987) than the XVIth
century Instrucciones de la fábrica y del ajuar eclesiásticos written by Cardinal Carlos
Borromeo.

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Figure 1. Declination histogram for the Andean churches of the Arica and Parinacota region.

References

 Bouysse-Cassagne, T. 1987. La Identidad Aymara. Aproximación histórica (siglo XV,


siglo XVI). Hisbol, La Paz.
 Gangui, A., A.C. González-García, M.A. Perera-Betancort y J.A. Belmonte 2016. La
orientación como una seña de identidad cultural: las iglesias históricas de Lanzarote.
Tabona, Revista de prehistoria y arqueología 20: 105-128.
 Reinhard J. 1983. Las montañas sagradas. Un estudio etnoarqueológico de ruinas en
las altas cumbres andinas. Cuadernos de Historia, 3: 27.

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The Baroña Hillfort rocky sanctuary (Porto do Son, A Coruña, Spain) as a


shifting device among the world layers of the Celtic Cosmology.
Marco V. García Quintela (1), A. César González-García (2)
1. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
2. Incipit–CSIC
The small Iron-Age hillfort of Baroña (Porto do Son, A Coruña, Spain; figure 1) was
inhabited during the last centuries BC and is located in a singularly hostile environment for a
settlement. The hillfort occupies a small peninsula facing the Atlantic Ocean at the western
end of the Muros-Noia estuary, a place regularly struck by fierce winds and storms. The
habitat is composed by a mere dozen of houses defended by a stunning complex of three lines
of massive walls. A large rocky acropolis with faint but clear signs of human activity hangs
over the habitat. The study of the rests in the acropolis reveals the possibility that they
include awareness of the surrounding landscape and relevant moments of the solar cycle.
A monumental stairway adjacent to the acropolis leads towards the cliff overlooking the sea
and seems aligned with the winter solstice sunset happening on the ocean beyond. Inside the
acropolis, the rock that dominates the area presents signs of anthropic action like carved
basins and slender petroglyphs. These elements present relations towards winter and summer
solstice sunrises while the eastern horizon is dominated by Mount Enxa, a local landmark that
signals 1st May sunrise from the acropolis. Finally, summer solstice sunrise as seen from the
acropolis coincides with an area some 2.5 kilometers away where there is a panel with
petroglyphs housing the only carved representation of the sun in Galicia. The location of this
panel is peculiar in other ways.
We argue that the hillfort’s location and tininess could bear a connection with those
alignments. This seems to be a special place chosen to be a carrefour between the sky, the
land and the sea, i.e. the three elements constituting the Cosmos according to the Celtic
tradition and shared by other Indo-European traditions.
Our analysis allows exploring further the relation between cultural Astronomy, the so-called
cognitive archaeology and the link between materiality and symbolic forms. Finally, we
advance the hypothesis that Baroña could have served as a ‘sanctuary-hillfort’. Such
hypothesis would be further substantiated by the existence in the region of other small
hillforts with oversized communal areas.

References

 Delamarre, X., (1999). “Cosmologie indo-européenne, ‘Rois du Monde’ celtiques et


le nom des Druides”, Historische Sprachforschung, 112, pp. 32-38.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/41288987
 Garcia Quintela, M.V., Seoane-Veiga, Y., (2013). “Entre Naturaleza y cultura: La
arquitectura Ambigua en la Edad del Hierro del Noroeste de la Península Ibérica”,
Gallaecia, 32, pp. 47-86.
 González-García, A.C., Garcia Quintela, M.V., (2016). “From Hagiography to Celtic
Cosmology: Archaeoastronomy and Christian Landscape in Ourense (NW Spain)”,
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, 16.4, pp. 447-454. DOI:
10.5281/zenodo.220969

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Figure 1. Baroña hillfort as seen from the east

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The lunar calendar and its possible impact on Egyptian Old Kingdom
Chronology.
Rita Gautschy
University of Basel

Lunar calendars were in use from at least the 3rd millennium BCE onwards in the ancient
Near East. Egypt was the only exception: there a solar calendar existed, in addition to an
older lunar calendar that remained important mainly in temples for cultic purposes. It is
generally assumed that the early development of a calendar with 365 days is due to the
importance of the star Sirius in Egypt: its heliacal rising originally announced the beginning
of the inundation season and the beginning of a new year. A year consisting of 12 lunar
months falls short by 10 or 11 days in comparison to the solar and the Sirius year. In order to
keep lunar and solar years aligned, every third and sometimes every second year an
intercalary lunar month has to be inserted. In written sources regular intercalation patterns are
traceable from the 7th century BCE onwards only. Babylonian material such as economic
texts from the 2nd millennium BCE clearly shows that multiple years with intercalary lunar
months could follow each other. The famous 19-year Metonic cycle was not operated until
the 5th century BCE according to current standard theory.
Recently John Nolan proposed that a regular intercalation scheme comparable to the Metonic
cycle was in use in ancient Egypt during the 3rd millennium BCE.12 The method of counting
years during dynasties 3 to 6 is still a matter of debate. The standard theory is that a regular
biannual count of regnal years was employed throughout the whole Old Kingdom. But
written sources contradict this assumption: there are considerably more documents preserved
from years “x” than from years “x after”. Based on the ratio of documented years “x” and “x
after” John Nolan proposed a connection with the original lunar calendar, namely that a “year
after” was employed if an intercalary month was inserted into the lunar calendar at the end of
the preceding year in order to keep it in line with the sidereal and solar year. 13 Nolan’s
hypothesis requires a reduction of the number of regnal years usually assigned to Old
Kingdom pharaohs and hence a shortening of Old Kingdom chronology.
Following Nolan’s hypothesis, I calculated the beginnings of lunar months and heliacal
risings of Sirius in the Egyptian calendar. From these data a theoretical lunar calendar was
established and compared with data (reign lengths, documented “years” and “years after”) of
pharaohs Khufu to Pepy II. I will show how such a lunar calendar could have been operated
easily without knowledge about regular intercalation cycles. Furthermore, a few preserved
lunar data from the Abusir archives 14 allow establishing different chronological options. I
will discuss these chronological options as well as the limits of the applied method

12
Nolan, J. F., “Cattle, Kings and Priests: Phyle Rotations and Old Kingdom Civil Dates”. In
Towards a New History for the Egyptian Old Kingdom: Perspectives on the Pyramid Age, P. Der
Manuelian and T. Schneider (eds.), 337-365. Leiden 2015.
13
Nolan, J. F., “The Original Lunar Calendar and Cattle Counts in Old Kingdom Egypt”. In Basel
Egyptology Prize I, S. Bickel and A. Loprieno (eds.), 75-98. Aegyptiaca Helvetica 17. Basel 2003.
14
Posener-Kriéger, P., “Les archives du temple funéraire de Néferirkarê-Kakaï”. Cairo 1976 and
Posener-Kriéger, P., Verner, M., Vymazalová, H., “The Pyramid Complex of Raneferef: The Papyrus
Archive”. Abusir X. Prag 2006.

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Churches orientations in the Jesuits Missions among Guarani People.


Sixto Giménez Benítez, (1); Alejandro Martín López, (2,3); Martín Gamboa (1,3);
Armando Mudrik (4)
1. Facultad de Ciencias Astronómicas y Geofísicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata,
Argentina.
2. Sección de Etnología, Instituto de Ciencias Antropológicas, Facultad de Filosofía y
Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina.
4. Facultad de Matemática Astronomía y Física, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba,
Argentina.

The Jesuit order had an intense missionary activity in America during the colonial period. In
particular, from the sixteenth century until their expulsion in 1767 they carried out an
extensive and well-known work among the Guarani groups, in what became known as the
Jesuit Province of Paraguay (now part of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil). The large number
of missions founded on this undertaking (30 survived the last period), were establishments
with a well-studied urban plan one of whose axes was that of the church, which differs from
both the urbanism proposed by the "Leyes de Indias" and the most classic ecclesiastical
arrangements. This urban plan is of great importance for South American urbanism since it is
an alternative paradigm to the order proposed by the colonial legal framework and constitutes
a particular reinterpretation of the Baroque, which integrates contributions of the Guarani
conceptions. Although Jesuit urbanism in the region has been studied, it has not been done
within the framework of cultural astronomy.
In general the works of cultural astronomy dedicated to the orientations of churches have
divided to these by chronological periods, and by geographical areas. We believe that adding
focused approaches to specific religious orders can be very fruitful given the variety of
methodologies and intentions. With this idea we undertook a joint study of the orientations of
the Jesuit missions of the Guaraní region. During the fieldwork the sites of the 30 missionary
villages in question were visited in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. We have measured the
twenty-one existing ruins and analyzed the old planes of the nine of which there are no
recognizable material remains.
The work deals with the results of this survey by putting it in dialogue with existing studies
on Jesuit urbanism and with the chronicles and writings of the Jesuits themselves. We seek to
establish the relevance of astronomical observation for the ordering of these missions and
their interaction with other criteria.
One of the first results shows that the orientation axes of the churches of these missions do
not follow the arrangement expected in general in Christian churches, associated to the solar
range. We discuss what the orientations found can tell us about the methods used to bring
them to practice and relate these evidences to the testimonies of the Jesuits themselves.

References

 González-García, A. César. 2016, La Orientación de las Iglesias Cristianas en Europa,


S. Giménez Benítez y C. Gómez (eds.), Primera Escuela Interamericana de
Astronomía Cultural, UNLP, FCAyG, La Plata, Argentina Pp. 324.
 McCluskey, Stephen C. 2015, Orientation of Christian Churches, C.L.N. Ruggles
(ed.), Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Springer
Science+Business Media New York, Pp. 1703-1710.

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 Rossi, Elvio Antonio. 2016 O sistema urbanístico das missões jesuíticas, Hacer –
Historia del Arte e da Cultura: Estudos e reflexões, Porto Alegre.
 Sepp, Antonio. 2009. Los relatos del viaje y la misión entre los guaraníes, Editorial
Parroquia de San Rafael, Asunción, Paraguay.
 Viñuales, Graciela María. 2007. Misiones jesuíticas de guaraníes (Argentina,
Paraguay, Brasil), Apuntes, vol. 20, num. 1, Pp. 108-125.

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E LUCEVAN LE STELLE: Engaging the public of Rome in a cultural


repossession of the urban sky.
Stefano Giovanardi
Planetarium and Astronomical Museum, Rome, Italy

During the Summer of 2016, the Planetarium of Rome organized a successful and innovative
public observing event: “E Lucevan le Stelle”, specifically named for its setting in Rome
after a famous quote from Puccini’s “Tosca”. Intended to revamp the attention for the local
Planetarium and Astronomical Museum – closed since 3 years for renovation works yet to
begin – the event was a call to citizens and amateurs to join the Planetarium astronomers at 8
different locations in the city with their own telescopes for free stargazing sessions, like a
diffuse urban star party over the months of August and September. Each place was selected
in relation to an astronomical theme, with “guided tours” to the evening sky narrated by the
Planetarium astronomers illustrating the cultural relevance of every location, making
reference to the history of astronomy in Rome and relevant personalities that were active in
the city (i.e. the astronomical observatories of Rome at Capitol Square; water on Earth and
other planets from the Rivers fountain in Piazza Navona; Galileo in Rome with observations
of Jupiter moons from the Janiculum hill).
This choice is coherent with the cultural approach to science communication of the
Planetarium of Rome, that in previous years organized public events with a similar
philosophy: “Infiniti Soli, Innumerabili Mondi” (infinite suns, countless worlds) - the
observation of a transiting exoplanet from Campo dei Fiori, under the statue of Giordano
Bruno (2009); “Una Filosofica Ragunata” (a philosophical gathering) – the 400th anniversary
commemoration of Galileo presenting his telescope in Rome (2011).
By connecting the historic squares and the parks used as observing spots, the circuit of “E
Lucevan le Stelle” invited the public to create a new constellation over Rome and name it.
Drawing inspiration from the historic effort by Pope Sixtus V, who traced the streets around
the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore in the shape of a star, and from further descriptions of
astronomical readings of the network of churches and landmarks, the goal of this event was
to bring to light the ancient connections between Rome and the stars. By appropriately
switching off the main surrounding lights at each location, the project aimed at encouraging a
direct participation to a collective repossession of the urban sky. This format represents an
inversion in the relationship between the (closed) Planetarium and the city, going out to meet
the public in a diffuse, or Open Space, fashion. The overall attendance to the event was
estimated to be about 7000 people. “E Lucevan le Stelle” expands to a larger scale the
successful experience of the “urban spacewalks”, a different outdoor cultural astronomy
project conducted by the author since 2011.

References

 http://www.planetarioroma.it/mostre_ed_eventi/programma_degli_spettacoli/e_lucev
an_le_stelle
 Gandolfi G., Catanzaro G., Giovanardi S., Masi G., Vomero V., “New perspectives in
planetarium lectures: how to tell science under the dome while preserving the
enchantment” in Robson I., Christensen L. L., “Communicating Astronomy with the
Public” proceedings, ESO, IAU 2005 : 108-117
 Giovanni Francesco Bordini, “De rebus praeclare gestis a Sixto V Pon. Max.”, Rome
1588: 50-52.
 https://archive.org/stream/gri_33125008254407#page/n61/mode/2up/search/exquilino

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 http://maajournal.com/Issues/2016/Vol16-4/Full70.pdf

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Roman or Gaulic: Orientation as a footprint of cultural identity?


A. César González-García, Marco V. García Quintela

1. Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit – CSIC), Spain


2. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The towns of Aventicum (Avenches, Switzerland) and Augusta Raurica (Augst, Switzerland)
were the main Roman towns of the Civitas Helvetiorum in the province of Gallia Belgica
(and later shifted to Germania Superior). Both were probably founded ex-nihilo, the second
by Caius Munatius Plancus around 44 BC and the first at the time of Claudius (mid first
century AD). The layout of both towns conforms to all Roman standards with a city grid in
orthogonal shape and with several public buildings to hail the splendor of Roman society.
Also the orientation of such grid seems to conform to most Roman standards (Magli 2008;
González-García et al. 2014).
However, a number of singular buildings do seem to break the general lay out in both towns:
the temples. These appear to bear orientations skewed several degrees with respect to the
general grid. In both cases a Roman theater seems to feature some kind of relation with the
temple as in other areas in the Roman Empire (like Greece for instance, see Boutsikas &
Ruggles 2009 for the temple of Artemis Orthia in Sparta; see Figure 1). Notably, the
orientation of these temples shares similarities to other sacred precincts in the area possibly
built prior to the Roman conquest (like e.g. Petinesca, Studen, Switzerland).
This duality in orientations, with a city grid with an orientation different to that of some of
the main public buildings may be a witness to a period when a compromise, negotiation, or
resistance either implicit or explicit, took place between conquered and conquerors (Hingley
2005: 30-46). Interestingly, similar cases have recently been reported in the Roman towns of
Augusta Treverorum (present day Trier, Germany) or Augustodum (modern day Autun,
France).
In this talk we will tackle these problems and how, orientation, as one of the characteristics of
the material record, when interpreted together with the cultural and social characteristics of
past societies may talk about this hybridization.

References

 Boutsikas, E. and Ruggles, C.L.N. (2011) Temples, Stars, and Ritual Landscapes: the
Po-tential for Archaeoastronomy in Ancient Greece. American Journal of
Archaeology 115 (1), 55-68
 Hingley, R, (2005) Globalizing Roman culture. Unity, diversity and empire.
(Routledge: New York).
 González-García, A. C., Rodríguez-Antón, A. and J.A. Belmonte (2014) The
orientation of Roman Towns in Hispania: Preliminary Results. Mediterranean
Archaeology and Archaeometry 14 (3), 107-19
 Magli, G. (2008) On the orientation of Roman towns in Italy. Oxford Journal of
Archaeology 27 (1), 63-71

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pódium of the
main temple

Figure 1. The main temple of Augusta Raurica seen from the entrance to the theaters cavea

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Skylore of indigenous hunter-gatherers of northern Japan: house and


burial orientations of Hokkaido Ainu.
Akira Goto
Nanzan University, Nagoya, Japan oc.nagoya@gmail.com; agoto@nanzan-u.ac.jp

The long chain of Japanese Archipelago has nurtured diverse skyscape between north and
south (Goto 2016). In the northern Japan, there live indigenous hunter-gathers, Ainu who
have inherited a rich tradition of skylore. The distance of rising points of June and December
solstices is great in this northern latitude, and the Ainu people were carefully observing the
shift of sunrise and sunset to estimate season. Stars were also an important index to know
seasonality of faunal and floral resources (Sueoka 2009). A settlement unit of the Hokkaido
Ainu consists of house, sacred alter, bear’s pen, storage, men’s toilet and women’s toilet.
Usually each nuclear family lived in a house, called chise. Each chise had a sacred window,
rorun-puyar at the opposite side of the entrance. It was strictly prohibited to look into the
house through rorun-puyar, and the head of hunted bear and offerings were carried into the
house through this window. There held the most important ceremony, iomante (=bear ritual),
in the space between rorun-puyar and the sacred alter. There are some ethnographic
information suggesting that the sacred window was facing the east, called cupra (=sun rise).
Among some 80 excavated house sites belonging to Early Modern Ainu Period (1400-1800
A.D.), the wall that might have a sacred window tends to be facing the east (Kobayashi 2010).
Also among 1,034 burials belonging to Early Modern Ainu Period, the orientations of 418
burials have been accurately recorded (Utagawa 2007). In these data, there is a strong
tendency that burials were oriented toward east (dominance of SE orientation), but there
noticed a local variation (e.g. NW orientation of burials in Norhtern Hokkaido and Sakhalin).
(See the following figure)

Although the constellation seems to have been important for orienting settlement and burial,
the story was not so simple. The orientations of houses and burials were decided considering
several other factors, such as, river orientation, land slope, and so on. Usually Ainu villages

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were arranged along the river, and the direction of upstream toward sacred mountain was as
important as the east. Thus we need to have more integrated view of their indigenous
recognition of nature and orientation in order to figure out these problems. In this
presentation, I will discuss the indigenous orientation in the Ainu houses and burials in
relation to their landscape, calendar and cosmology.

References

 Fujimoto, Hideo (1971) Burials in the North. Gakusei-sha (In Japanese)


 Goto, Akira (2016) “Solar Kingdom of Ryukyu: the formation of a cosmovision
o in the southern islands of the Japanese Archipelago” Journal of Astronomy in
o Culture 1: 77-88.
 Kobayashi, Koji (2010) Reconsideration on Architectural Culture of the Ainu.
 Hokkaido Shuppan Kikaku Center (In Japanese)
 Sueoka, Tomio (2009) Stars seen by the Ainu-tari. Private edition. (In Japanese)
 Utagawa, Hiroshi (2001) Figures of Ainu Burial of Remains Grave Collection.
 Hokkaido Shuppan Kikaku Center (In Japanese)

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A Durable Tale: A 250-page artist’s book.


Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts
800 Lenox Avenue, Apt. 5 Miami Beach FL 33139 m427@bellsouth.net

For a long time almanacs – based on accurate observation made of the timing of certain stars
and their appearance in relation to other stars or local seasons – guided the seasonal work of
hunters and gatherers, herders and farmers. My grandfather, as told by his grandfather,
followed such an almanac on his family’s old SE (southeastern) U.S. farmstead.
Some cave pictures – perhaps quoting a prehistoric almanac – appear to document a
preexisting star picture. A mental image like a star picture is every bit as real as one
preserved on a rock wall, but for survival over time a star picture needs to be wrapped in
something durable. Durable – like the nightly view of a timeless star picture tied to an
especially useful, entertaining, or poetic star story. Further, the long life of useful tools – the
hand axe barely changed in a million years of human use – led me to think that a useful old
star picture almanac might somewhere yet be remembered, the living echo of an ancestor
culture. So in 1980 I began a thirty-year exploration of star stories in the SE U.S. and West
Africa, the initial aim being simply to get a deeper understanding of my Old South mother
culture.
In the 1980s – with my family almanac and an open-ended artwork in hand – I traveled the
SE U.S. collecting the region's star stories. The link between the stars of the Bronze Age hero
Perseus and the Pleiades star cluster (the focus of my family's almanac) led to a parallel study
of the history and lore of the Perseus constellation. My book’s section titled Gathering
Evidence: Perseus and the Pleiades is a summary of what I learned in that decade.
Because West African influence is deep throughout the Old South I spent summers during the
1990s and, on a Fulbright Scholar Award, a full two years researching spoken star lore in the
Sahel zones of Senegal, Mali and Nigeria, summarized in the section African Stars.
During the Y2Ks I compared pictures and stories from my many travels with early writings
and prehistoric images. This led to discovery of seemingly natural silhouettes in the stars of
seven constellations inherited from the Sumerians. Those star pictures line up on a seasonal
sky map as the illustrations that led me to see an almanac story in the first nine tablets of the
Babylonian epic of Gilgamesh; the details of this discovery are in the Babylonian Gilgamesh
segment.
In 2010 I presented a poster outlining the scope of the project at INSAP VII in Bath, England;
in 2013 I offered a finished section from the book – a personal almanac entitled Stars on
Local Time – at INSAP VIII in New York City’s Hayden Planetarium. The stimulation of
these conferences and informal critiques received there helped me complete A Durable Tale,
an illustrated account of this personal quest spanning the central thirty years of my adult life.

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References

 George, Andrew. 1999. Epic of Gilgamesh: A New Translation. London: Penguin


books.
 Dalley, Stephanie. 1989. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh,
and Others. A new translation by Stephanie Dalley. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Hesiod. 2006. Theogony, Works and Days, Testimonia, trans. Glenn W. Most.
Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
 McIntosh, Susan Keech, and R.J. 1983. ‘Current Directions in West African
Prehistory,’ Annual Review of Anthropology, No. 12.

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Archaeoastronomy and Refraction: A Discussion.


Thomas T. Gough
Refraction is a known factor in archaeoastronomy, especially at low altitudes. For
determination of azimuth and declination, observed altitudes need to be corrected for
astronomical refraction. Alexander Thom wrote detailed discussions of refraction and gave
summaries of his investigations.1,2 Douglas Heggie discussed the topic, highlighting some of
the potential problems.3
A paper by Schaefer and Liller (1990) doubted the possibility of precise alignments. 4 This
influential paper has been widely referenced. They made measurements of the times of
sunsets over the sea from two elevated sites on the west coast of Chile. For each observation
they deduced a refraction value, finding unexpectedly large variations, particularly so from
the higher site at 2215m. On the basis of these results, and other data given in the paper, they
concluded that precise lunar alignments as proposed by Thom would not be possible.
Variations in refraction cannot, in general, be predicted and that variation, if large, would be
a major issue for observed altitude correction of precise alignments. Over the last 10 years, in
Argyll, Mull and Islay, the present author has assessed all accessible standing stone sites
where the stone(s) indicate a direction and where the relevant horizon is not obscured by trees
or buildings. The results showed that lunar and solar alignments exist.5 That finding is not
compatible with large variations in refraction because such refraction would have prevented
the alignments being established in the first place.
This paper will present the work done in an effort to resolve the contradiction.
In an ongoing investigation, an assessment of refraction variation has been carried out in
Scotland, and in the regions of the assessed stones. This has involved multiple timed
measurements of both the upper and lower limbs of the setting sun. To date five sets of
observations have been made from three different sites; three sets from an inland site and two
from sites near or on the west coast. In total 109 observations have been made and to as low
an altitude as possible, usually to about 1º altitude, but at one site to 0º altitude. The observed
altitude (ho) is adjusted for altitude and, where necessary, temperature, and compared with
the calculated altitude (hc) to give the deviation in refraction.
These results indicate that in the regions investigated, and for observations above an altitude
of 1º there is unlikely to be an issue with variable refraction. All but one of the precise lunar
alignments identified had altitudes above this value.
The Schaefer and Liller paper will be reviewed, possible explanations offered for the large
refraction variations found off the west coast of Chile, and reasons given why the results may
not be relevant to observations in Scotland. The issues include:- atmospheric and oceanic
differences, with an inversion layer over the sea being common in Chile, but not in Scotland,
the negative altitudes in the Chile observations and the very long sightlines.

References

 Thom A. 1969, ‘The Lunar Observatories of Megalithic Man, Vistas in Astronomy 11,
1-29, (pp3-5, 20-21)
 Thom, A. 1971, Megalithic Lunar Observatories. Oxford: Oxford University Press
 Heggie, D. 1981, Megalithic Science. pp 134-5, London: Thames and Hudson
 Schaefer, B. and W. Liller, 1990. Refraction near the horizon. Astronomical Society
of the Pacific, 102: 796-805
1. Gough, T. 2014, Evidence for the existence of solar and lunar alignments in western
Scotland: the contrasting nature of backsights, foresights and alignments, SEAC
Malta, maajournal.com/Issues/2014/Vol14-3/Full23.pdf

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To the Sky and Back: Philosophical and symbolic exploration of cosmic


spirit-travel in Indigenous Australian cultures.
Duane Hamacher
Monash University, Australia

The astronomical traditions of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures often
describe movements of spirits and creation ancestors between the land and sky. Many
traditions describe ancestor beings creating the land and people, then teaching the laws before
ascending the the sky via mountaintops, trees, or other geographical features. Other traditions
describe the ascension of ancestors or spirit beings as reward or bravery, a punishment for
wrongdoings, or as a means of escaping a threat. These landscape features become important
cultural sites and serve as a memory spaces for oral traditions. These memory spaces serve to
remind people the importance of obeying traditional laws and customs, as well as explaining
the formation processes of natural features. In other traditions, ancestor and spirit travel can
occur through astronomical phenomena - such as meteors - which are frequently related to
death and mourning, and are represented on traditional devices such as drums and dance
machines. The movement back and forth by spirit ancestors informs sacred law, ceremony,
kinship, and subsistence living. This paper will explore the philosophical and anthropological
foundations of this relationship, with a focus on current ethnographic studies with the
Meriam people of the eastern Torres Strait. We show how symbolic anthropology can help us
understand the connection between meteors and death rites, and why such a belief is
widespread across Australia and the world.

Figure 1. A Torres Strait dance machine by Patrick Thaiday called Comet kuikuipikal titui.

References

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 Hamacher, D.W. and Norris, R.P. (2010). Meteors in Australian Aboriginal


Dreamings. WGN – Journal of the International Meteor Organization, Vol. 38(3), pp.
87-98.
 Hamacher, D.W., Tapim, A., Passi, S., and Barsa, J. (2016). “Dancing with the stars”:
astronomy and music in the Torres Strait. Proceedings of INSAP IX, edited by K.
White. Lampeter, UK: Sophia Centre Press.
 Kelly, L. (2016). The Memory Code. Sydney, Allen & Unwin.
 Nakata, M. (2010). The cultural interface of Islander and scientific knowledge.
Australian
 Journal of Indigenous Education, Vol. 39(Supp), pp. 53-57.

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With Bits of String and Sheets of Perspex: Naum Gabo's Modeling of Time
and Space.
John G. Hatch
Western University

In a 1966 interview the Russian sculptor, Naum Gabo, highlighted what was one of the
defining moments in his life. It occurred just before the First World War as an engineering
student at the University of Munich where he not only decided to become a sculptor, after
attending some of Heinrick Wölfflin's art history lectures, but also discovered the subject of
his work. He states: "…I knew it had to be sculpture, but it had to be a totally different
sculpture. And it had to express a new way of looking at the universe." Gabo then hints at the
source: "A new feeling was already going through the universities and among intellectuals….
I will never forget when I was present at a gathering of scientists and students in, well, about
1911 or 1912 -- one of my professors was talking about Einstein's theory. I myself was then
studying physics. There was a sharp discussion. I grasped the idea, though I couldn't say
exactly what it was about. But there was an elation in the air." (1) While many scholars
acknowledge the influence of Relativity on Gabo's work, few provide tangible evidence of
how this manifested itself. (2) Even the most recent monograph on Gabo's life and work
dedicates a chapter on the importance of science for Gabo, but then shies away from
exploring Einstein's relevance, designating the physicist's work as too challenging for Gabo
based on a single diary entry where the sculptor notes his frustration. (3) There is no doubt
that the task was difficult, however, it is my belief that from 1920 on, there are a series of key
works that take up the challenge of giving visual form to Einstein's universe, with the most
telling being the "Spheric Themes" of the 1930s and 40s where Gabo recreates Einstein's
notion of the universe as finite but unbounded, and explicitly echoes this when he observes in
1957 that "There are some who consider my 'Spheric Theme' as an image of infinity. To my
mind the image of infinity could not be an image which turns back on itself. I feel in this
Spheric Theme continuity rather than infinity." (4) This paper traces Gabo's sculptural
experiments with Relativity from his earliest visualizations based on Hermann Weyl's light
cones to his "Spheric Theme" series, demonstrating ultimately that they aren't so vaguely
related to the universe described by Relativity as is too often assumed.

References

 "Naum Gabo Talks About His Work," Studio International (vol. 171, no. 876, 1966),
p. 128.
 S.A. Nash and Jörn Merkert (eds.), Naum Gabo: Sixty Years of Constructivism
(Dallas and Munich: Dallas Museum of Art and Prestel-Verlag, 1985), p. 25; and,
Teresa Newman, Naum Gabo: The Constructive Process (London: The Tate Gallery,
1976), p. 9;
 Martin Hammer and Christina Lodder, Constructing Modernity: The Art and Career
of Naum Gabo (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000), p. 394.
 Naum Gabo, "The Spheric Theme," in Herbert Read and Leslie Martin (eds.), Gabo:
 Constructions, Sculpture, Drawings, Engravings (London and Cambridge, Mass.:
Harvard University Press, 1957), np.

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Figure 1. Naum Gabo, Spheric Theme: Translucent Variation (1937/51, The Solomon R.
Guggenheim Museum, New York)

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Abstract 47

From the ground to the stars: Early Bronze Age postholes alignments in
Linsmeau showing a possible astronomical intent (BEL).
Frédéric Heller (1), Silvia Motta (2), Adriano Gaspani (³), Georg Zotti (4)
1. Public Service of Wallonia, Namur frederic.heller@spw.wallonie.be
2. I.N.A.F. Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica silvia.motta@brera.inaf.it;
adriano.gaspani@brera.inaf.it
3. Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera- Milano
4. LBI ArchPro, Vienna Georg.Zotti@archpro.lbg.ac.at

The site of Linsmeau is located in a depression at the foot of the plateaus in the middle of
Belgium on a colluvial beach north of the Petite Gette River, an affluent to the Scheldt River
basin, and situated at the end of its navigable zone. A series of 15 unusually deep-rooted post
holes were uncovered there during the excavation in 2014 (see enclosed figure).
Though few in number they are atypical and they all reach and bore into the underlying
sandstone bedrock, at a depth of up to 1.4 meters. Their position, small diameter and wide
spacing rules out the idea that they could have been used as part of a building. Furthermore,
all of the posts show clear evidence of being ripped out from their holes. In this they differ
from all the other posts found on the site and, for the first time in Belgium, peculiar
orientations were noticed (Heller et al.,02- 2016). Then, in a first study that analyzed a geo-
referenced, 3D model visualized in Stellarium 0.14.3 (Heller & Zotti, 2016), relevant
astronomical computation showed the occurrence of several alignments of many pairs of
posts towards the rising point of the moon at the extreme northern declination and towards
the setting at the southern extreme one, as well as an interest in the sun at summer solstice.
There are also alignments to the rising sun at the cross-quarters days. In collaboration with
Silvia Motta and Adriano Gaspani, astrophysicists of the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica
from the Brera Observatory in Milan, we investigated the site using bespoked archaeo-
astronomical software created by Adriano Gaspani.
Statistical analyses of the orientations of the alignments were carried out to determine
whether or not the orientations we had found were due to chance factors. In this paper, we
discuss our methods and reveal the probable orientation foci of the site and propose that there
could be an astronomical intent in the placing of the deep posts found at Linsmeau.

References

 Heller, F., Clarys, B., Collette, O., Van Driessche, A. Hélécine/Linsmeau: une
importante occupation protohistorique à « La Closière », Lunula archaeologia
prehistorica XXIV, February 2016
 Heller, F., Zotti, G. (2016) Early Bronze Age deep postholes setting in Linsmeau with
possible astronomical orientation, TAG2016 “in preparation”
 Higginbottom and Smith Investigating the Possibility of Astronomical Connections at
the Mesolithic and Neolithic Crathes Warren Field Site, Scotland, UK, S. 7.) B. Deiss,
Zur Struktur und Orientierung der Grabensysteme um die Fürstengrabhügel am
Glauberg. In: Der Glauberg in keltischer Zeit. Zum neuesten Stand der Forschung.
Öffentliches Symposium 14.-16. September 2006 Darmstadt. Fundber. Hessen Beih.
6 (Wiesbaden 2008) 279-294

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 Vincent Gaffney, Simon Fitch, Eleanor Ramsey, Ron Yorston, Eugene Ch'ng,
Eamonn Baldwin, Richard Bates, Christopher Gaffney, Clive Ruggles, Tom Sparrow,
Anneley McMillan, Dave Cowley, Shannon Fraser, Charles Murray, Hilary Murray,
Emma Hopla and Andy Howard Time and a Place: A luni-solar 'time-reckoner' from
8th millennium BC Scotland
 Paztor Emilia. An archaeologist’s comments on prehistoric European astronomy,
Computum, 2009, Vol. 20 Num 2, pp. 79-94.
 Evans James The History and practice of Ancient Astronomy Oxford University Press
S. 4.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

The bright Supernova 1355 BC in Chinese texts and on Swedish rock-


carvings.
Göran Henriksson
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Sweden

A Chinese oracle bone text from the Shang Dynasty contains the earliest mentioning of a
“guest star”. "On a chi-ssu day, the seventh day of the month, a great new star appeared in the
company of the 'Fire (Star)' (Antares)." "On a hsin-wei day the new star dwindled." Yoke
(1962) writes: “The above are contained in the oracle-bones, dating from about the 14th
century B.C. and have been regarded as the most ancient extant records of novae. Needham
(1959) mentions that the two records probably referred to the same phenomenon. It is
unfortunate that no exact dates or positions of the new stars can be deduced from the above.”
However, it can be identified on Swedish rock carvings from the Bronze Age, 1800-500 BC,
as a solar symbol placed below the ecliptic and close to the left elbow of a male figure, our
constellation Orion, that lifts the highest of the six calendar ships, Gemini-Taurus, above his
head (Henriksson 1999 and 2005). The symbol for the full moon was marked above the
supernova which means that the supernova appeared in November. If this is combined with
the information in the Chinese text that “On a chi-ssu day, the seventh day of the month”,
which only happens once every 59th year in November, there exist only one solution. In
earlier studies of this guest star radio astronomers had in vain searched for a suitable
supernova remnant in the vicinity of Antares. In my interpretation “in company of the
Antares” means that they appeared in the sky simultaneously. There exist many examples in
ancient texts of pairing of stars that are rising and setting at the same time.
The supernova appeared in the sky on 9 November, 1355 BC, at about 22.10 local mean
solar time in central Sweden, below the left elbow of Orion and can be identified with the
supernova remnant PKS0646+06. The sun came closer and closer every day and on the “hsin-
wei day” 11 May 1354 BC it set before the sun and was only possible to see during daytime.
In Sweden it was visible during daytime 30 April - 6 July that has been marked at Vitlycke,
parish of Tanum, with a row of 68 cup-marks, one for every day. It has been possible to
determine the magnitude and date in four cases and these points match very good with the
linear decline of a supernova type Ia such as Kepler’s nova in 1604. The magnitude at
maximum was –10.4, more than 250 times brighter than Venus, the brightest of the planets.

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References

 Henriksson, G. 1999. Prehistoric constellations on Swedish Rock-carvings. Actes de


la Vème conference de la SEAC, Gdańsk, 5-8 septembre 1997 (Światowit supplement
series H: Anthropology, 2), ed. A. Le Beuf and M. Ziólkowski, 155-173. Warsaw.
 Henriksson, G. 2005. Solar eclipses, supernova and Encke’s comet on Swedish rock
Carvings. Proceedings of the Fifth Oxford International Conference on Ar-
chaeoastronomy, Santa Fe, August 1996, ed. Fountain, J. W. & Sinclair, R. M.,
Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina.
 Needham, J. 1959. Science and Civilisation in China, Vol. III. Cambridge University
Press. 1959.
 Yoke, Ho Peng 1962. Ancient and Mediaeval Observations of Comets and Novae in
Chinese Sources, Vistas in Astronomy 5, 127, 1962.

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Sunhoney Recumbent Stone Circle: Exception or Template?


Liz Henty
lizhenty@f2s.com

The distinctive Recumbent Stone Circles (RSCs) of northeast Scotland have been studied

archaeologically and astronomically for over a century. In 1900, Frederick Coles’ (1900)
archaeological observations contrasted with A L Lewis’ (1900) orientation theory. Alexander
Thom (1980) envisioned them as examples of megalithic science and lunar observatories.
Aubrey Burl and Clive Ruggles (1985) promoted a statistical approach to discover their
alignments. This study was later refined by Ruggles (1999) and stands as the most
authoritative to date. However, many of his assumptions were questioned by Richard Bradley
(2005) who suggested that the circle centre could not be used for the purpose of observing
and recording alignments. This later evidence has meant that there has been an impasse
between archaeology and archaeoastronomy and a hiatus in astronomical interpretations of
these circles.

In 2014 (Henty 2014), I adopted a phenomenological method which incorporated Bradley’s


data, to provide a new interpretation of Tomnaverie RSC. However, that research cannot be
replicated for a large number of sites because only a handful of them have been properly
excavated or radiocarbon dated, so the corresponding archaeological record is lacking.
Nevertheless, phenomenology provided new insights at Tomnaverie so I have applied it in
new research on Sunhoney RSC. This site was picked because behind the recumbent
arrangement there is a backdrop of high hills which impact the visibility of the setting moon
at its standstills or the setting solstitial sun in the southwest. Additionally the visibility of the
lunar standstill and solstitial risings in the northeast are impacted by a further hill on an
otherwise low horizon. Midmar Kirk RSC (1.5 km away) has a similar high horizon behind
the recumbent as well as the same hill in the northeast. These two circles are unlike the other
69 RSCs still in existence, which have clear views to the southwest. If what was discovered
at Sunhoney was very different from that found at other RSCs with no hills, does this mean
that the monument replicated the architectural designs elsewhere in the region without taking
‘normal’ alignments into account? Alternatively could it mean that Sunhoney was laid out for
different spatial/celestial reasons, which have not previously been considered? If so, this
research could provide a template for reviewing existing case study findings for all the other

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RSCs. This paper explores the findings of the Sunhoney RSC in an attempt to answer these
questions.

References

 Bradley, Richard, The Moon and the Bonfire: An Investigation of Three Stone Circles
in Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 2005.
 Coles, F R, ‘Report on Stone Circles in Kincardineshire (North) and part of
Aberdeenshire, with measured Plans and Drawings obtained under the Gunning
Fellowship’, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland, Vol.34, 1899-
1900, pp.139-198.
 Henty, L., “The Archaeoastronomy of Tomnaverie Recumbent Stone Circle: A
Comparison of Methodologies”. Papers from the Institute of Archaeology 24: Art. 15
(online edition). http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/pia.464, 2014.
 Lewis, A L ‘The Stone Circles of Scotland’ The Journal of the Anthropological
Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 30 (1900), pp.56-73.
 Ruggles, Clive, Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland, New Haven and
London: Yale University Press, 1999.
 Ruggles, C L N and Burl, H A W, ‘A New Study of the Aberdeenshire Recumbent
Stone Circles, 2: Interpretation’, Archaeoastronomy No 8, Journal for the History of
Astronomy, xvi, supplement to Volume 16, Cambridge: Science History Publications,
1985.
 Thom, Alexander, Megalithic Sites in Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1967.
 Thom, A, Megalithic Lunar Observatories, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971.
 Thom, A and A S, Megalithic Rings, collated with archaeological notes by A Burl,
BAR British Series 81, Oxford: BAR, 1980.

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Testing, testing 1, 2, 3 …. Testing, testing what you see.


Gail Higginbottom (1), Roger Clay (2)
1. ANU, Adelaide
2. Adelaide

Traditional archaeological location modelling, whilst very informative about spatial patterns
across a 2D spectrum, can be limited in its contribution to understanding human choice about
location. On the other hand, projects combining statistical tests with models influenced by
individual immersion techniques have a far better chance of understanding the choices people
made in regards to place and confirming the likelihood of these apparent choices. As is likely
known by now, our work uses the program, Horizon. Horizon uses topographic, astronomic,
and atmospheric data, along with information on human vision and 3D-rendering techniques,
to create 3 main outputs: (i) 2-D, 360º visible horizon profiles, (ii) 3D, 360o models with
visual topographic depth and layered astronomical information, where a change in time
accurately alters what can be seen astronomically, as well as the position of astronomical
phenomenon in relation to the landscape and (iii) data files. These data files contain data on
the topography as a whole, or only on the horizon shape, surrounding a site. Such data is one
type of information used in our statistical tests to test the likelihood of sites being connected
to astronomical phenomena. For instance, in the past we have statistically tested and
confirmed the likelihood that the points on the horizon, as indicated by monument alignments
as a regional group, were statistically different in terms of direction, altitude and distance
from the monuments, than any other place on the surrounding visible horizon. We have also
used the 3D models to view how things were seen at each site from the viewpoint of an
individual after statistically testing the likelihood that monuments were erected with
astronomy in mind in different locations across Scotland, regionally, as in the case of simpler
standing stone monuments, and individually, in the case of more complex monuments, like
stone circles. We have now created new statistical approaches to test different questions we
might have of our models. This paper discusses the ways in which we have combined our
visible models and the new statistical approaches to help us better understand the locational
choices made by prehistoric people.

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The genesis of Hipparchus’s celestial globe – reconstructing his work by


means of modern computational astronomy and analysing possible idols
and sources.
Sussane M. Hoffmann
The celestial globe of Hipparchus is not preserved. We only know of its existence due to its
mentioning in the Almagest and during the last 400 centuries there had been many
speculation whether Ptolemy stole or quoted some or all of Hipparchus's data on stellar
positions. In order to reconstruct the globe of Hipparchus I therefore had to study and prove
or falsify the connections between those two sets of data in addition to evaluate the data in
Hipparchus’ s own text (Macfarlane, Roger T. und Mills, Paul S.: Hipparchus' Commentaries
on the Phaenomena of Aratus and Eudoxus, engl. translation, (Nov. 2009 draft), unpublished).
The talk will show how I reconstructed the globe of Hipparchus from the only original
Hipparchian source we have and in which amount I was able to use the Almagest data. The
result of my computing work is a virtual 3D model of the globe of Hipparchus which I will
present in the talk. I additionally analysed several older Greek and Babylonian texts to find
hints on possible sources of Hipparchus in order to prove whether or not he really observed
every star of his catalogue on his own. In an additional poster I intend to present some
analysis of those older data and will sketch a main line of the scientific development of
astrometrical methods and data during the first millennium BCE.

Figure 1. Virtual 3D-reconstruction of Hipparchus's globe

Background: I studied physics and history of science (two academic degrees) and combined
both subjects in my dissertation on Hipparchus’s globe (Berlin, Humboldt Universität, 2016).
This book will be published within the next few months – will be my primary reference
containing all references needed to cite in this context.
References
 Grasshoff, Gerd: The history of Ptolemy's star catalogue, Springer, New York, 1990
 Hoffmann, Susanne M: Der Himmelsglobus von Hipparch - Bindeglied der
babylonisch-griechischen Astrometriegeschichte? (in preparation)
 Vogt, Hermann: Versuch einer Wiederherstellung von Hipparchs Fixsternverzeichnis,
Astronomische Nachrichten (Bd. 224, Nr. 5354--55), 1925, cols. 17--54

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Astronomy Development and Filmmaking in the Karoo.


Jarita Holbrook
University of the Western Cape

The Square Kilometre Array when completed will be the largest radio telescope in the
world.1 The core of the African part of the array will be located in South Africa in the Karoo
Desert.2 The town closest to the core is Carnarvon, the capitol of the Kareeberg Municipality.
“SKA ≥ Karoo Radio Telescope” is a documentary film that captures the hopes and dreams
of the people living near the SKA core and a variety of SKA stakeholders. 3 The film is an
experimental form of research ethnography centered around a set of hypotheses that were
tested through the interviews conducted for the documentary. For example, one of the
hypotheses was that the long term beneficiaries of the SKA will be the astronomers
regardless of the proximity to Carnarvon, and that those beneficiaries would have very weak
to non-existent ties to Carnarvon or that region of the Karoo Desert. Another hypothesis was
that the people of Carnarvon would not have a clear understanding of the nature of astronomy
development projects in contrast to traditional development projects. Film clips are used to
illustrate the ‘answers’ to these hypotheses and other tensions surrounding the SKA. Finally,
the title tries to capture the pride and sense of ownership that people in the region and South
Africahave towards the SKA, but it is much more than a regional or national telescope.

References

 Amos, Jonathan, and B. B. C. News. “Africa and Australasia to Share Square


Kilometre Array.” BBC News, May 25, 2012.
http://www.bbc.com/news/scienceenvironment-18194984.
 Dewdney, Peter, Peter Hall, Richard Schilizzi, and Joseph Lazio. “The Square
Kilometre Array: This Telescope, to Be the Largest in the World, Will Probe the
Evolution of Black Holes as Well as the Basic Properties, Birth and Death of the
Universe.” Proceedings of the IEEE 97, no. 8 (2009): 1482–96.
 SKA = Karoo Radio Telescope (2016). Accessed February 12, 2017.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6289668/.

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Visualizing the Universe: The Intersection of Art and Astronomy.


Chris Impey, Dinah Jasensky

Introduction

Chris Impey and Dinah Jasensky are a husband-and-wife team collaborating on science and
art. Chris is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona whose research is on
observational cosmology, and Dinah is a professional artist with a background in
environmental science. Recently they have worked together on a body of paintings with
astronomy themes. This collaboration is the subject of the proposed poster.
Background
Astronomy is an intensely visual subject. Before photography, the only way to represent
objects in the sky was with a drawing or painting. Throughout history, humans have shown
their love of the night sky and their wonder of the stars through art. Artists of the past helped
astronomers see and record natural phenomena which stimulated questions about our place in
the universe. Art communicated ideas which enriched the culture and led to advances in ways
of visualizing remote and unfamiliar environments. Even in the age of digital imagery, art
remains important for connecting us to the skies.
Art represents nature in a way that adds to scientific knowledge through the artist’s intention
and perspective. Paintings elicit reactions and emotions that are not triggered by a digital
image. When astronomers take digital images, they are limited by what the telescope can see
and what a camera can record. Artists use color, texture, and composition to visualize the
universe in new ways. Artistic interpretation remains a critical component of the culture of
science.

Aim

This poster presents our astronomy and art collaboration. The paintings resulting from this
transdisciplinary work are inspired by stories of astronomical discoveries, and by images
from ground- and space-based telescopes. During the collaborative process, the dialogue
between scientist and artist emerges as a new language that changes the perspective of each.
The work remains true to science while utilizing the possibilities of the oil-based medium.
The aim of this project is to extend the art-science dialogue to audiences viewing the work.
Results
As thematic ideas were shared and discussed, artistic concepts were formulated and expanded.
Some paintings started as purely abstract designs; others were inspired by cutting edge
research images such as those from the Hubble Space Telescope. Going through these images
together, we worked toward a shared understanding that the artist then used as a springboard
to make a unique design for a compelling painting. Throughout the painting process,
scientific and artistic feedback continued to create a result that conveys a shared
understanding of the subject matter.

References

 Impey, C.D., and Green, H.L. 2010. The Living Cosmos: A Fabric That Binds Art
and Science, Leonardo Magazine, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 435.
 Impey, C.D., and Jasensky, D. 2015. When Art and Astronomy Meet, The Intellectual:
Art, Science, and Architecture, Issue 2, http://the-intellectual-magazine.com/.
 Mann, A. 2016. Looking at a Shared Sky, Through the Lens of Art, Proceedings of
the National Academies of Science, Vol. 113, No. 50, p. 14165.

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Figure 1. “The Birth of Exoplanets” is one of the paintings resulting from the collaboration,
and will be one of the images included in the poster.

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Our Future Off-Earth and the Road to the Stars.


Chris Impey
Associate Dean, College of Science, University of Arizona

Fifty thousand years ago, humans demonstrated their urge to explore by leaving Africa and
radiating out across the planet. About fifty years ago, they mastered the technology to leave
the planet for the first time. Now, we are poised to venture out into the Solar System and
beyond, to the stars. This talk will look at the history of our exploration of space, bringing in
visions from art and literature. Only 600 people have been in Earth orbit, and just 12 have
stood on another world. For most of its history, the “space race” was a superpower rivalry
born out of the Cold War. Now, new countries involved and a burgeoning private sector has
bold plans for tourism and commerce beyond the Earth. The next fifty years should see
colonies on the Moon and Mars, the mining of asteroids, a space elevator, and increasing
human exploration of the Solar System. Space travel is poised to transition from being the
activity of an elite few to being a broader aspect of human culture. Breakthrough Starshot is
planning a robotic mission to the nearest star. The dream of human travel to the stars may
finally be within reach.

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Survey, archaeastronomy and communication: The Mausoleum of Galla


Placidia in Ravenna (Italy).
Manuela Incerti, Gaia Lavoratti
Dipartimento di Architettura di Ferrara

The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia (dating pre 450, see enclosed figure), is one of Ravenna’s
UNESCO protected monuments, globally renowned for the extraordinary mosaic decorations
that cover the internal surfaces. The famous Starry Vault profoundly engages and inspires the
observer. It has been analyzed and described for its accuracy in the representation of the real
sky, but also because of its mystical and symbolic meaning in relation to the iconographic
tradition of the time (Ranaldi, 2011; Rizzardi, 2005; Swift & Alwis, 2010). It has been
noticed that the 567 eight point golden stars decrease in size from the springer to the keystone
of the vault, a figurative device to perceptually broaden the natural prospective effect.
Furthermore, each star lies on a deep blue background made of tesserae layed out according
inscribed circles. Although these are not visible to the naked eye, they are still able to evoke
the expansive movement of light. Finally, the large central Latin cross is placed individually,
with a 90° rotation in relation to the axis of the Mausoleum.
The building has been the subject of archeoastronomical research carried out by prof.
Giuliano Romano (Romano, 1995), who measured its orientation. The Azimut value of 180.2
° highlights a north-south, trend which is decidedly singular in comparison to other Byzantine
buildings of Ravenna.
The present contribution also examines other architectural elements beyond orientation:
particular attention is payed to the small slit windows of the building, which were reopened
following the restorations carried out in the last century (Iannucci, 1995) to investigate their
possible archaeoastronomical significance. In the study of these elements, particular attention
should be payed to the elaboration of architectural survey data, which has to be produced
following established procedures and techniques. The architectural survey will therefore be
carried out with the laser scanner-Faro Focus 3D (Scene 6.2 software), the texture will be
drawn up with digital photogrammetry software.
A functional 3D model will be developed from the data of the archaeoastronomical analysis
to display the original morphology of the building (the floor was about 140 cm lower because
of subsidence movements), astronomical phenomena, and allow for multimedia
communication of the scientific content produced. This last part of the contribution is part of
the trials conducted by the research group, (Incerti & Iurilli, 2016; Incerti, Iurilli, and
Lavoratti, 2016) regarding the modes of multimedia communications, interactive and not,
based on virtual models as an edutainment tool for the fruition of cultural sites and artefacts.

References

 Iannucci, A. M. (1995). For a historiography of Ravenna restorations, see: il mausoleo


di Galla Placidia. In Corso di cultura sull’arte ravennate e bizantina, vol. 41: Ravenna,
Costantinopoli, Vicino Oriente. In memoria del prof. F. W. Deichmann (pp. 63–76).
Ravenna: Edizioni del Girasole.
 Incerti, M., & Iurilli, S. (2016). Virtuality and Multimedia for Digital Heritage:
Schifanoia Palace and Its Hall of Months. In Handbook of Research on Emerging
Technologies for Digital Preservation and Information Modeling (pp. 288–315).
Hershey, PA, USA: IGI Global. http://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-0680-5.ch012

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 Incerti, M., Iurilli, S., & Lavoratti, G. (2016). Survey, archaeastronomy and
communication: the Mausoleum of Teodoric in Ravenna (Italy). Mediterranean
Archaeology & Archaeometry. International Scientific Journal, 16(4), 437–446.
 Ranaldi, A. (2011). Dalla realtà sensibile all’astrazione. La volta stellata del mausoleo
di Galla Placidia. In L. Kniffitz (Ed.), Architettura e mosaico. Atti della Giornata di
studi, Ravenna 9 ottobre 2010 (pp. 20–42). Ravenna: MAR - Museo d’Arte Ravenna.
 Rizzardi, C. (2005). Il cielo stellato del mausoleo di Galla Placidia. In S. Pasi & A.
Mandolesi (Eds.), Studi in memoria di Patrizia Angiolini Martinelli. Alma Mater
Studiorum, Università di Bologna, Dipartimento di Archeologia (pp. 277–288).
Bologna.
 Romano, G. (1995). Orientamenti ad sidera. Astronomia, riti e calendari per la
fondazione di templi e città. Un esempio a Ravenna. Ravenna: Edizioni Essegi.
 Swift, E., & Alwis, A. (2010). The role of late antique art in early Christian worship:
a reconsideration of the iconography of the “starry sky” in the “Mausoleum” of Galla
Placida. Papers of the British School at Rome, 78, 193–217.

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The observations of the Moon at Naranjo - new facts and interpretations.


Stanislaw Iwaniszewski
ENAH-INAH

According to the Maya records, in AD 682 the Dos Pilas ruler Bahlaj Chan K'awiil, sent his
daughter, "Lady Six Sky", to Naranjo (today's Guatemala) so at to re-establish the local
dynasty. Some years later, her arrival at the city was described by a glyph that was widely
associated with the age of the moon in the Maya Lunar Series, while she was depicted as
impersonating the Moon Goddess (see Figure 1). At Naranjo, the Lunar Series attached to the
date of "Lady Six Sky” arrival is associated with the start of Teeple's (1931) "Period of
Uniformity" Uniform System. However, for some time on, another system of counting the
moon run in parallel (Iwaniszewski 2011).
The name of the ruler’s consort, “Lady Six Sky” appears on other sites such as La Corona,
Yaxchilan (Lady Six Sky from Motul de San José), Oxpemul. Sometimes the title of a
“weaver” is added, perhaps reinforcing associations with the Moon Goddess, also considered
to be a weaver (Grube 2016). On the other hand, the number six identifies various Maize
Gods (Tokovine 2013: 116-122), so when used to denote the Moon Goddess emphasizes the
links between the moon and planting of maize.
The aim of the paper is to examine the Lunar Series at Naranjo and then to compare them
with those from La Corona, Yaxchilan and Oxpemul.

Figure 1. Lady Six Sky. Stela 24 from Naranjo (drawing after L. Schele).

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References

 Grube, Nikolai, 2016 The Logogram JALAM. Research Note 3. Textdatenbank und
Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya. Arbeitsstelle der Nordrhein-Westfälischen
Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Künste an der Rheinischen Friedrich-
Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
 Iwaniszewski, Stanislaw. 2011 El arribo de la Señora Seis Cielo a Naranjo y las
Series Lunares. In: Los investigadores de la Cultura Maya, 19. Universidad
Autónoma de Campeche, Campeche, tomo II: 155-167.
 Teeple, John E., 1931 Maya Astronomy. Contributions to American Archaeology, No.
2:29-115. Publication 403. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington.
 Tokovine, Alexandre, 2013 Place and Identity in Classic Maya Narratives. [Studies in
Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology, Number 37]. Dumbarton Oaks Research
Library and Collection, Washington, D.C.

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About starlight and the EPR-Paradox in Pynchon’s novels and the films of
Jim Jarmusch.
Bernd Klähn
Einstein’s basic problem with quantum theory concerned epistemological questions. In one of
his last publications on quantum theoretical problems – his offensively critical paper written
with Podolsky and Rosen (published 1935, later called the ‘EPRParadox’- paper) - Einstein
and his co-authors tried to focus on a totally paradoxical situation, consistently derived from
quantum theory. Their main intention was to demonstrate that quantum theory culminated in
an absurd conception: two almost infinitely distant and once intimately interconnected events
should still influence each other instantaneously. Einstein regarded this as monstrous attack
on classical causality. But it turned out that experimental physicists proved Einstein’s
‘quantum-mechanical absurdity’ to be real: the EPR-paradox did not subvert quantum
mechanics, it subverted classical concepts of discontinuous reality and unconnected events.
The paper will try to outline how this EPR-Paradox, connected with astronomical phenomena
(transit of Venus, Bradley’s measurement of the velocity of light), has influenced aesthetic
constructions in different genres of late modern culture, especially historical fictions (like
Thomas Pynchon’s Mason and Dixon (1997)) and densely composed movies (for instance
Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)).

Bernd Klähn is associate professor of American literature and culture at the University of
Bochum (Germany). He started as a theoretical physicist (relativistic quantum field theory)
and moved to philosophy and cultural studies later. He has published on many postmodernist
authors (including Pynchon, Hawkes, Coover, Sontag etc.) and their connection to modern
scientific theories.

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The Nepal Temple Project. Archeology of a Hindu Temple: The


Anantaliṅgeśvara Mahādeva Temple in Dhadhikoṭa/Bhaktapur, Nepal
1500 years of astronomy and cosmology in Nepal.
Perry Lange

The Nepal Temple Project is an international and interdisciplinary campaign which combines,
under the umbrella of the University of Hamburg, cultural historical research, archaeology,
astronomy and restoration in Nepal. The Anantaliṅgeśvara Mahādeva Temple is located
about 20 km southwest of Bhaktapur in the valley of Kathmandu (UTM 45, WGS 84: R
343140 / E 305860). The site is placed on an artificially constructed plateau close the south-
eastern slope of a hill at an altitude of 1450 m, below the peak of the mountain and close to
the historical connecting route of the old royal cities Kathmandu and Bhaktapur.
The ensemble, founded between the 5th to the 7th century CE, is one of the earliest cult sites
of Lord Śiva in Nepal. In this 3200 sqm large area 17 buildings of different periods and
functions are assembled. The Anantaliṅgeśvara Mahādeva Temple is an integral part of a
sacral landscape, consisting of 64 śivaliṅga, which encircles the Nepali National Shrine, the
Paśupatināt Temple in Deopatan, in three concentric rings. Genesis, continuity and changes
of the temple complex through time are the research questions of the project.
Of particular importance is the exploration of the cosmological aspects of the sacral
architecture of the temple square. Astronomy and astrology, as inseparable principles of
organization of the world, form the basis of temple architecture. The temple blueprint, the
mandala, as a sacred geometrical diagram, is a reflection of the structure of our universe. All
architectural aspects of the temple reflect the pantheon of the gods on earth as a model. The
Anantaliṅgeśvara Mahādeva Temple is strictly oriented to the cosmological principles and
offers with its architectures from different periods an excellent insight into the development
of 1500 years Hindu-cosmology and astronomy in Nepal.

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Battle for the Milky Way: Plato vs Aristotle through the Ages.
George Latura
For almost two millennia, the Platonist concept of the Milky Way differed radically from the
Aristotelian explanation.
Two books from late antiquity, which both followed Platonist tradition, transmitted
astronomical knowledge to medieval Western Europe: Macrobius’ Commentary on Cicero’s
‘Dream of Scipio’ and Martianus Capella’s Marriage of Philology and Mercury.15
In the Dream of Scipio, Cicero’s protagonist meets his adoptive ancestors in the Milky
Way.16 In Martianus Capella’s Marriage, Jove – ‘the arbiter in the Milky Way’ – assembles
the divine senate in the Galaxy to celebrate the coming nuptials.17
In antiquity, the Milky Way was considered the abode of exalted souls, as reported by
Heraclides of Pontus (a scholar at Plato’s Academy), Cicero, Manilius, Numenius, Macrobius
and Martianus Capella.18 Ovid compared the milky path to the Palatine, where lived Rome’s
grandees.19
Macrobius revealed that at the intersections of the Milky Way and the zodiac – the path of the
Wanderers – stand the gates of the afterlife, while Manilius claimed that the intersections are
visible to the human eye, which is true at specific times, suggesting potential for cultic
ritual.20
According to Proclus, Numenius claimed that Plato was writing about the Milky Way in the
vision of Er at the end of Republic.21 Macrobius’ similar views, centuries later, were likely
received through Numenius.22
But another scholar at Plato’s Academy chose a more empiricist route. Aristotle thought little
of Plato’s myths, and he removed the Milky Way from the celestial regions and located it in
the sublunary atmospheric zones.23
Philoponus ridiculed Aristotle’s idea in antiquity. 24 In modern times, Jaki echoed that
opinion: ‘His feat could not have been more farcical.’25

15 Stephen C. McCluskey, Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe (Cambridge:


Cambridge University Press, 1998), p. 117, 120.
16 William Harris Stahl (trans.), Macrobius: Commentary on the Dream of Scipio (New York:
Columbia University Press, 1952), p. 72.
17 William Harris Stahl and Richard Johnson with E.L. Burge (trans.), Martianus Capella and the
Seven Liberal Arts, Volume II: The Marriage of Philology and Mercury (New York: Columbia
University Press, 1977), p. 33, 61.
18 George Latura, ‘Plato’s Cosmic X: Celestial Gates at the Heavenly Crossroads,’ in Ivan Sprajc and
Peter Pehani (eds.), Ancient Cosmologies and Modern Prophets: Proceedings of the 20th Conference
of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (Ljubljana: Slovene Anthropological Society,
2013), p. 257-263.
19 Ovid, Metamorphoses, I: 168, trans. Frank Justus Miller, Ovid: Metamorphoses, Books 1-8
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1916), p. 15.
20 George Latura, ‘Plato’s X & Hekate’s Crossroads: Astronomical Links to the Mysteries of Eleusis,’
in J. McKim Malville and M. Rappengluck (eds.), Astronomy: Mother of Civilization and Guide to
the Future, Proceedings of SEAC 2013 Conference. In Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry,
Vol. 14, issue 3 (Rhodes: University of the Aegean, 2014), p. 37-44.
21 Robert Lamberton, Homer, the Theologian: Neoplatonist Allegorical Reading and the Growth of
the Epic Tradition (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), p. 66-67.
22 Herman de Ley, Numenius and Macrobius: A Study of Macrobius, In Somn., I, c. 12 (Bruxelles:
Latomus Revue d’Etudes Latines, 1972), p. 15.
23 Aristotle, Meteorologica, I: VIII, trans. H. D. P. Lee (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press,
1952), p. 57-69.

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Aristotle’s fanciful notion found little traction in antiquity, yet it became the official view in
the medieval Western world when Aquinas embraced Aristotle as The Philosopher and,
eventually, so did the Church. The Milky Way, which had survived in the Platonism of the
school of Chartres26, was banished from the celestial regions for centuries.
What would it take to re-open people’s eyes to the celestial nature of the Milky Way?
Indeed, as a consequence of Galileo’s telescopic observations, the whitish, cloudlike Milky
Way was seen to be composed of clusters of small stars that were individually indiscernible
to the naked eye. That they were perceived as stars in the celestial region marked a radical
departure from the medieval Aristotelian tradition, which denied the Milky Way celestial
status and located it in the upper reaches of the sublunary region.27
Galileo was kept under house arrest until his final days. His great sin may have been that he
proved Copernicus right. Regarding the Milky Way, Galileo proved Aristotle wrong.
Yet today, in the official version of Plato’s cosmology 28 , the vision of Er at the end of
Republic is ignored, and so is the Milky Way.

Figure 2. Plato points to the heavens while Aristotle indicates the lower regions
in Raphael’s School of Athens (Vatican).

24
Philoponus, On Aristotle: Meteorologica 1.4-9, 12, trans. Inna Kupreeva (London: Bristol Classical
Press, 2012), p. 99, 102.
25
Stanley Jaki, The Milky Way: An Elusive Road for Science (New York: Science History
Publications, 1972), p. 4.
26
R. W. Southern, Platonism, Scholastic Method and the School of Chartres (Stenton Lecture) (Reading:
University of Reading, 1980).
27
Edward Grant, Planets, Stars, and Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos, 1200-1687 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1996), p. 448.
28
Francis M. Cornford, Plato’s Cosmology: The Timaeus of Plato translated with a running
commentary (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1937).

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Application of a Methodology for Testing Horizon Astronomy in


Aboriginal Cultural Sites: A Case Study.
Trevor M. Leaman (1), Duane W. Hamacher (2)
1. School of Humanities and Languages, University of New South Wales, NSW,
2052, Australia. t.leaman@unsw.edu.au
2. Monash Indigenous Centre, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, 3800, Australia.
duane.hamacher@monash.edu

Background: The Wiradjuri people of central New South Wales, Australia represent the
largest Aboriginal language group in the state, and second largest in Australia. Having close
similarities to their neighbours, such as the Kamilaroi/Gamilaroi and Ngemba/Ngiyampaa,
Wiradjuri culture is rich in astronomical knowledge and traditions [1]. However, a significant
corpus of Wiradjuri astronomical knowledge has been fragmented, lost, or damaged due to
colonisation. To aide in reconstructing this knowledge, we develop a novel methodology,
which we call Significant Horizons, to rank Aboriginal cultural sites according to their
potential for astronomical utilisation. Clues that such sites were used in this manner can be
found in the following quote:
“Little wonder that the Aborigine acquired a sound knowledge of the relative positions of the
stars…and in his primitive observatory the Karaji kept a three days and three nights solitary
vigil within a stone circle on a mountaintop, communing with Wanda, the Unknown Spirit”
– W.A. Squire (1897) [2].
Aim: Here, we apply Significant Horizons to rank sixteen Wiradjuri sites according to the
number of solar, lunar and stellar ‘notch’ and ‘point’ alignments in Horizon [3] profiles. The
sites represent a cross-section of cultural activity types, including stone arrangements, stone
quarries, rock art sites, and sites where cultural significance is not yet fully established. The
aim is to determine whether cultural sites of potential astronomical significance can be
identified for further investigation.
Data: Horizon ‘notch’ and ‘point’ alignments were recorded as a matrix. Horizon positions
for the solstices and equinoxes, and major and minor lunar standstills were used for solar and
lunar observations, respectively. The choice of reference stars was based on cultural
significance and for even coverage of the observable horizon. In all, there were a total of 6
solar, 8 lunar, and 32 stellar observations used in each site analysis.
Conversion of matrices to 10-point rankings was done by using a simple formula:

Rank = (number of alignments observed/total number of alignments possible) x10


Combining the solar, lunar and stellar alignment observations gives the site’s overall
potential for horizon astronomy. Similarly, the east and west horizons can be ranked
separately, indicating which is more favourable for horizon astronomy.

Results: Rankings of 5 or higher in any category is considered significant, and ranking of 8


or higher is very significant. Sites that ranked highest, Kengal Lake Gilman (solar 8, lunar 8,
stellar 5, overall 6) and Mount Pleasant (solar 8, lunar 5, stellar 7, overall 7), are sites with
suspected astronomical connections, with the former a stone arrangement site, and the latter a
suspected women’s site connected to Orion and the Pleiades. In comparison, the lowest
ranked sites were those involved in more terrestrial activities, including a rock art site (Snake
Hill) and a stone axe quarry (Goobundry).

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Figure 1. (top) “Significant Horizons” site rankings by solar, lunar and stellar horizon
alignment (top) and overall site rankings and East-west horizon split rankings (bottom) for
the 16 cultural sites studied in this survey.

References

 Leaman, T.M. and Hamacher, D.W., 2016. An Overview of the Astronomical


Knowledge of the Wiradjuri People of New South Wales, Australia (in prep.).
 Squire, W.A., 1897. Ritual, Myth and Customs of Australian Aborigines. Robert Blair
and Sons, p. 60.
 http://www.agksmith.net/horizon/

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Mixtec genealogy, dynastic history? Mythology? Or cosmology? The case


of Lord 8-Mazatl.
Arnold Lebeuf
Institute for the History of Religion
Jagiellonian University, Cracow.

The priests... learn and teach the mystery of their religion orally and by figures, but do not
communicate them to others under threat of very heavy punishment 29.

In 2006, Marten Jensen treated of the historicity of Quetzalcoatl based on the analysis of
Mixtec codices relating the life of Lord 8-deer30.. Interpretations of these documents, are
contradictory. According to Marten Jensen, Alfonso Caso and Emily Rabin, this lord was a
historical figure who received royal consecration in Cholula from a certain Lord 4-Jaguar.
But Jill Leslie Furst31 had long ago denied any historical value to these codices, and claimed
they were purely mythological. I would like to present here a third interpretation of at least
this part of these documents: a cryptic transmission of astronomical and cosmological
knowledge.

What does the document tell us? According to the decipherment by Caso, Rabin and Jensen
this Lord 8-Deer was born of the second marriage of a Priest, he did not belong to the leading
dynasty, he became a warrior, looked for the support of a Lady 9-Grass comparable to
Cihuacoatl Quiaztli. He received the nose ornament from Lord 4-Jaguar at Cholula on a day
1-Wind. then they departed together for war campaigns and conquests and in the end went to
pay a visit to the Sun 13-Reed at the temple of Chichen Itza. Last, 8-Reed was killed by Lord
4-Wind who became his successor after receiving the consecration also from Lord 4-Jaguar.
According to Rabin and Jensen, 4-Jaguar, the real historical Quetzalcoatl was contemporary
to Lord 8-Deer who lived between 1063 and 1115. The author seems not to notice that his
hero lives 52 years, just exactly one small Mesoamerican century as so many of the Men-
gods in mythology.

Now well, if we replace those dates in the Sacred Round, some singularities appear. The days
8-Deer and 4-Jaguar are distant of 173 days in the Tzolkin which means that they occupy the
same distance respectively to the days of the passage of the sun on the nodes of moon orbit.
Moreover, both are coming out of eclipse windows at the beginning of the Olmec-Maya Long
Count which is as well the beginning of the First sun called precisely 4-Jaguar in 3120 BC.
The enthronization of 8-Deer by 4-Jaguar takes place on a day 1-Wind, which was then the
seat of the node of moon orbit. A 1040 years later, at the end of the First Sun, in 2080 BC, 8-
Deer is entering the next eclipse zone, in a danger of death, so he goes to ask help from the
goddess 9-Grass, this is logical as that figure was then the day of the nodal passage of the sun,
the mistress of the eclipse beast. It seems we are on the right track as Lady 8-Grass is another
Quiaztli, the wet nurse of Quetzalcoatl, his protector. But even the goddess cannot stop the
time rolling ahead. So Lord 8-Deer goes at last to visit the Sun god 13-Reed, to present him
offerings and beg hospitality and protection. 13-Reed should feel compassion as he had been

29
-López de Gomara, Francisco, La conquista de Mexico, Dastin, Madrid, 2000:465-466.
30
-Jansen, Marten, Los señoríos de Ñu Zauzi y la expansión tolteca, Revista Española de
Antropología Americana, 2006, vol.36, num.2, 175-208, p.191-192.
31
-Furst, Jill Leslie, "The Tree Birth Tradition in the Mixteca, Mexico", Journal of Latin American
Lore 3:2, 1977:pp.183-226.

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in the same deadly situation a 1040 years earlier at the beginning of the previous Sun. 8-Deer
is then assassinated by the lord 4-Wind, the second Sun of Aztec Mythology, who becomes
his successor.

This document tells in a cryptic way the life of the first Sun and the transition to the second
one, and informs us about the astronomical base of this cosmological myth of the five suns.

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Interdisciplinary, Intercultural, Community-Based Education Practices at


the Intersection of Art-Science-Culture.
Annette S. Lee (1), William Wilson (2), Jeff Tibbetts (3), Anne Meyer (4) Cark
Gawboy (5), Travis Zimmerman (6), Wilfred Buck (7), David Pantalony (8)
1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, St. Cloud State University, 740 Fourth
Ave. S., St. Cloud, Minnesota, 56301, USA
2. Consultant, Ojibwe language and culture; visual artist, Minnesota, USA
3. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2102 14th Street, Cloquet,
Minnesota, 55720, USA
4. Consultant, visual artist, art educator Minnesota, USA
5. (Emeritus) College of St. Scholastica, Department of Am. Ind. Studies, 1200
Kenwood, Duluth, MN, 55811, USA
6. Mille Lacs Indian Museum, 43411 Oodena Dr., Onamia, MN 56359, USA
7. Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, 2-1100 Waverly St.,
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3X9, Canada
8. Canada Science and Technology Museum, P.O. Box 9724, Station T, Ottawa,
Ontario, K1G 5A3, Canada

Background: The Native Skywatchers research and programming initiative, a partnership


between St. Cloud State University and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College,
working with museums and educators, is an example of how a community based
participatory program can become the spark for inclusive arteducation and culture-based
STEM learning for an entire community, providing effective learning opportunities for
students, educators, scientists, community members, artists, art supporters, and astronomy
enthusiasts.
Aim: Designed by A. Lee, the Native Skywatchers initiative seeks to remember and revitalize
indigenous star and earth knowledge, promoting the native voice as the lead voice. The
overarching goal of Native Skywatchers is to communicate the knowledge that indigenous
people practiced a sustainable way of living and sustainable engineering through a living and
participatory relationship with the above and below, sky and earth. We aim to improve
current inequities in education for native young people, to inspire increased cultural pride,
and promote community wellness. We hope to inspire all people to have a rekindling or
deepening sense of awe and personal relationship to the cosmos.
Results: Presented here are several Native Skywatchers initiatives under the broad categories
of: 1.) awards and 2.) transcontinental partnerships. First, Native Skywatchers was recently
awarded two significant grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board: Arts Learning (FY16)
and Arts Tour (FY17). "Native Skywatchers-Earth Sky Connections" art-making workshops
weave together art, culture, and science in a way that inspires learners to create art in relation
to the earth, sky, and cosmos. Twenty non-cumulative interdisciplinary workshops were
offered at schools and community venues in diverse locations across the region. Partnerships
included: K-12 schools, educators, art centers, tribal centers, and multiple history museums,
such as the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. Second, transcontinental partnerships. In the fall of
2015 W. Buck, science educator of the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre
(MFNERC) invited A. Lee and W. Wilson to collaborate on painting an Ininew (Cree) star
map. W. Buck has been collecting Ininew star knowledge in the Manitoba region for the past
30 years. In May 2016, the Ininew Achakos Masinikan (Cree Star Map-Book) was completed.
Furthermore, the Canada Science and Technology Museum, in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
invited W. Buck and A. Lee to join in co-curating an exhibit called “One Sky Many
Astronomies” featuring the indigenous astronomy of three nations: Ininew, Ojibwe, and

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D(L)akota as part of the renovation and grand re-opening of the national science museum
Nov. 2017.

References

 Ballengee-Morris, C., Stuhr, P., 2015, Multicultural Art and Visual Cultural
Education in a Changing World, Art Education, Vol. 54, 6-13.
 Lee. A., 2015, Native Skywatchers: Kapemni. As it is Above, It is Below…A Hands-
On STEM + Art + Culture Experience, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP)
Conference Series, Vol. 500, 155-166.
 Maryboy, M., Begay, D., Peticolas, L., 2012, The Cosmic Serpent: Bridging Native
Ways of Knowing and Western Science in Museum Settings. Indigenous Education
Institute.
 National Research Council (NRC). 2009. Learning Science in Informal Environments:
People, Places, and Pursuits. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Manitoba
First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC), https://mfnerc.org
 Native Skwyatchers research and programming initiative,
http://www.nativeskywatchers.com
 Canada Science and Technology Museum, http://cstmuseum.techno-
science.ca/en/index.php

Figure 1. Ininew Achakos Masinikan (Cree Star Map-Book), W. Buck, A. Lee, W. Wilson,
2016.

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Creativity and Curiosity: exploring the space in-between astronomers and


artists.
Alison Lochhead, Gillian McFarland, Ione Parkin, Dipak Mistry (1), Juliet
Bowmaker (1), Martin A. Barstow (2), Caroline Crawford (3), Thomas J. Haworth
(4)
, Roberto Trotta
1. Acuity Arts Ltd, C/O Future Business Centre, Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge, CB4
2HY, UK
2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
3. Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
4. Astrophysics Group, Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort
Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Creativity and Curiosity (1,2) is an ongoing collaboration between artists and astrophysicists.
Active engagement through face-to-face discussions has helped inspire a growing body of
artwork that is being exhibited across the UK, and is also proposed in a separate abstract to
feature here in Santiago for the \Road to the Stars" conference.
We propose a talk giving an overview of the process and outcomes of the collaboration. We
will discuss the artist-astrophysicist interaction process, the impact it has had on the resulting
artwork, as well as on the astrophysicist’s perspective of their own work. We will also
discuss the impact of extending the collaboration to the exhibitions themselves, where the
attendance of both the artists and astrophysicists yields a somewhat unique environment for
the public. Discussion of a piece with both the artists/scientists offers a means of
experiencing and understanding abstract concepts in a more accessible way.
The result is both enhanced artwork and communication/outreach of astrophysical
phenomena. It also gives the astronomers and artists alike a refreshing view of their own
practice. We wish to share the success of this collaboration at \Road to the Stars" to
encourage others to engage in direct dialogue with researchers.
Figure 1. An example piece in paper by Gillian McFarland. The concentric rings of discrete

points are much like the features of dust grains being observed in protoplanetary discs, such
as the famous rings of HL Tau.

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References

 Ione Parkin, Alison Lochhead, Gillian McFarland; Creativity and curiosity: when art
meets science. A&G 2016; 57 (6): 6.28-6.31. doi: 10.1093/astrogeo/atw222
 https://www.creativityandcuriosity.com
 http://www.alisonlochhead.co.uk
 https://www.axisweb.org/p/gillianmcfarland/info
 http://www.ioneparkin.co.uk

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“Natives’ knocking on Heaven’s doors”: Conflicts between international


astronomical projects and local communities.
Alejandro M. López
Sección de Etnología, Instituto de Ciencias Antropológicas, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras,
Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Argentina

The contemporary world is strongly shaped by the complex links between the local and the
global. The relationships between different conceptions of celestial space, territory,
knowledge and politics are not outside this panorama. A series of conflicting situations
between large astronomical enterprises, funded by international consortia, and local
communities is an extremely revealing example. The present work intends to address this
type of conflict, focusing especially on the case of the controversy about the construction of
the TMT in Hawaii, as a total social event that show us the relationships between sky and
politics in the 21st century.
The conflicts that we propose to discuss are linked, on the one hand, with an academic
astronomy that demands increasingly complex and great instruments for its observations.
Such instruments, because of their costs and the skills needed to build and operate it, calls for
international efforts. These are ventures with dynamics marked by globalization, both in
terms of financing, as well as in the management of knowledge and the construction of public
agendas. International organizations, governments, companies, foundations, universities and
research centers draw up long-term plans and build timetables and agreements. Technical
needs and the necessity of dark skies push these ventures into marginal spaces for national
states, generally linked to mountainous areas. These spaces are conceived by these agents as
real "deserts", where there are no human interests that can be opposed.
On the other hand, for many local communities, these zones of height are powerful spaces,
strongly linked to their relations with the nonhuman world, especially with the celestial
beings. For these communities these territories are not conceived as "abandoned" or "devoid
of interest". On the contrary they are places full of meaning. These same communities tend to
be subalternized sectors of the national societies in which they are inserted. With a limited
capacity to mobilize financial capital and political pressures, they live the installation of
astronomical projects as an imposition and one more form of domination.
International consortiums and associated scientists present these projects as a-political efforts
that bring together people from different places and unite them in a transcendent objective
free of mean interests. Many local communities experience them as strongly political and
also sources of tension and divisions.
Our work, based on ethnographic field work and documentary sources, seeks to explore these
dynamics and highlight the connections between the different conceptions at stake about the
sky and the relationships between knowledge and power.

References

 Appadurai A (2001/1996) Dislocación y diferencia en la economía cultural global. In:


Appadurai, A. (ed) La Modernidad Desbordada. Trilce–FCE, Montevideo, pp 41–61
 Krupp, E. C. (2015), “Astronomy and Power”, in C. L. N. Ruggles (ed.) Handbook of
Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Vol. 1, New York, editorial Springer
Science and Business Media. Pp. 67-91.
 López, Alejandro (2015), “Interactions between `indigenous´ and `colonial´
astronomies: Adaptation of indigenous astronomies in the modern world”, in C. L. N.

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Ruggles (ed.) Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Vol. 1, New


York, editorial Springer Science and Business Media. Pp. 197-211.
 Mignolo, Walter (1995) The darker side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality
and Colonization, University of Michigan Press, Michigan.
 Steele, J. M. (2015), “Astronomy and Politics”, in C. L. N. Ruggles (ed.) Handbook
of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Vol. 1, New York, editorial Springer
Science and Business Media. Pp. 93-101.

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Astronomy and dynastic history in the funerary landscapes of the chinese


emperors.
Giulio Magli
School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering,
Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Giulio.Magli@polimi.it

The so called “Chinese pyramids” are huge mounds of compacted earth which serve as icons
for the burial mausoleums of the emperors and of some members of the royal families of the
Western Han and of the Song Chinese dynasties. Their inspiring model is the tomb of the
“first emperor” Qin, who reigned immediately before the Han, a tomb which is worldwide
famous for the underground galleries containing thousands of terracotta warriors [1]. Using
mostly satellite data we investigate here on cognitive aspects of the project of these
“pyramids”, using techniques similar to those developed in recent years for the Egyptian
pyramids fields (see [2,3] and references therein). In particular, the orientation of the mounds
and their placement in the landscape is analyzed versus ancient Chinese traditions, such as
the Feng-Shui and the Zhau-mu doctrine. Taking into account what is already known about
the connection between architecture and astronomy in China [4], the results show that
orientation of the mounds was most probably astronomical, while the topography of the
landscape did obey to dynastic, ritual rules.

References

 Wu H. (2010) The Art of the Yellow Springs: Understanding Chinese Tombs.


Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2010
 Belmonte, J, Magli, G. (2016) Astronomy, Architecture, and Symbolism: The Global
Project of Sneferu at Dahshur. J. Hist. Astr. 46 (2) 173-205
 Magli, G. (2013) Architecture, Astronomy and Sacred Landscape in Ancient Egypt
o Cambridge University Press, 2013
 Pankenier, (2011) The cosmic center in Early China and its archaic resonances.
Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 278

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The pok-coursera archaeoastronomy mooc after one year: A status report.


Giulio Magli
School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Construction Engineering,
Politecnico di Milano, Italy. Giulio.Magli@polimi.it

In the academic year 2014-2015 the Politecnico of Milano started a pioneering (for Italy)
project entitled POK (PoliMi Open Knowledge). The project consists in developing a series
of free MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) which are devoted to a variety of different
learners, from researchers to the general public. In this context, the course
“Archaeoastronomy: the science of stars and stones” has been created [1] and launched in
June 2016 together with a companion (optional) textbook [2]. Starting from autumn 2016, a
joint agreement between Politecnico and the MOOC platform Coursera led to the
establishment on Coursera of essentially the same course [3] (some technical contents on
naked-eye astronomy are additional and specific for Coursera). The talk will briefly describe
the way in which the storyboards of the course - which is entirely filmed in the form of green
screen plug-in of the teacher in the different scenarios object of study – have been developed.
I will also discuss the teaching feedback and the most common student's difficulties
experienced after two editions of the course on POK and one on Coursera, with more than
2000 subscribers in total.

References

 www.pok.polimi.it
 Magli, G. Archaeoastronomy. Introduction to the science of stars and stones. Springer
Verlag, NY 2016
 www.coursera.org/learn/archaeoastronomy

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Functional elements connected with astronomical observations and


practices on the territory of the kovil rock-cut monument, Bulgaria.
Penka Maglova, Alexey Stoev (1, 2), Vassil Markov (3), Mina Spasova (4, 5)
1. Space Research and Technology Institute,
2. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Stara Zagora Department
3. South West University "Neofit Rilski", Blagoevgrad
4. Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge,
5. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia

Dynamics of the integration links between specific functional elements of the researched
object is typical for archaeoastronomy. As archaeoastronomical monuments are considered
not only individual rock-cut structures, but entire megalithic complexes in narrow spatial
relationship to the natural environment. Arheoastronomical monuments can be volumetrically
presented on the basis of spatial measurements; their properties and structure can be
demonstrated on the basis of semiotic description, and a kind of complex maps and
descriptions can be compound.
This approach is used in the study of rock-cut monument located in the area "Ak Kaya"
(White Rock) near the village of Kovil, Krumovgrad Municipality. Some researchers believe
that the monument is actually a complex of nine rock sanctuaries without being known
criterion of their borders and teritories. The studied sanctuary is created by cutting in the
bedrock formations located on a hilly hill, which dominates the surrounding landscape. A lot
of facilities for religious use are carved in the rocks - altars, grooves, and a large, well-
preserved basins cut in the cliffs, which were probably used as sacred water sources, as well
as trapezoidal niches. Arched caves are discovered under the sanctuary. Traces of human
intervention can be seen in some of them. The ceramic material found on the ridge is dated
back to the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age. During the organized excavations conducted in
the period 1991-1993 an idol similar to amphora was discovered. The rock-cut monument is
part of a vast sacred territory (covering an area of approximately 8 km long and 3 km wide),
with a large number of megalithic and rock-cut monuments, including the whole complex of
altars, grooves, cult caves, trapezoidal niches, traces of prehistoric and ancient constructions,
anthropomorphic stone figures and others. Center of the sacred territory is located in the
western part of the complex - on a natural plateau where are numerous religious sites located
on several levels in height with many rock-cut elements. Most impressive among them is the
Step Pyramid, carved into the bedrock of the plateau.
Results from archaeoastronomical research of the basic rock-cut shapes, located in the
southern part of the rock pyramid of the sanctuary near the village of Kovil are discussed in
this paper. In the biggest rock niche, situated in the middle of the rock group is carved a
projective system allowing to observe the sunrise during the spring and autumn equinox.
Through an oval aperture (size of the horizontal axis - 0.5 m and vertical axis - 0.4 m) drilled
in the eastern edge of the rock niche solar beams can be projected on a specially cut down
surface from the wall of the niche. The rock surface has a parabolic plane of cutting, which
allows you to adjust the image of the solar projection of the hole due to the elevation of the
Sun above the eastern horizon. The projection was possible for about 20 days, centered on the
vernal (autumnal) equinox - March 10 to April 2 from the modern calendar. For more
accurate determination of some specific dates fixed by using projective facility additional
astronomical observations and measurements are needed. An analogy is made with the later
idea of "sun bunny" applied in the construction of hemispherical sundials, where it replaces
the movement of the shadow projected by the gnomon on the receiving surface. The gnomon

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with an opening eliminates errors caused by penumbra, which blurs the image, and makes
measurements considerably more accurate.
Chronological boundaries of existence of the rock sanctuary are defined. Based on
archaeoastronomical studies (determination of the sunrise astronomical azimuth, the slope of
the local horizon, the erosion of rock forms, etc.) the slope of the ecliptic during the creation
of the monument is determined - i = 23°.99. It meets the period between 2600 and 2500 BC.
This dating corresponds to the dating of the sanctuary on archaeological data. Probably, the
monument has been reworked and reused in subsequent periods, including 200 - 300 AD.

References

 Markov Vassil. The Pyramid near Kovil as a Phenomenon of the Cultural Heritage on
the Balkans and a Resource for the development of Cultural Tourism. In: international
Scientific Conference "Cultural Coridor Via Adriatica - Cultural Tourism without
Boundaries". Throgir, 2015, pp 31-33.
 Stoev A., P. Maglova, М. Spasova, Megalithic culture of the Eneolithic societies:
Archaeoastronomical aspects, Proceedings of the First International Symposium
“Ancient cultures in South-East Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. Megalithic
monuments and cult practices”, October 11-14, 2012, Neofit Rilski University press,
Blagoevgrad, 2013a, pp 194-206.
 Maglova M., Stoev A., Spasova M., Benev B., 2016, Eneolithic Projection System for
Astronomical Observations on the Territory of Megalithic Sanctuary near the Village
of Kovil (Municipality of Krumovgrad, Kurdzhali District), Proceedings of the
Second International Symposium “Megalithic Monuments and Cult Practices”,
Blagoevgrad, 12-15 October 2016, Neofit Rilski University Press, 2016, p. 55 - 64.

Figure 1. Megalithic rock sanctuary near the village of Kovil. Second level of the rock
pyramid with the opening and part of the eastern horizon.

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The Archaeoastronomy of High Altitude Inca Ceremonialism.


J. McKim Malville (1), Johan Reinhard (2)
1. University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
2. National Geographic Society. Washington, DC

The Incas are renowned for their architecture, skillful masonry, complex political
organization and for their extensive system of roads. Perhaps, their most remarkable
achievement was the ascent and the building of ceremonial structures on many of the highest
peaks of the Andes, including Llullaillaco with an altitude of 22,110 feet, containing the
world’s highest archaeological site (Reinhard and Ceruti, 2011).
There are more than 100 high mountains with Inca shrines on top. Of those only 15 have
evidence of child sacrifices. The most important mountains were the sites of capacocha
ceremonies, which involved child sacrifice, boys and girls chosen for their beauty and
perfection, who were offered to the sun, Inti, the weather god, Illapa, and other deities,
especially those of the mountains. Offerings on the summits were made after state-supported
pilgrimages, which often involved weeks or months of travel, covering distances of 1000 km
or more. We review many of the known mountain shrines of the Inca to identify possible
astronomical attributes and explore the meaning behind these challenging, energy intensive
endeavors.

Figure 1. Summit Platform on Llulliallaco showing the orientations of two burials, which
may be to December Solstice and June Solstice sunrises.

Llulliallaco can be climbed only during the southern summer, between November to March.
The most likely times for pilgrimage would be around December solstice, the time of the
major Inca celebration of Capac Raymi. The summit platform contained the bodies of three
children, a 13-year-old girl and a boy and girl aged 4-5 years. Because the burials were in
undisturbed conditions when excavated by Reinhard and his colleagues, not only do they
appear to be the best preserved collection of mummies in the world (Wilson et al., 2013), but
they also provide evidence for the role of astronomy in this ceremony. The platform has been
rotated a little more than 10 degrees away from the natural ridge line (see the figure),
suggesting an intention to orient it to December solstice sunrise, which would have been an
extraordinary endeavor, considering the difficulties of building and orienting stone structures

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at such an extreme altitude. Alignment of the young boy and of a small shrine adjacent to him
to sunrise on Capac Raymi may have been intended. The 13-year-old girl was facing
northeast, approximately in the direction of June solstice sunrise.
These ceremonies appear to have been a combination of imperial geopolitics and reciprocity
between humans and mountain deities. Local communities sought to achieve reciprocal
relationships with mountains that control weather and the fertility of crops and animals.
Climbing to the summit of mountains brought the offering in contact with mountain deities
and closer to the solar deity. As the Inca conquered new lands they co-opted local deities,
such as mountains considered to be sacred by the local inhabitants. By constructing shrines
and offering child sacrifices on the summits, they sought to bring conquered lands and people
under their suzerainty.

References

 Alberti, Benjamin and Tamara Bray. Animating Archaeology: of Subjects, Objects


and Alternative Ontologies Cambridge Archeaological Journal 19:337-343 (2009).
 Beorchia, Antonio (ed.) Revista del Centro de Investigaciones Arqueológicas de Alta
Montaña, Vol. 6, (2001).
 Beorchia, Antonio, El Enigma de los Santuarios Indígenas de Alta Montaña, San Juan:
CIADAM (1985).
 Malville, J. McKim. Animism, Reciprocity, and Entanglement. Mediterranean
Archaeology and Archaeometry, 16: 51-58, (2016).
 Reinhard, Johan. The Ice Maiden: Inca Mummies, Mountain Gods, and Sacred Sites
in the Andes. Washington D C: National Geographic Society, 2005).
 Reinhard, Johan and Maria Constanza Ceruti. Inca Rituals and Sacred Mountains: A
Study of the World’s Highest Archaeological Sites. (Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of
Archaeology, 2010).
 Wilson, Andrew, Emma Brown, Chiara Villa, Niels Lynnerup, Andrew Healey, Maria
Constanza Ceruti, Johan Reinhard, Carlos Previgliano, Facundo Arias Araoz, Josefina
Gonzales Diez and Timothy Taylor. Archaeological, radiological, and biological
evidence offer insight into Inca child sacrifice. Publications of the National Academy
of Sciences, 110:13322-13327.
o www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1305117110 (2013).

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The neverending story of the infinite cosmos.


Vicent J. Martínez, Albert Martínez-Artero
Universitat de València

When philosophers, poets or astronomers have tried to comprehend the vastness of the
universe, from early times to the present days, the possibility of an infinite universe has
appeared as an appealing speculation. Although, we do not yet have a compelling answer to
the question: “is the universe infinite?” our present cosmological knowledge provides us with
some clues to delineate which is the most likely answer. This contribution pretends to address
this question from the point of view of the history of thought, from the ancient philosophers
to the present astronomers, taking into account the interweaving relationship between
scientific knowledge and culture. Its connexion with the solutions to the so-called Olbers
paradox will be analysed in detail, including those appearing in literary works, like the prose
poem Eureka (1848) by Edgar Alan Poe.

References

 Silk, J. The infinite cosmos, questions from the frontiers of cosmology. Oxford
University Press, 2006.
 Harrison, E. Cosmology: The Science of the Universe. Cambridge University Press,
2000.
 Trimble, V., Martínez, V.J., and Hockey, T.A, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside,
Czlowiek Wszechswiat, Stowarzyszenie Astronomia Nova Akademia im. Jana
Dlugosza w Czestochowie, 2012, Cracovia, ISBN: 978-83-7455-241-7, pags. 151-166.
http://www.astronomianova.org/pdf/czlowiekiwszechswiat.pdf

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Extracting software representation and information visualization


requirements for a diachronic study of astronomical alignments in
archaeological sites.
Patricia Martin-Rodilla, Antonio César González-García
Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit-CSIC), Spain
patricia.martin-rodilla@incipit.csic.es
a.cesar.gonzalez-garcia@incipit.csic.es

To study the alignments and orientation of cultural heritage entities and their possible relation
with astronomical targets, the visualization of such data is one of the main sources in any
initial study in archaeoastronomy. Although there are advanced software packages that allow
astronomers to obtain scientific simulations of alignments i.e. planetarium software, it is
common that, in initial phases of data extraction and representation, this information is
visualized in form of histograms or ad hoc visualization charts created on the basis of a radial
representation of the azimuts obtained. As an example, please see alignments representations
in [1]. These initial representations are often used in contexts of multidisciplinary research
teams, which is commonly the case in archaeoastronomy studies. While alignments data are
common in the daily activity of astronomers, but it must be also understood and interpreted
by the rest of the team members with humanistic backgrounds (archaeology, history, artistic
...), as well as by an heterogeneous audience in publications, reports and other dissemination
documents and activities. Thus, the visualization charts created in order to understand
alignments data from the very beginning and from a wide range of backgrounds becomes
vital in initial phases of archaeoastronomy studies.
This motivation has naturally led us to conduct and present an analysis of the current forms
of representation and data visualization charts of alignments in archaeoastronomy, as well as
identifying and extracting requirements and possible improvements in order to create a better
representation and visualization of alignments of heritage elements. The analysis presented
has been made jointly by experts in information visualization as well as archaeoastronomers.
In addition, the analysis has detected new visualization needs derived from the evolution of
archaeoastronomy studies in recent years that are not covered by existing visualization
techniques. Particularly, previous studies have detected the need of a diachronic treatment of
the alignments [2, 3]. The analysis focused on the diachronic dimension [4] of these studies
as a part of the necessary improvements in new visualization solutions for alignment data.
Finally, the work discusses design solutions and data visualization techniques (i.e. aster or
solar plots [5, 6], circle views [7], circos diagrams [8] and similar circle-based information
visualization recent techniques) as candidates for the specific treatment of alignment
information and diachronic alignment studies, and how they can be used for satisfying the
requirements detected during the analysis by the experts. The entire work aims to extract a set
of guidelines and visualization techniques as a reference for creating and testing empirically
an innovative visualization chart for the specific area of diachronic alignments studies in
archaeoastronomy.

References

 Hoskin, M. (2001) Tombs, Temples and Their Orientations. Ocarina Books: Bognor
Regis.
 Belmonte J.A., Shaltout, M. (2009) In search of Cosmic Order. Selected Essays in
Egyptian Archaeoastronomy. American University in Cairo Press: Cairo.

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 González-García A.C., Costa-Ferrer, L., (2011) The diachronic study of


Orientations. Mérida, a case study. In C.L.N Ruggles (ed.) Archaeoastronomy and
Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures. Cambridge University Press:
Cambridge.
 Aigner, W., Miksch, S., Schumann, H., Tominski, C. (2011). Visualization of time-
oriented data. Springer Science & Business Media.
 Bostock, M., Ogievetsky, V., Heer, J. (2011). D³ data-driven documents. IEEE
transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 17(12).
 Chuah, M. C. (1998). Dynamic Aggregation with Circular Visual Designs.
Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, IEEE Computer
Society.
 Keim, D. A., Schneidewind, J. (2005). Scalable Visual Data Exploration of Large
Data Sets via MultiResolution. Journal of Universal Computer Science, 11 (11).
 Krzywinski, M., Schein, J., Birol, I. et al. (2009). Circos: An Information Aesthetic
for Comparative Genomics. Genome Research, 19 (9).

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Case studies with archaeoastronomic approach in the State of Tabasco,


Mexico.
Hans Martz de la Vega
Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia. pequenosolin@hotmail.com

In the year of 2016 the Research Project Archeology, Archaeoastronomy, Calendar and
Landscape Olmec and Maya (PIAACPOM) began. Mainly focused on archeoastronomy, and
in this field season, has focused on the State of Tabasco, Mexico.
We will present the results obtained from an archeoastronomical methodology that is
presented for case studies, which addresses the following steps: what was done, why it was
done, how it was done and what the results were.
There are still few case studies carried out in archaeological zones of Mesoamerica with an
archaeoastronomic approach and at this annual meeting the progress will be presented on
some of them. These are mayan sites like Pomoná, Moral-Reforma, San Claudio and
Comalcalco, olmecs like La Venta and mixe-zoque like Malpasito. All of them have exposed
architecture on which a series of measurements have been carried out that allow to know in
more detail the intention of its orientation and to some extent the surrounding landscape,
because in addition the local horizon has less presence in these cultural regions, and for this
reason turns out to be more important since few occasions have been treated. In addition, the
above allows knowing the traces of the ancient cities in greater detail.
It is a qualitative research in the sense that it tries to unravel the site and its landscape, and
that therefore can be based on the interrelated premises of the paradigm of the landscape. A
relationship between nature (environment) and culture (landscape) in a dynamic way because
there is no unique concept of landscape since it is always in development, as well as that each
site presents its characteristics without forgetting that they share some nuclear elements
characteristic to Mesoamerica.

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References

 Anschuetz, Kurt F.; Wilshusen, Richard H. and Cherie L. Scheick, 2001 “An
archaeology of landscapes: Perspectives and directions”, in: Journal of Archaeology
Research, 9(2), USA, pp. 157-211.
 Sánchez Nava, Pedro Francisco and Ivan Šprajc, 2015 Orientaciones astronómicas en
la arquitectura maya de las tierras bajas. NAtional Institute of Anthropology and
History, Mexico.
 Tichy, Franz, 1978 “El calendario solar como principio de organización del espacio
para poblaciones y lugares sagrados”, in: Comunicaciones Proyecto Puebla-Tlaxcala
15, Mexico, pp. 153-163.

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What can Archeoastronomy reveal about the function and meaning of the
Bibracte basin and its builders?
Claude Maumené
maumene2@orange.fr

The basin of Bibracte passes for a monument uncommon in Celtic architecture. Its precise
function is not known. It was built during the last quarter of the 1st century BC during the
reign of Augustus, on one of the central squares of the city of the Aedui, currently near Autun
in the center of France (1). Bibracte, the capital of the Gallic people of the Aedui, grew
mainly in the first century BC. After the founding of Autun (Augustodunum) by Augustus, in
15 BC at about 25 km, Bibracte was gradually abandoned by its inhabitants.
In Rome, during the reign of Augustus, astrology, politics and religion are closely connected
(2). In Gaul, near the Oppidum of Bibracte, local tradition, in connection with water and with
the sun at certain dates of the year, whose tradition still remains in memory, may have existed
before the sacred basin construction and continued to be maintained after the abandonment of
the city. They might have provided the basis of belief necessary for the assimilation of a
previous cult, to a cult related to the Goddess Fortuna or to the cult of the emperor sometimes
called by certain scholars, the "Sun King"(3), and materialized by a public monument of time
measurement.
The basin of Bibracte is geometrically constructed to integrate the direction determined by
the axis of Sunrise at Winter Solstice as its minor axe (4). With the help of Archeoastronomy
our research will confirmed this observation and describe more extensively the basin, its
orientation, its possible function, and also will explore its meaning. Indeed others solar axes,
sunrise at summer solstice and at equinox seem to have been incorporated in the geometry of
the basin and its regulating path. After confirming the dimensions and the orientation of the
main axis of the basin, we will use the geometry and SketchUp, a 3D modeling computer
program, to reconstruct virtually the basin and the SketchUp’Shadows feature to see how the
sun casts inside and around our geolocated and orientated model. In situ photographs will
support the simulated data.
The possible, different influences, both Gallic and Roman, will be examined, in an attempt to
separate myth and history. Our research will also illustrate, by way of this example, the
continuity of the sacred in the Romanization of Gaull.

References

 ALMAGRO-GORBEA Martin, GRAN-AYMERICH Jean (1989) : « Le bassin


monumental du mont Beuvray (Bibracte) ». In: Monuments et mémoires de la
Fondation Eugène Piot, tome 71, 1990. pp. 21-41.
 SCHMID Alfred (2005): “Augustus und die Macht der Sterne: Antike Astrologie und
die Etablierung der Monarchie in Rom”. By. Cologne, Weimar, Vienna: Bohlau
Verlag. 2005. Pp. 469
 SCHMID Alfred (2005): “Augustus und die Macht der Sterne: Antike Astrologie und
die Etablierung der Monarchie in Rom”. By. Cologne, Weimar, Vienna: Bohlau
Verlag. 2005. Pp. 469
 WHILE Raymond E.(1991): “Determining the orientation of the basin monumental de
Bibracte”:https://revistas.ucm.es/index.php/CMPL/article/viewFile/CMPL919122027
5A/30086

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Figure 1. The stone Basin of Bibracte, on one of the central square of the city of the Aedui.
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=474277

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Archaeastronomical Refraction Reconsidered.


Stephen McCluskey
Professor Emeritus, West Virginia University

Studies of traditional astronomy frequently deal with ritual and agricultural calendars which
are regulated by astronomical observations. Observations of sunset or sunrise against distant
horizon markers provide a common element of such traditional calendars (Zeilik, 1985;
Ruggles, 2015). This study will examine the variability of such astronomical observations on
the horizon in the context of the precision demonstrated in the ethnoastronomical literature.
Heretofore, most investigations of refraction for archaeoastronomical research have been
based on observations on a flat or depressed horizon or on theoretical analyses of refraction
relative to the geometric horizon (Schaefer & Liller 1990; Sampson, et al 2003). Such
analyses indicate probable errors that are greater than those found in the ethnographic
literature (Zeilik, 1985).
This study will resolve this discrepancy by presenting a theoretical examination of the
geometrical and meteorological factors influencing refraction. This examination will draw
on recent studies demonstrating the greater magnitude and variability of refraction near the
horizon (e.g. Young 2004), which reduces the variability of the observed refraction by an
order of magnitude.
Drawing on this examination, we will explain the observational precision documented in the
ethnographic literature and call for a positive reevaluation of the possible precision of
astronomically regulated calendars in traditional cultures.

Figure 1. Refraction to an astronomical body S beyond an elevated horizon marker M.

References

 Ruggles, C. L. N. 2015. Calendars and Astronomy. Pp. 15-30 in C. L. N. Ruggles,


ed., Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. Springer: New York.
 Sampson, R.D., E. P. Lozowski, A. E. Peterson, and D. P. Hube. 2003. "Variability
in the Astronomical Refraction of the Rising and Setting Sun," Publications of the
Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 115, 1256-1261.
 Schaefer, B. E. and W. Liller. 1990. "Refraction near the Horizon," Publications of
the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 102, 796-805.

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 Young, A. T. 2004. "Sunset Science IV. Low-Altitude Refraction," The


Astronomical Journal, 127, 3622–3637.
 Zeilik, M. 1985. "The Ethnoastronomy of the Historic Pueblos, I: Calendrical Sun
Watching," Archaeoastronomy 8, Supplement to Journal for the History of
Astronomy, 16: S1-S24.

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Cultural astronomy degree in Honduras: the next formative step for the
discipline.
Javier Mejuto (1), Eduardo Rodas (2)
1. Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy Department. Space Sciences Faculty.
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, Honduras – C.A.
javier.mejuto@unah.edu.hn
2. Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy Department. Space Sciences Faculty.
Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, Honduras – C.A.
eduardo.rodas@unah.edu.hn

KEYWORDS: Cultural Astronomy, Degree, Inclussion and Equity, Cultural Pertinence in Education

Development and conceptualization of the discipline by Stanislaw Iwaniszewski in the 1990s


has provided the framework for disciplinary growth and methodological standardization
(Iwaniszewski 1990, 1991 and 1994). We can agree that there are -since disciplinary
inception- large and numerous challenges to achieve the final conformation of the field, but
perhaps the most pressing one is the need for a common and coherent formation possibilities
that will allow equivalent quality studies in the different professionals in the area around the
world. Make this possible was the motivation behind a new Cultural Astronomy degree,
possible through a curriculum contextualized in the current disciplinary reality and the
Honduran and Central American social reality where it has been developed and which is
shared by most countries of Latin America and the world.
This educational plan has been carried out through the last three years in the
Archaeoastronomy and Cultural Astronomy Department at Universidad Nacional Autonoma
de Honduras. It is the result of a condensed experience in research, outreach and teaching of
the department’s nine years of existence. The degree’s design process was initiated by means
of a diagnostic of educational experiences of any kind across the world (Mejuto, 2015), after
this view we focus on the honduran and central american reality including -as a result- equity
and inclusion values and competencies. The aim to include this is that graduated students
work as engines of social changes through cultural astronomy. This approach, for instance
will break the classical paradigm of researcher and object of study in ethnoastronomical
studies including these peoples as part of the studies and researches. Finally, a study was
carried out on the professional openings of the field, both in Central America and Honduras
as in the rest of the world since the spirit of the degree is worldwide. Once realized we were
able to differentiate the following work niches: academic, cultural heritage, scientific
outreach and tourism.
This effort led to a competency-based educational plan which brings together fifty four
subjects divided in four groups: general subjects, social sciences subjects, natural sciences
subjects and specific formation subjects of the major cultural areas worldwide. These last
subjects covers ethnoastronomy, archaeoastronomy, methodology and heritage and
astronomical heritage topics. The plan covers a total of nine general competencies, fifteen
specific competencies and one hundred and sixteen subcompetencies focused in the aims of
the degree and professional profile of an competitive cultural astronomer.

In this work we present the final version of the Cultural Astronomy Degree that it is expected
to be implemented by the end of 2017 or early 2018 as a complete degree for multiethnic
honduran, central american and worldwide students. The intention of this work is showing
our experiences encouraging other educational institutions and professionals of the discipline

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to create similar projects creating an educational network in Cultural Astronomy that serves
both the disciplinary purposes and the societies that support them.

References

 Mejuto, J. (2015), “Tendencias curriculares en Astronomía Cultural”. Revista


Ciencias Espaciales, Vol.7, No. 2, 2014. (ISSN: 2225-5249).
http://dx.doi.org/10.5377/ce.v7i1.2529
 Iwaniszewski, S. (1990), "Astronomiia kak kul'turnaia sistema", Na rubezhakh
poznaniia vselennoy, A. A. Gurshtein, Moskva, Nauka: 67-73.
 Iwaniszewski, S. (1991), "Astronomy as a Cultural System", Interdisciplinarni
izsledvaniya, 18: 282-288.
 Iwaniszewski, S. (1994), "De la Astroarqueología a la Astronomía Cultural", Trabajos
de Prehistoria, 51(2): 5-20

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Medicine Wheel Astronomy.


Ivy Merriot (1), Jack Robinson (2)
1. PhD, Montana State University, Bozeman MT, USA. imerriot@gmail.com
2. Professor Emeritus (recently deceased), University of South Florida, Tampa, FL,
USA

BACKGROUND: Drs. Eddy and Robinson previously dated the Big Horn Medicine Wheel
(BHMW) using heliacal star alignments. Eddy’s method offered a date circa 1700 and
Robinson’s method offered a date circa 1100. New research reveals those alignments to be
indicative of times when the Wheel was used, but not necessarily prognostic for the date of
construction. In Crow (American Indian) oral history, Burnt Face laid the stones for the Fort
Smith Medicine Wheel using the Sun and star alignments he learned from the BHMW.
Robinson confirmed Burnt Face did not simply replicate angles and directions of alignments;
he adjusted the alignments for the change in horizon features, latitude, and altitude of the Fort
Smith topography, thus demonstrating his awareness of the Wheel’s stone alignments’
connection to the Sun and the star Fomalhaut.

AIM: Forty years after Eddy’s 1974 hallmark paper in the journal Science, new research
demonstrates the astronomical importance of non-heliacal features of the Big Horn Medicine
Wheel. These include the placement of the Wheel within the topographical landscape, the
specific latitude of 45 degrees, the relative altitude of the Wheel to the astronomical horizon,
and the indigenous cultural astronomy connecting the Fort Smith Wheel with the Big Horn
Medicine Wheel.

DATA: We found that the BHMW, 33 miles south and 6400 feet higher in elevation than the
Fort Smith Wheel, has astronomical features not previously described. The landscape to the
north of the BHMW creates a bracketed “gap” that dips below zero degrees astronomical
altitude, cradling the north-south meridian as it meets the horizon. The BHMW has a latitude
45ºN and the bright circumpolar star Capella has a declination of 45ºN. Thus, at this latitude,
Capella's daily path around the North Celestial Pole is a complete circle with angular
diameter 45º. At the lowest point of its circumpolar path, Capella is exactly on the celestial
horizon; at its highest, it passes directly through the zenith of the BHMW. This is most
accurate in 1100 AD yet Capella changes by only 4 minutes in declination (J2000) and 1.5
minutes of altitude within 500 years in either direction of AD 1100, keeping Capella’s bright
star circle, her journey from horizon to zenith, mirroring the BHMW for 1000 years.

RESULTS: Culturally associated astronomy for the Big Horn Medicine Wheel can be
demonstrated by the Crow Indian Burnt Face replicating star alignments from the BHMW
sometime between 1500 and 1850, creating the Fort Smith Wheel. After spending years
studying and performing ceremony the BHMW, he built a new wheel with astronomical
alignments, altering them for the change in elevation, altitude, and horizon topography. We
also found that Capella, the brightest circumpolar star at the BHMW whose declination is 45
degrees N, makes a full circle in the sky, from horizon to zenith above the Wheel for over a
thousand years, due to Capella’s position relative to the North Celestial Pole. These
considerations give support to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel as an indigenous astronomical
instrument.

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References

 Eddy, John A. “Astronomical Alignment of the Big Horn Medicine Wheel”; Science
184 (441):1035-1043 (1974).
 Robinson, J. H. “Astronomical Alignments at the Fort-Smith Medicine-Wheel”;
Archaeoastronomy Bulletin Center Arch. 4, no. 3 (1981).
 Kehoe, Thomas F. & Alice B. Kehoe. “Stones, Solstices, and Sun Dance Structures”;
Plains Anthropologist 22 (76):85-95 (1977).

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Analyzing South African and non-South African women preparedness for


STEM career, using “the Sky in Our Lives Survey”
Sinako Mgudlwa
3058590@myuwc.ac.za

Background: Cultural astronomy is one of the fields of study in science that attracts people
from different cultural, traditional and social backgrounds with heterogeneous beliefs. It is
that part of astronomy that focuses more on the daily lives of the people and their relationship
to the sky. Astronomy as science and academic field was historically known as a field that
mostly attracts males more than females. The Sky in Our Lives Survey was created by Dr
Jarita Holbrook in 2006, it has been revised since to capture more precise data about people,
astronomy, and the night sky (Holbrook, 2009). The survey consists of five distinctive
sections. The study focuses only on three sections of the survey: “Noctacaelador Inventory”
which tests attachment of people to the night sky, which was created by psychologist William
E Kelly (Kelly, 2004), “Astrology Survey” which tests peoples’ belief in astrology, also
referred to as pseudoscience. Lastly the “Astronomy Attitude Survey” tests people’s attitudes
towards the sky, was created by Michael Zeilik (Zeilik, 2002). For instance, Piburn and
Baker (1993) observed that students’ attitudes toward science decline as they grow older. A
variable that is called “Preparedness” which combines the above three factors is created.
Aim of the study: Analyse and determine the South African and Non-South African
women’s level of scientific knowledge and their interest in astronomy and science in general
using.
Data: First data was collected in the year 2006, through an online survey that was made
available to respondents in different countries on the website:
https://astroanthro.net/content/survey. There were also some handout questionnaires, which
mean part of the survey was face-to-face, administered from 2008 till 2015. The data will be
analyzed via the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 24, with an
application of quantitative analysis.
Results: Over 75 females responded, with approximately 29% being South African women
and the latter are Non-South Africans. The average scores for Noctcaelador show that Non-
South Africans (=X36.86) are not significantly more attached to the sky compared to the
South Africans (X=35.08, p>.05). There’s almost no difference in Astrology belief between
the two groups (X=32.45, 33.27, p>.05), which means the two groups almost do not believe
in astrology. Non-South African women (X=54.51) did not have a significantly more positive
attitude towards Astronomy and science in general than South African women (X=56.50,
p>.05).

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Table 1. Description of the above for South African and Non-South Africans displayed
own computation using Sky in Our Lives Survey.

References

 Holbrook, J.C., 2009 Canalc2: Jarita HOLBROOK - The Sky in Our Lives Survey
2008 (19/01/2009), International Astronomical Union Symposium: The Rôle of
Astronomy in Society and Culture (19/01/2009). Podcast Accessed March 31.
http://canalc2.u-strasbg.fr/video.asp?idVideo=8367.
 Kelly, W.E. (2004) Development of an Instrument to Measure Noctcaelador:
Psychological Attachment to the
 Night-Sky. College Student Journal 38.
 Piburn, Michael D., and Dale R. Baker. "If I were the teacher… qualitative study of
attitude toward science." Science Education 77.4 (1993): 393-406.
 Zeilik, M. (2002) Birth of the Astronomy Diagnostic Test: Prototest Evolution.
Astronomy Education Review 1, 46.

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Cosmic Tree in Armenian Culture.


Areg M. Mickaelian, Sona V. Farmanyan
Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO)
aregmick@yahoo.com
sona.farmanyan@mail.ru

Trees are noteworthy in many of the world's mythologies and religions, and have been given
profound and sacred meanings throughout the ages. The early cosmologies recount that
Cosmic Tree is grown in the centre of the Universe and includes all the spheres of human and
Earth existence. The Cosmic Tree has a universal image and is also known as World Tree,
Life Tree, Sacred Tree, Tree of Knowledge and is portrayed in various religions and
philosophies as the same tree (Tryggve 2007). These terms crosses cultures and are
widespread motif in various mythologies, folklores and religions. It alludes to the
interconnection of all life on our planet and serves as a metaphor for common descent in the
evolutionary sense (Giovino 2007). In the present study we focus on Armenian Cosmic Tree.
In ancient Armenia, the Tree of Life (Կենաց Ծառ) is a religious symbol and is drawn on
walls of fortresses and carved on the armour of warriors. According to ancient Armenians the
centre of the Universe is located at the crown of the tree or the column, which is the closest to
the sky. We explore the idea of cosmic tree in the riddles, prayers, medieval rituals and
miniatures. In the riddles, the tree mostly symbolizes the celestial phenomena (Sun, stars, and
heavens), different units of time (years, months, weeks, days, and seasons), the people,
Jerusalem, the apostles and Jesus Christ. The branches of the tree were equally divided on the
right and left sides of the stem, with each branch having one leaf, and one leaf on the apex of
the tree. Servants stood on each side of the tree with one of their hands up as if they are
taking care of the tree. In the Armenian culture the preliminary meanings of the Kenatz Tsar
(Cosmic Tree) are more vivid in Jan gyulums (folk songs), plays, epic, and so on, which was
subsequently mixed with religious and spiritual views. Cosmic Tree images are also found in
Nerses Shnorhali’s and Grigor Tatevatsi’s works. From the Vedic literature Ghevond Alishan
mentioned this tree as the most common symbol of God, he pointed out that this tree is in
upside-down position and life originates from here as it is Brahman itself. Later on in
Armenian conundrums we find the concept of “Cosmic tree in Hindu city” (Harutyunyan
1965). We come to the conclusion that, no matter of the present different religions, the
perception of Cosmic Tree is interconnected to the life on our planet and served as a
metaphor for common descent in the evolutionary sense.

References

 Giovino, Mariana 2007, The Assyrian Sacred Tree: A History of Interpretations,


Saint-Paul, p. 129.
 Harutyunyan, Sargis 1965, Armenian National Conundrum, Academy of Science of
the Armenian SSR, Echmiatzin publishing house, p. 169 (in Armenian).
 Tryggve, N. D. Mettinger 2007, The Eden Narrative: A Literary and Religio-historical
Study of Genesis 2–3. Eisenbrauns, p. 5.

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Qhapaq Ñan, “Road to the Stars” of the Inca Road system.


Silvia Motta, Adriano Gaspani
I.N.A.F. Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica. Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera- Milano
Via Brera, 28 20121 Milano – Italy
silvia.motta@brera.inaf.it
adriano.gaspani@brera.inaf.it

In this paper we present the hypothesis that there could be a relationship between the Andean
Road of Inca people and astronomy. The Qhapaq Ñan (which in Quechua language means
"main road") crosses six Andean countries and it was the spinal column of the politic and
economic power of the Tawuantinsuyu (Inca State), covering an extensive area. Perù is its
starting point: towards the South it crosses the territories of Bolivia, Argentina and Chile; and
towards the North, Ecuador and Columbia.
The network was based on two north-south roads. The eastern route ran high in the puna and
mountain valleys from Quito, Ecuador, to Mendoza, Argentina. The western route followed
the coastal plain except in coastal deserts where it hugged the foothills. There were at least
more than one thousand way stations or tambos, placed at even intervals along the trails and
they were intended to lodge and provide itinerant people. Today, only 25 percent of this
network is still visible, because most of the route has deteriorated since the Inca Empire was
defeated and the rest having been destroyed by the construction of modern infrastructure.
Different organizations such as UNESCO and IUCN have been working to protect the
network. Nowadays, even after of a great technology, of social and cultural changes, the
Andean road system is still standing, maintaining the material and immaterial culture.
The Incas grouped constellations into two different types: luminous and dark, visible in the
“Mayu,” (the Milky Way), which was a life-giving river in the heavens with its earthly
counterpart. The “Mayu” lies from North to South but with a misalignment of few tens of
degrees. In this study we investigate the possibility that people who used this important road
could be guided by the observation of celestial bodies and astronomical references, as the
eminently stars position, dark spots, moon and sun references and the stargazing of the Milky
Way, as did other ancient people. In this case the alignment data indicate that the use of
astronomical references at the horizon could represents the most viable rationale and maybe it
could be essential also in the Inca culture, as well as Astronomy was fundamental for the life
and the cult in the Inca society. Subsequently an appropriate statistical study is carried out in
order to infer their distribution function with the aim to perform an appropriate
archaeoastronomical analysis. At present the research is still in progress.
A question arose spontaneously: but the road may have been planned following astronomical
references in addition to follow the natural lay of the land?

References

 Cobo, B. (1964 [1653]) Historia del Nuevo Mundo. Madrid: Atlas.Gobierno Regional
de Apurímac, (2011) Perfil de proyecto – Mejora de los servicios turisticos del
conjunto arquelógico de Saywite en el distrito de Curahuasi, Provincia de Abancay,
Region Apurimac. Abancay.
 Garcilaso de la Vega, I. 1991[1609] Comentarios Reales de los Incas. Tomo I y II.
Edición de Carlos Araníbar. Fondo de Cultura Económica, Lima.
 Guamán Poma de Ayala, Felipe - #1613 / 1615 Ed. 1936 – Nueva corónica y buen
gobierno. Institut d’Ethnologie, t. XXVIII. Paris.J.

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 McKim Malville, 2009 Animating the Inanimate: Camay and Astronomical Huacas of
Peru. In Astronomy across Cultures, edited by J. A. Rubino-Martin, J. A. Belmonte, F.
Prada, and A. Alberdi, pp. 261–266. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference
Series 409.13, Lima, pp 125–197
 Zuidema, R. T. (1982) Catachillay, The role of the Pleiades and of the Southern Cross
and α and β Centauri in the Calendar of the Incas. Annals of the New York Academy
of Sciences, vol.385, 203-229. New York: Aveni and Urton
 G. Urton, Animals and Astronomy in the Quechua Universe (Burton,. 1975: p. 206)

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The case of the two churches of Sant’Apollinare in Piedmont (Italy): can


archaeoastronomy help to identify which of them is the Templar one?
Silvia Motta, Adriano Gaspani
I.N.A.F. Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica. Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera- Milano
Via Brera,28 20121 Milano – Italy
silvia.motta@brera.inaf.it
adriano.gaspani@brera.inaf.it

In this paper we analyze the strange case of two churches located not far from each other,
identified with the same name, Sant’Apollinare, situated one in Carpignano Sesia ( No) and
the other in Fisrengo- Casalbeltrame (No), at about ten kilometers each other, in the region of
Piedmont, Italy. In a deed dated 1174 A.D it is mentioned the Templar Mansione Sanctum
Apollinarem, in the area of Novara, where the Count Guido of Biandrate donates to the
Templars everything he owned in the region Ruspalia, but there is not any indication or land
registry map to identify the exact position of the mansio. The two churches have been
studied ,separately, by an archaeologist and by an expert on the history of the Templars;
moreover in these two places the Order's presence is indicated by the archive historical
documents, mostly, related to acts of buying and selling, but despite this there is a diatribe for
the identification of the “ Templar Church”.To this day however, additional possibilities of
understanding can be offered by an archaeoastronomical analysis of the temples within the
context of their surrounding landscape and skyscape. A twofold approach was chosen,
consisting of an archaeoastronomical examination of the temple’s orientations, and an
analysis of place names and documents which, as is argued, not only support the
archaeoastronomical findings but also help to gain much deeper insight into the criteria of the
astronomical orientations and of the geometry used by the master builders of the Templar
order in the drafting of the project.
The two churches have been measured “in situ” in summer and winter 2016. Subsequently an
appropriate statistical study was carried out in order to infer the distribution function of the
astronomical orientations with the aim to perform an appropriate archaeoastronomical
analysis.
In a previous our work we outlined the existence of orientation rules that the Templar
Knights used for planning their churches, connected with the “ Equinoctial Cycle" religious
calendar , and the "Solstice Cycle " religious calendar.
A set of appropriate statistical tests, based on artificial Neural Network, were designed and
applied in order to test the four possible solutions: a) one church is Templar, b) the other one
is Templar, c) both churches are Templar, d) any of the churches is Templar.
In this work we outline the results of our statistical testing as well as the test designing
methodology useful to solve class of problems like this.

References

 E. Bellomo, The templar Order in North west of Italy, 2008, Ed Brill


 L. Avonto, I Templari a Vercelli, Vercelli, 1977
 Guidonis Bonati. Foroliviensis Mathematici de Astronomia Tractatus X Universum
quod ad iudiciariam rationem nativitatum, Aëris, Tempestatum attinet,
comprehendentes. Adiectus est Cl. Ptolemaei liber Fructus, cum Commentarijs
Georgij Trapezuntij, Basileae, Anno MDL
 S. Fiori, I templari nel territorio Novarese, Interlinea, 2015

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 Fisher, N.I.1995, Statistical Analysis of Circular Data, Cambridge University Press


 Jean Ganivet, “Caeli enarrant”, Lione 1406
 A. Gaspani, 2016, Il Codice Astronomico dei Cavalieri Templari., Connla Editrice –
Ivrea
 Meeus, J., 1978, Astronomical Formulae for Calculators, William Bell.
 S. Motta, A. Gaspani. An archaeoastronomical investigation on the Templar churches
built in Piedmont, in the North West of Italy, SEAC 2016

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Skyscape Archaeology as a Road to Cultural Insight Research


Epistemology and Implications for Curriculum Design.
Andrew M. Munro (1), Steven R. Gullberg (2)
1. Adjunct Professor. College of Liberal Studies, University of Oklahoma.
Andrew.M.Munro@ou.edu
2. Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. College of Liberal Studies,
University of Oklahoma. srgullberg@ou.edu

Archaeoastronomers have made great strides in development of research methodologies, yet


there is limited curriculum available to train new practitioners. We endorse Ruggles’ (2011)
suggestion that archaeoastronomy may be viewed as a “service discipline” to archaeology. If
we seek results that address current archaeological research questions, then our work must
necessarily be grounded in rigorous archaeoastronomy fieldwork methods (see e.g.
Prendergast, 2015). Furthermore, the inferences we create should be supported by the points
of intersection between archaeoastronomical data and archaeological theory (Iwaniszewski,
2015). Historical and ethno-historical information from a wide variety of cultures
demonstrate that visual astronomy may be interconnected with cosmovision, politics, ritual,
religion, and economics in variable and unique ways. Research must be iterative and
interdisciplinary. To illustrate this point, we briefly present two case studies. Subsequently
we discuss an interdisciplinary curriculum under development to train new archaeoastronomy
practitioners.
Research at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico demonstrates that 10th through 12th century CE
monumental structures exhibit four orientation and placement traditions. Temporal analysis
of these architectural traditions and photographically confirmed astronomical alignments
provide evidence for shifting multi-cultural collaboration over time at Chaco and highlight
elevated importance for solstices after 1100 CE (Munro, 2012; Munro et al., 2016).
The Inca Empire in the Peruvian Andes is replete with examples of intentional light and
shadow effects, as well as orientations for key solar positions on the horizon. When such
research data is taken in cultural context with reference to works such as those of Zuidema
(1981), Bauer (1998), and Urton (1981) it emphasizes a society tightly interwoven with
astronomy. Precise archaeoastronomical research methods and interpretation are key
(Gullberg, 2009; Gullberg and Malville, 2016).
These two examples underscore the criticality of interdisciplinary archaeoastronomy
research; therefore, a curriculum to train practitioners must also be interdisciplinary, as
should supporting instructional materials (see e.g. Magli, 2016). Such a curriculum is under
development for the University of Oklahoma’s College of Liberal Studies (OU CLS). One
key charter of OU CLS is interdisciplinary study. The OU CLS Archaeoastronomy program
will integrate astronomy, anthropology, archaeology, history of science, history of religion
and Native American studies. The program is initially planned to include five (5) graduate
courses offered as an MA degree concentration, as well as a graduate certificate. The
certificate will provide individuals who have earned degrees in other fields (e.g. Archaeology
or Anthropology) with the training necessary to apply archaeoastronomy tools and
techniques. The program prominently features Native American Astronomy and will include
a field school.

References

 Bauer, Brian S., The Sacred Landscape of the Inca: The Cusco Ceque System (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1998).

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

 Gullberg, Steven R., The Cosmology of Inca Huacas, unpublished Ph.D. thesis
(Townsville: James Cook University, 2009). (Web accessible at
http://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/10346//).
 Gullberg, Steven R., and J. McKim Malville, Caves, Liminality, and the Sun in the
Inca World, paper presented at the 2016 European Society for Astronomy in Culture
(SEAC) conference in Bath, UK.
 Iwaniszewski, Stanisław, Cultural Interpretation of Archaeological Evidence Relating
to Astronomy,’ in Clive Ruggles, (ed), Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and
Ethnoastronomy (New York, Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London: Springer, 2015), pp.
316-324.
 Magli, Giulio, Archaeoastronomy, Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones
(Cham, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht, London: Springer, 2016).
 Munro, Andrew M. The Astronomical Context of the Archaeology and Architecture
of the Chacoan Culture, unpublished Ph.D. thesis (Townsville: James Cook
University, 2012). (Archived at the Hibben Center under National Park Service
Permit CHCU-08-03; web accessible at http://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/40277/).
 Munro, Andrew M., Tony Hull, J. McKim Malville, F. Joan Mathien, F.J., and
Cherilynn Morrow, Investigation of Solstice Horizon Interactions at Chacoan
Monumental Architecture, paper presented at the 2016 European Society for
Astronomy in Culture (SEAC) conference in Bath, UK.
 Prendergast, Frank, Techniques of Field Survey,’ in Clive Ruggles, (ed), Handbook of
Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy (New York, Heidelberg, Dordrecht, London:
Springer, 2015), pp. 390-408.
 Ruggles, Clive, ‘‘Interpretive archaeoastronomy’ thirty years on’, in Clive Ruggles,
(ed), Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building Bridges between Cultures
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 255-265.
 Urton, Gary, At the Crossroads of Earth and Sky: An Andean Cosmology (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1981).
 Zuidema, R. Tom, ‘Inca Observations of the Solar and Lunar Passages Through
Zenith and Anti-Zenith at Cuzco’, In Ray A. Williamson, (ed.), Archaeoastronomy in
the Americas (Los Altos: Ballena Press, 1981), pp. 319-342.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Could the ‘Sky Path’ in Saxony-Anhalt establish a modern pilgrimage


route?
Reinhard Mussik
The ‘Sky Path’ in Saxony-Anhalt is a modern tourist route connecting the archaeological site
on the Mittelberg, where the Nebra sky disk was found; the State Museum of Prehistory in
Halle, which displays the original sky disk; an archaeological site at Langeneichstädt; as well
as the reconstructed wooden circular enclosures of Goseck and Pömmelte-Zackmünde.32 This
route got its name because of the Nebra sky disk and the circular enclosure in Goseck, sites
that are famous mainly for archeoastronomical reasons. 33 The place of this conference –
Santiago de Compostela – is the destination of Europe’s most important Pilgrimage route.
This ‘Road to Santiago’ has many starting points in different parts of Europe. One of them is
situated in Saxony-Anhalt, where the historic 'Road to Santiago' and the modern tourist route
'Sky Path' are partly co-located.34
The idea to establish archaeological tourism on a route called ‘Sky Path’ was first expressed
by the tourism Department of the Ministry of Economics and Work of Saxony-Anhalt in
2005. 35 But one year later, only Christian pilgrimage and Christian sacred places were
considered in an official study about the potential of spiritual tourism in Saxony-Anhalt.36
The possibility to establish pilgrimage routes to pre-Christian sacred places or places that
could be important for New Age spirituality was not even considered at this time. 37
Nevertheless, the upturn of the New Age movement has raised the question if such a cluster
of ancient sacred sites could develop into a modern pilgrimage route comparable to the ‘Road
to Santiago’.
To answer this question, the ‘Sky Path’ and the connected sites have been studied with
anthropological methods such as participant observation, field work and interviews since
2004.38 Some of the anthropological studies were part of a broader investigation of the sound
qualities of the reconstructed wooden ring enclosures in Goseck and Pömmelte-Zackmünde.39
The research has shown that some followers of New Age ideas sporadically use the circular
enclosures in Goseck and Pömmelte-Zackmünde but do not use the road and path network
32
Saale-Unstrut-Tourismus_e.V., 'Himmelswege: Die Archäologische Tourismusroute in Sachsen-
Anhalt,' http://www.himmelswege.de/de/tourismusroute.html.
33
Wolfhard Schlosser, 'Astronomische Analyse Der Himmelsscheibe Von Nebra Und Des
Kreisgrabens Von Goseck - Gemeinsamkeiten Und Unterschiede', in Acta Praehistorica Et
Archaeologica, ed. Wilfried Menghin (Berlin: Staatliche Museen zu berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz,
2008).
34
St. Jakobus Gesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt_e.V., 'St. Jacobus Pilgerweg Sachsen-Anhalt,'
http://www.jakobusweg-sachsen-anhalt.de/pilgern/de/1989,,/index.html.
35
Christian Antz, 'Handbuch Tourismus in Sachsen-Anhalt', ed. Referat Tourismus (Magdeburg,
Wernigerode: Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt und Hochschule
Harz, Bereich tourismuswirtschaft, 2005), 53.
36
Karin Berkemann, 'Spiritueller Tourismus in Sachsen-Anhalt, Potenzialanalyse Und
Handlungsempfehlungen Für Eine Besondere Reiseform', ed. Referat Tourismus, Tourismus-Studien
Sachsen Anahlt (Magdeburg, Lutherstadt Wittenberg: Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit des
Landes Sachsen-Anhalt,, 2006).
37
———, 'Spiritueller Tourismus in Sachsen-Anhalt, Potenzialanalyse Und Handlungsempfehlungen
Für Eine Besondere Reiseform'.
38
Reinhard Mussik, 'Could the New Tourist Route “Sky Paths” in Saxony-Anhalt with Its
Archaeological Sites Be Considered as Sacred Space? ', Spica: Postgraduate Journal for Cosmology
in Culture 1, no. 2 (2013).
39
Reinhard Mussik and Victor Reijs, 'Akustische Messungen in Den Rekonstruierten
Kreisgrabenanlagen Goseck Und Pömmelte-Zackmünde ', Archäologie in Sachsen-Anhalt 9 (in
preparation)(2017).

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

connecting the sites as a pilgrimage route. This study suggests that the ‘Sky Path’ could not
gain a status comparable to a historic pilgrimage route as the ‘Road to Santiago’.
Nevertheless, it could fulfil the aim of its architects to boost archaeological tourism in
Saxony-Anhalt. 40

Figure 1. Shamanic drumming in Pömmelte-Zackmünde


References

 Antz, Christian. 'Handbuch Tourismus in Sachsen-Anhalt.' edited by Referat


Tourismus. Magdeburg, Wernigerode: Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit des
Landes Sachsen-Anhalt und Hochschule Harz, Bereich tourismuswirtschaft, 2005.
 Berkemann, Karin 'Spiritueller Tourismus in Sachsen-Anhalt, Potenzialanalyse
Und Handlungsempfehlungen Für Eine Besondere Reiseform.' edited by Referat
Tourismus. Magdeburg, Lutherstadt Wittenberg: Ministerium für Wirtschaft und
Arbeit des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt,, 2006.
 Datzer, Robert 'Handbuch Kulturtourismus in Sachsen Anhalt.' edited by Referat
Tourismus. Magdeburg, Potsdam, Köln: Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit
des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, 2006.
 Mussik, Reinhard. 'Could the New Tourist Route “Sky Paths” in Saxony-Anhalt
with Its Archaeological Sites Be Considered as Sacred Space? '. Spica:
Postgraduate Journal for Cosmology in Culture 1, no. 2 (2013): 22-39.
 Mussik, Reinhard, and Victor Reijs. 'Akustische Messungen in Den
Rekonstruierten Kreisgrabenanlagen Goseck Und Pömmelte-Zackmünde '.
Archäologie in Sachsen-Anhalt 9 (in preparation) (2017).
 Saale-Unstrut-Tourismus_e.V. 'Himmelswege: Die Archäologische
Tourismusroute in Sachsen-Anhalt'.
http://www.himmelswege.de/de/tourismusroute.html.
 Sachsen-Anhalt_e.V., St. Jakobus Gesellschaft. 'St. Jacobus Pilgerweg Sachsen-
Anhalt'. http://www.jakobusweg-sachsen-anhalt.de/pilgern/de/1989,,/index.html.
 Schlosser, Wolfhard. 'Astronomische Analyse Der Himmelsscheibe Von Nebra
Und Des Kreisgrabens Von Goseck - Gemeinsamkeiten Und Unterschiede'. In
Acta Praehistorica Et Archaeologica, edited by Wilfried Menghin, 57-60. Berlin:
Staatliche Museen zu berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, 2008.

40
Robert Datzer, 'Handbuch Kulturtourismus in Sachsen Anhalt', ed. Referat Tourismus (Magdeburg,
Potsdam, Köln: Ministerium für Wirtschaft und Arbeit des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, 2006), 120-21.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Ancient Chinese Observatories in Australia and the Venus transit A.D.


1275.
Lynda Nutter, Jill Thompson-White
Background: Astronomical data originally gathered by Chinese astronomers in the Yuan
Dynasty might have been appropriated by Europeans over the following centuries;
exemplified by the emergence of navigation maps in the 16th and 17th centuries showing
continents that Europeans had yet to discover and the appearance of astronomical knowledge
beyond the scope of the European’s practical investigations by that time. “In fact, Lu boasted
of how he obtained a copy of the Table of Solar Traces from Verbiest and discovered the
similarities between European calendars and the methods used by the thirteenth-century
astronomer Guo Shoujin during the Yuan Dynasty”41.

This research aims to confirm four ancient, Chinese observatory remains are in Australia; at
Helena Valley near Perth, Eneabba in Western Australia, Gympie in South Queensland and
the Bay of Fires in Tasmania. Research data indicates Chinese astronomers visited Australia
at the dawn of the Yuan Dynasty; as part of the Nanhai Four Seas Meridian Survey [the
Nanhai Survey] in the thirteenth century A.D. 42 . It is also proposed that ancient Chinese
metrology was based on the orbital parameters of Venus, and with its transit A.D. 1275
occurring at the height of the Nanhai Survey, the astronomical unit and a cartographic scale
were the foci of this extraordinary astronomical survey.

The four Australian sites have dimensions, features, trigonometry and other spatial
relationships comparable to giant, catoptric observatories used in ancient China during the
Venus transit A.D. 127543. Research results propose these giant sundials in Mongolian China
and Australia were an effective way to link time, gravity and velocity; keying these
measurements to a new epochal beginning point. Furthermore, the four Australian field
stations (of the twenty-seven constructed for the Nanhai Survey) probably involved a unique
collaboration between Chinese astronomers and the original Australians at that time.

With Australia’s history constrained until 1992 by the doctrine of Terra Nullius (“land that
belongs to no-one”44), questions regarding the chronology of astronomical and cartographic
achievement might be answered by further investigation of the observatory sites in Australia.
The Nanhai Survey, conducted on the order of Kublai Khan 45, could be the true source of

41
Hu, Minghui. 2002. “Provenance in Contest: Searching for the Origins of Jesuit Astronomy in Early
Qing China, 1664–1705”, The International History Review, 24:1, p. 8,
DOI:10.1080/07075332.2002.9640956. Retrieved 24 June, 2015
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2002.9640956
42
Nutter, Lynda, & Thompson-White, Jill. 2016. “Yuan Dynasty Observatories in Australia; Nanhai
Prime Meridian Survey Stations”. Unpublished paper submitted to The Journal for the History of
Astronomy”.
43
Nutter, & Thompson-White, op. cit. (ref. 2).
44
Mabo - The Native Title Revolution. n.d.. Retrieved 24 February, 2016
http://mabonativetitle.com/tn_01.shtml
45
Han, Zheng Hua. 1981. “Nanhai, a Chinese territory boundary as surveyed by the ‘Four Seas
Sunshadow-lengths Survey’ of the Yuan dynasty period.” Nanhai Zhudao Shidi Kaozheng Lunji
[Collected essays of textual research on the historical geography of South Sea Islands]. Translated by
Wang Guan Yio. Beijing: Zhonghua Bookstore, 1.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

astronomical data and trigonometry points that led to some of the unexplained cartographic
advancements in Europe - centuries later.

Figure 1. “A consideration of right angle triangles”1 from the prime meridian of the 1602
A.D. “Kunyu Wanguo Quantu” (170˚ E) to Nanhai Prime Meridian Survey observatory sites
in China and four proposed observatory sites in Australia. Illustration by Ushan Boyd 2016.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

The prehistoric villages of the Aeolian archipelago and Milazzo: astronomy


and landscape.
Andrea Orlando (1,2), Sebastiano Tusa (3), Davide Gori (4,5)
1. Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS/INFN), Italy
2. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana (IAS), Italy
3. Soprintendenza del Mare, Assessorato per i BB. CC. AA. e I.S., Regione Siciliana,
Italy
4. Amec Foster Wheeler, Italy
5. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana (IAS), Italy

The archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, of volcanic origin, is situated in the Tyrrhenian Sea,
to North of the Sicilian coast; it is made up of seven islands, to which are added islets and
rocky outcrops. Since 2000, the Aeolian Islands are an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The
islands are arranged in a Y-shaped horizontal position, with the shaft pointing towards the
West; the seven islands are Lipari, Salina, Vulcano, Stromboli, Panarea, Alicudi and Filicudi.
The human presence in the archipelago is attested since very ancient times (Bernabo Brea,
1958). The prehistoric people were in fact attracted by the presence of large quantities of
obsidian, glassy substance of volcanic origin through which the Aeolian Islands were the
center of flourishing trade routes (Tusa, 1999). The first settlements were already a few
centuries before the fifth millennium BC (Neolithic Age). Natural "door" to the Aeolian
archipelago is the Milazzo peninsula. The prehistoric villages involved in the study are the
following:

• Lipari - Castellaro (Middle Neolithic) (Bernabò Brea and Cavalier, 1957) and Acropoli
(Late Bronze Age) (Bernabò Brea and Cavalier, 1979);
• Panarea – Punta Milazzese-Cala Junco (Middle Bronze Age) (Bernabò Brea and Cavalier,
1968) (Fig. 1);
• Stromboli - San Vincenzo (Ancient-Middle Bronze Age) (Cavalier, 1981);
• Salina - Portella (Middle Bronze Age) (Bernabò Brea and Cavalier, 1968);
• Filicudi - Filo Braccio (Ancient Bronze Age) (Martinelli et al., 2010) and Capo Graziano
(Ancient Bronze Age) (Bernabò Brea and Cavalier, 1991);
• Milazzo - Viale dei Cipressi (Ancient Bronze Age) (Tigano, 2009).

In this paper we analyze the positioning of each village from a cognitive point of view, taking
into account archaeoastronomy and the aspects of landscape archeology. Here we present
preliminary results of the study in question made with the satellite data (Google Earth) and
the data measured by the first measurement campaigns in the field. Similarly to what has
been achieved for the village of the Faraglioni in Ustica (Foresta Martin and Magli, 2016) it
was finally also analyzed a possible astronomical orientation of the urban layout of each
prehistoric village present in the Aeolian archipelago and in Milazzo.

References

 Bernabò Brea, L., La Sicilia prima dei greci. Milano: Il Saggiatore, 1958.
 Bernabò Brea, L. and M. Cavalier, Stazioni preistoriche delle Isole Eolie, Bullettino
di Paletnologia Italiana, N. S. XI – Vol. LXVI, Roma, 1957.
 Bernabò Brea, L. and M. Cavalier, Meligunìs Lipàra III. Stazioni preistoriche delle
isole Eolie. Panarea, Salina, Stromboli. Palermo, 1968.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

 Bernabò Brea, L. and M. Cavalier, Meligunìs Lipàra IV. L'Acropoli di Lipari nella
preistoria. Palermo, 1979.
 Bernabò Brea, L. and M. Cavalier, Meligunis Lipara VI. Filicudi: insediamenti
dell'età del bronzo. Palermo, 1991.
 Cavalier, M., Villaggio preistorico di San Vincenzo. Stromboli, in Sicilia
Archeologica, N.46-47, pp. 27-54, 1981.
 Martinelli, M.C., Fiorentino, G., Prosdocimi, B., D’Oronzo, C., Levi, S.T., Mangano,
G., Stellati, A. and N. Wolff, Nuove ricerche nell'insediamento sull'istmo di Filo
Braccio a Filicudi. Nota preliminare sugli scavi 2009, Origini XXXII, Nuova Serie IV,
pp. 285-314, 2010.
 Tigano, G., Mylai II - Scavi e ricerche nell'area urbana. Soprintendenza Beni culturali
ed Ambientali di Messina, Sicania, Messina, 2009.
 Tusa, S., La Sicilia nella preistoria. Palermo: Sellerio Editore, 1999.

Figure 1. Punta Milazzese’s village at Panarea.

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Archaeoastronomical study of the shaft tombs of the protohistoric


necropolis of Thapsos (Sicily).
Andrea Orlando (1,2), Carlo Veca (3), Davide Gori (4,5)
1. Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (LNS/INFN), Italy
2. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana (IAS), Italy
3. Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy
4. Amec Foster Wheeler, Italy
5. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana (IAS), Italy

In Sicily the research about the astronomical orientation of monuments, megaliths and burial
tombs in prehistoric times is still a poorly explored field (Orlando, 2015; 2016). Regarding
the funerary architecture the studies of archaeoastronomy carried out so far on the island
affected exclusively the Copper Age (IV-III millennium BC) (Tusa and Foderà Serio, 2001).
With some exceptions, it is rather problematic the existence of orientative intentionality in
the placement of tombs during the later Bronze Age (end III/II millennium BC). In this
regard, significant new informations could be gleaned from the study of the orientations of
the shaft tombs of the necropolis of Thapsos (Veca, 2014), site that fully represents the events
of the Middle Bronze Age (1440-1250 BC).
Thapsos is a settlement located on the Magnisi peninsula (37.15° N, 15.23° E), a triangular
strip of land (2300 × 800 m; 20 masl) between the gulfs of Syracuse and Augusta, linked to
land of the eastern coast of Sicily by a narrow sandy isthmus. Here it developed a remarkable
Middle Bronze culture, with a village with proto-urban character, for the influence of imports
of items and know-how from the Aegean, Cyprus and Malta (Veca, 2016). The necropoleis of
Thapsos are arranged in 3 areas of the peninsula. For our analysis we considered the two
groups of rectangular shaft tombs with underground chamber necropolis, widespread on the
limestone plateau to the North and South of the peninsula.
A first partial study about the orientation of the Thapsos’ shaft tombs was realized at the
beginning of the third millennium on 25 tombs in the North necropolis (Belmonte and Hoskin,
2002); already in this first analysis it was observed that there were two privileged guidelines:
one of astronomical character, linked to the sunrise at the summer solstice, and the other of
topographical character, connected to Mount Etna (North direction).
The archaeoastronomical analysis of the shaft tombs of Thapsos started from the authors
involved a hundred tombs present on the peninsula (Fig. 1). The opportunity to study the
orientations of these tombs allowed moreover to realize the first mapping of the necropoleis,
the numbering of the tombs and the first reliefs of funerary complexes. The measured
orientations allow us to affirm that the cell of the shaft tombs has been carved so that the axis
of the opening (from inside to outside) have an azimut including between 60°-120°.
Furthermore it is interesting to observe as some tombs have a North orientation (355°-5°),
direction clearly identified by the Etna volcano.
The proposed study is therefore of great scientific importance, as it was previously thought
that in the Bronze Age had lost cultic tradition of building shaft tombs necropoleis with
astronomically oriented entrance. The study thus opens new scenarios as part of the funerary
rituals and religious needs, showing a discontinuity with the previous phases.

References

 Belmonte, J.A. and M. Hoskin, Astronomía y paisaje en Thapsos, in Reflejo del


Cosmos: Atlas de Arqueoastronomía del Mediterráneo antiguo, Madrid: Equipo Sirius,
2002.

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 Orlando, A., Studio archeoastronomico della ‘spirale megalitica’ di Balze Soprane


(Bronte, CT): analisi preliminare, Nicolosi, 2015.
 Orlando, A., Archaeoastronomy in Sicily: Megaliths and Rocky Sites, in Silva F.,
Malville K., Lomsdalen T. and F. Ventura (eds.), The Materiality of the Sky, Sophia
Centre Press, 2016
 Tusa, S., Foderà Serio G., Rapporti tra morfologia ed orientamento nelle architetture
rituali siciliane dal IV al II millennio a.C., Atti dei convegni lincei 171, pp. 297-323,
2001.
 Veca, C., Contenitori “per i vivi” e contenitori “per i morti” a Thapsos (Siracusa): un
approccio tecnologico a un problema interpretativo, in Rivista di Scienze Preistoriche,
LXIV, pp. 203-225, 2014.
 Veca, C., Archeologia funeraria. Architettura, riti e liturgie nella Sicilia sudorientale
del Bronzo Medio (1450-1250 a.C.), Lecce, 2016.

Figure 1. Position of the Thapsos’ shaft tombs in the Magnisi peninsula.

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The archaeology of light – celestial symbols of the European Bronze Age.


Emília Pasztor
Türr István Museum, Baja. Hungary

At first glance, light doesn’t seem to be an archaeological artifact. Yet, it could bring us
information from several million light years ago. Look at the sun, and you will only see its
face from 6 minutes ago, the time necessary for sunlight to arrive to Earth. What we can see
around us is all thanks to the emitted or reflected sunlight. Thus, we basically always see the
‘past’, no matter how little time it takes for light to arrive to our eyes.
And yet, light is usually not in the scope of archaeological studies. It cannot be found among
the objects of excavations. Therefore, the role of ‘ancient’ light in cultural heritage cannot be
studied with any direct method.
Depending on the geographical position of the observer, several atmospheric phenomena can
be seen quite often in the sky. The visibility of the sun and the moon, and the phenomena
generated by their light might also have attracted the attention of peoples in Bronze Age
Europe, as many artefacts decorated with celestial symbols (luxury items in particular) attest.
In my presentation I posit that the depiction of different atmospheric phenomena can be
found among the abstract symbols that flooded most of Europe, especially the Scandinavian
and Carpathian regions, in the second half of the Bronze Age (from c. 1600 BCE onwards). I
further argue that various symbols generally considered as solar, differ from each other as
they either represent the sun with various accompanying atmospheric phenomena or likely
that some of them are actually lunar rather than solar symbols.
Probably mock-suns and light circles inspired the well-known Bronze Age symbol called the
‘sun-bird-barge’ (’Vogelbarke’) by archaeologists. This motif emerged in the first half of the
Urnfield period (1300-900 BCE) and became the dominant sign of not only the wide spread
archaeological culture but the whole period of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in central
Europe; they even continued to be in use until the early La Téne period. The spread of this
ornamental motif covers a huge area, from Italy to Scandinavia and from France to the
Carpathian Basin. They are frequently represented as swimming birds that accompany or
guide the sun, suggesting that they may have held a significant cosmological status. This
composite symbol may have been evoked by the spectacle atmospheric phenomenon when
two mock suns can be observed in the sky. The significance of the sun and the bird in the
world of their beliefs may have persuaded people to witness a sun-bird boat into the halo of
the sun on these special occasions.

References

 Pásztor, E. 2017. Prehistoric Light in the Air. In: Papadopoulos, C. & Moyes, H. (eds)
The Oxford Handbook of Light in Archaeology, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Ping-Yü, Ho and Joseph Needham. 1959. ‘Ancient Chinese Observations of Solar
Haloes and Parhelia’. Weather, 14. (4) (April): 124–134. DOI: 10.1002/j.1477-
8696.1959.tb02450.x.
 Stothers, Richard. 2009. ‘Ancient Meteorological Optics’. The Classical Journal 105.
(1): 27–42.
 Verderame, Lorenzo. 2014. ‘The Halo of the Moon’. In Divination in the Ancient
Near East: A Workshop on Divination Conducted during the 54th Rencontre
Assyriologique Internationale, Würzburg, 2008, edited by Jeanette C. Fincke, p.91-
105. Indiana: EISENBRAUNS.

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Figure 1. The sun-barge motif

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Astronomy and Cartography in Benahoare: An orientated map of the


Canary island of La Palma in an ancient petroglyph.
Manuel Pérez Gutiérrez (1, *), Felipe Jorge Pais Pais (2), Mª Antonia Perera
Betancort (3), Julio Cuenca Sanabria (4), A. César González-García (5), Juan
Antonio Belmonte (6)
1. Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ávila. Universidad de Salamanca. Spain
*manolope@usal.es
2. Servicio de Patrimonio histórico. Excmo. Cabildo Insular de La Palma, Canarias,
Spain
3. Servicio de Patrimonio histórico. Excmo. Cabildo Insular de Lanzarote, Canarias,
Spain
4. Director at PROPAC S.L. (Proyectos Patrimoniales Canarios, SPC), Las Palmas,
Spain
5. Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio, Incipit, CSIC, Santiago de Compostela,
Spain
6. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife,
Spain

The Canary island of La Palma (ancient Benahoare) is one the richest island territory of the
world in rock art manifestations (Martín Rodríguez and Pais Pais, 1996); there are dozens of
petroglyph stations in a territory of only 700 km2. These groups of petroglyphs, carved in a
delicate way by picking or lining techniques, often are representations of geometric forms
(spirals, concentric circles, meanders, etc.,) of great beauty. If their number were not enough
to illustrate the importance that they had for the former aboriginal settlers of the island, the
situation and orientation of some of them would confirm the ritual significance that these
artistic manifestations must have had for them. Across the island, important rock art stations
such as "El Verde" (discovered in 1982 and named originally "El Cementerio”, Pais Pais and
Herrera García, 2007) can be found. A beautiful phenomenon of light and shadow can be
observed there, illuminating the petroglyphs on site during sunset at the summer solstice.
This and other phenomenology located elsewhere in the island show the close relationship
between Benahoare’s rock art and astronomy.
An especially puzzling petroglyph can be found in a place named Monte Braulio on the
westernmost coast of the island (see Fig. 1). This is one of the biggest single glyphs found in
La Palma and it is nearly isolated. The petroglyph was carved on an inconspicuous almost
horizontal lava platform, occupying an approximate surface of 3 m2. Our hypothesis is that it
represents the world known to the inhabitants of the island. A metric and morphologic
analysis of the petroglyph allows stressing the idea that we are facing a map of Benahoare, as
imagined in the mind of its ancient inhabitants in a similar way as other prehistoric ‘maps’
discovered so far (Harley and Woodward, 1987). The ‘map’, which is perfectly orientated
according to the cardinal points, is completed by another smaller spiral-shaped petroglyph
(perhaps a solar representation) located at the map’s east side (and therefore on the region of
the horizon where sunrise happens). Both the map and the additional glyph are scattered by a
set of grooves, small channels and cup-marks, which could have been used for sympathetic
magic rituals in order to call for rain, a major important necessity for the islanders in a
territory where fountains were nearly absent. If we are correct, this will be one of the best
examples of emic maps ever produced before the development of modern cartography.

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References

 Harley, J. B. and Woodward, D eds. (1987) Cartography in the Prehistoric Period


in the Old World: Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa in History of
Cartography. Vol 1; Cartography in Prehistoric, Ancient, and Medieval Europe
and the Mediterranean. Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.
 Martín Rodríguez, E. and Pais Pais, J.F. (1996): Las manifestaciones rupestres de
La Palma - Manifestaciones rupestres de las Islas Canarias, Dirección General de
Patrimonio Histórico, 299-359
 Pais Pais, J.F. and Herrera García, F.J. (2007) Los grabados de "El Cementerio"
(El Paso, La Palma): el renacer de una estación rupestre. Revista de estudios
generales de la Isla de La Palma, ISSN 1698-014X, Nº. 3, 2007

Figure 1. Petroglyph station at Monte Braulio (La Palma, Spain)

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The unintentional winter solstice hierophany in the” Santi Angeli Custodi”


church in Rome and its implication.
Vito Francesco Polcaro
INAF-IAPS, ACHe Centre of Ferrara University and CESAR, Rome (Italy)

The parish of the “Santi Agngeli Custodi” (”Holy Guardian Angels”) is a church in Rome,
located in the Monte Sacro district. It was built between 1924 and 1925 by the architect
Gustavo Giovannoni, in the framework of the realization of the first modern settlement on the
right bank of the Aniene river, which not far flows into the Tiber (Carpaneto, 2006). The
building externally displays monumental forms, inspired by Roman architecture of the period
between the 16th and the 17th century. The interior has a single nave with four side chapels,
above which large windows open, and is decorated with numerous frescoes. One of these,
located above the little side door on the left side of the nave, represents a Nativity. This
fresco is directly illuminated by sunlight entering through the window, located above the
Chapel to the right of the main church entrance, just at midday of the few days between the
winter solstice and Christmas, when, until the founding of the church, the celebration of the
Mass officiated by the Parish Priest begins. This coincidence may suggest that a voluntary
hierophany has been searched. Actually, the probability of the coincidence of the orientation
of an artwork with the position in azimuth and height of the Sun in a significant time of a
particular date with a specific symbolic and cultural correspondence with the artifact is very
low (see, e.g. Curti et al., 2009). However, this lighting effect is very likely due to chance
alone. In fact, the orientation of the church axis is due to the fact that the architect wanted it
in line with the bridge that crosses the Aniene river (Rendina, 2000). The position of the
windows is due only to the project structure of the building and there is no documentation of
any specific criteria for indoor decorative painting, made at various times between 1930 and
1962, except for the frescoes decorating the apse and dome, all dedicated to themes
connected with the angels. On the other hand, any importance in the celebrations has never
been given to the particular lighting effect of the fresco of the Nativity in the Christmas
period. This case shows that the statistic is not sufficient to demonstrate the intentionality of a
hierophany, in the absence of historical, archaeological or textual evidence: in fact, in this
case, it was possible to establish that the lighting effect was not intentional just because it
occurs in a modern monument, on which full documentation is available.

References

 G. Carpaneto, Quartiere XVI. Monte Sacro, in L. Carpaneto et al. (eds) I rioni e i


quartieri di Roma, Roma, Newton & Compton Editori, 2006.
 E. Curti et al., The “Petre de la Mola” megalithic complex on the Monte Croccia
(Basilicata), in M. Rappenglűck (ed.), Proceedings of the SEAC 17th annual
meeting, 25-31 October 2009, Alexandria, Egypt, B.A.R., London, in press.
 C. Rendina, Le Chiese di Roma, Roma (Newton & Compton Editori), 2000.

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All in Doubt: Astronomical Imagery and Cosmological Uncertainty in


Early Modern Writers.
Richard L. Poss
Late Renaissance thinkers, instead of writing against the background of a single
comprehensive cosmology (as Dante had done), were subject to a series of conflicting
cosmological models, with no one model taking the lead. Poets especially tend to cast their
verse against a mythological underpinning, and the older and more ingrained that
mythological background, the better. John Donne’s oft quoted lines in “Anatomy of the
World” are indicative of that ambivalence:

The new philosophy calls all in doubt,


The element of fire is quite put out,
The sun is lost, and th' Earth, and no man's wit
Can well direct him where to look for it.

This paper examines a series of literary passages, comparing them to the astronomical
and cosmological backgrounds of their time period. Beginning with Shakespeare (in Hamlet
and the Sonnets) and John Donne (the “Anatomy of the World”) and continuing through
Milton’s Paradise Lost (Book 8), each passage addresses the troubled state of astronomy,
where world-views were clashing, confused, perplexed, and destabilizing. From the relative
stability of Aristotle and Ptolemy’s geocentric cosmographies, writers were confronted not
just with the heliocentric model of Copernicus, but with Tycho Brahe’s hybrid model,
Giovanni Battista Riccioli’s hybrid of Tycho and Copernicus, and the accompanying debate
over the diurnal rotation of the Earth, and with the separate debate over plurality of worlds.
Especially in Renaissance England there flowered independent freethinking in astronomy
with John Dee, Kepler, Giordano Bruno, and others taking part. The impact of all these new
discoveries or new theories was not so much “new knowledge” as “new uncertainty”
contributing to a metaphysical anxiety in the arts and letters.

With the advent of Neoclassicism and the Enlightenment, we will examine poetry from
Alexander Pope (Essay on Man, Epistle 1) and Joseph Addison (“Ode”), and hymns by Isaac
Watts and William Billings (“Chester”). 18th century hymns employed astronomical imagery
in a variety of ways, including passages inspired by the progressing Enlightenment
enthusiasm for science and Deist philosophy. When astronomical imagery occurs in early
American hymns, it typically takes the form of earth, air, sea, stars, sun, moon, and the
planets presented as evidence of the wonders of the Creator, usually within a fundamentalist
or evangelical context. However, in the 18th Century, imagery of a different sort presents
itself in popular hymns, imagery compatible with Deism and indicative of the advances in
astronomy made during the Renaissance and Enlightenment. The triumph of Isaac Newton’s
physics ushered in a period of supreme confidence in science, to the extent that science for
some became an alternate, and preferable, religion. Singers of hymns did not have to choose
between visions of the cosmos which were theologically incompatible, and hymns with
differing positions on cosmological systems were used concurrently. The paper concludes
with a brief critique of astronomer John Herschel’s poem on science and poetry.

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Cruciform architecture in Western European Neolithic passage tombs —a


preliminary spatial analysis and cultural assessment.
Frank Prendergast
frank.prendergast@dit.ie

Passage tombs are a class of megalithic tomb in which the burial chamber is typically set
within a round mound (cairn) delimited by a kerb of contiguous stones set horizontally on
their longer edge. Much variation occurs in the number, form and shape of the chambers. The
structural stones are embellished with engraved art in many cases. In the case of Irish tombs,
the predominant burial rite was cremation. Radiocarbon dating places them in the Middle to
Late Neolithic with a peak in their construction in c. 3200–2900 BC. Culturally, they have
chronological and spatial overlap with their megalithic ‘relatives’- the court tombs and the
portal tombs. Beyond Ireland, the type is weakly represented in western Britain but is more
prevalent in western mainland Scotland and on the Scottish Isles. More widely, the tradition
spreads from Iberia to southern Scandinavia and along the so-called Atlantic Façade (Laporte
and Scarre 2015). The relative sophistication encountered in Irish passage tombs is
exemplified by their architecture, grave goods, and embellishment with engraved art. Notably,
Ireland has the greatest concentration of such megalithic art in Europe. Passage tombs are
thus widely regarded as monumentally representing a highly developed and elite societal
tradition (e.g. Eogan 1986, p.29). More recent discoveries relating to apparent orientation
patterns and relative hierarchy in their landscape siting support such assertions (Prendergast
2016). Current archaeological research is now firmly focussed on investigating cultural,
trading and exchange links between an apparent hub of this tomb tradition in Ireland with its
counterparts in Scotland and western Britain (Sheridan and Cooney 2014). Overall, it can be
justifiably argued that the Irish corpus represents a distinct regional insular style.
A notable architectural feature relates to the cruciform nature of the burial chamber
encountered in 33 of the 221 passage tombs extant in Ireland (see Figure). While such a
phenomenon is neither exclusively Irish nor culturally unique to the Neolithic, its prevalence
is striking. Moreover, while examples of this design form are catalogued and well described
in the archaeological literature, any meaningful data-driven analysis, or discussion, of
cruciform morphology and how this architectural form could provide access to the cultural
meaning and symbolism of the Neolithic funerary tradition is scant or lacking. Another
feature evident in the majority of cases is the tendency, as one enters the chamber, for the
right hand recess to be greater in plan than its counterpart on the left (see Figure).
This paper will undertake such an enquiry using field data and computations by the author.
The methodology will draw on archaeological excavation reports and present, for the first
time, a spatial analysis of the measured relative sizes and spatial patterns of these cruciform
recesses. For discussion purposes, the data will be merged with archaeoastronomical findings
relating to this type of tomb. Importantly, this work will be contextualised and blended with
philosophical ideas of the religiosity and pre-eminence of the right and left sides as argued by
Hertz (1909), and with insights drawn from typological approaches to designed architectural
sacred space (Krier 1992).

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Figure 1. Plan of cruciform passage tomb at Fourknocks, Co. Meath

References

 Eogan, G. (1986) Knowth and the passage-tombs of Ireland, London: Thames and
Hudson.
 Hertz, R. (1909) 'Reprint (2013): The pre-eminence of the right hand - A study in
religious polarity. Tranlsated by Rodney and Claudia Needham', HAU: Journal of
Ethnographic Theory, 3(2), 335–57.
 Krier, R. (1992) Elements of architecture, 2nd ed., London: Academy Editions.
 Laporte, L. and Scarre, C. eds. (2015) The Megalithic Architectures of Europe,
Oxford: Oxbow Books.
 Prendergast, F. (2016) 'Interpreting megalithic tomb orientations and siting within
broader cultural contexts' in Brown, D., ed., Journal of Physics: Conference Series
685 (Modern Archaeoastronomy: From Material Culture to Cosmology),
http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1742-6596/685/1/012004/pdf: IOP
Publishing, 1–25.

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Land and skyscape during the 13th century in the Czech lands.
Nikolaos Ragkos
University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic

During the 13th century the Czech state became a major power, significantly influencing the
political situation in Central Europe. This influence spread in the wider European context
during the reign of Premysl Otakar II and Wenceslas II. Αlongside with the increasing
positions of power of the Czech state, important changes on the inner frame of the country
can be also labeled. Remarkable economic development was achieved based mainly on the
development of archicultural production. New settlements grew apace in places yet sparsely
populated or completely unpopulated, especially in the peripheral areas of the country. Until
the first decades of the 13th century in the Czech lands existed only a small number of major
settlements, which had certain market, manufacturing and administrative functions and
during the early 13th century acquired the character of developed cities, due to legal but also
construction and urban planning interventions. The number of new settled cities boosted
since the era of Wenceslas I and increased significantly at the third quarter of the 13th
century, during the reign of Premysl Otakar II which was marked at the same time by
territorial expansion of the Czech state.
This general process of urbanization took place also in the wider European region where
similar political, social and economic causes favored analogous developments. Concurrently
a new intellectual movement arose around Europe that was stimulated by the translation of
ancient manuscripts resulting in the revival of the ancient Greek natural philosophy. It is
certain that the revival of literature and contemplation that resulted from the translation of
these texts, did not leave unaffected the architectural thought and creativity of the era as it has
been proved in many studies so far.
The purpose of this study is to identify the possible effects of the science of astronomy in
architectural thought and creation in the Czech lands during the above mentioned historical
period, as astronomy was included from antiquity among the natural sciences. This is sought
through the control of the astronomical orientation of 25 urban systems developed during the
13th century in the Czech lands. Currently the interpretation of the formation of ground plan
outlines of these urban systems has been limited to factors such as shape of the terrain, the
direction of water flows, older settlement points, directions of pre-existing path networks.
Though the observation of these urban schemes on the existing online maps the belief that in
most of these cases astronomical methods were used, is strengthened. As it is visible from the
diagram below the majority of the west-east axes of these urban systems are located very
close to the true east. At first glance it looks that the pursue was to orientate the city grids
towards the equinoctial points.
The list of cities on the figure below was compiled according to the list available on the book:
"Česká architektura v době posledních Přemyslovců".

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References

 Kuthan Jiří, Česká architektura v době posledních Přemyslovců: města - hrady -


kláštery - kostely, Czech Rebublic, 1994, ISBN: 80-85618-14-1.
 Jiří Fajt, Jaromír Homolka, Gotika v západních Čechách (1230-1530),
Prague, 1995. ISBN: 80-7035-091-1.
 Benešovská, Klára, 10 století architektury 1. Architektura románská, Prague, 2001,
ISBN:80-86161-34-X.

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The World as a Living Entity: Essentials of a Cosmic Metaphor.


Michael Rappenglueck
SEAC President

Among the archaic cosmologic and cosmogonic concepts of peoples worldwide and across
time the metaphor of the world as a giant living entity is significant. Ancient cultures
considered the universe to be an animal (e.g. a turtle, a bivalve, an octopus, or a bovine), a
kind of giant human, or an egg. Often they associated the cosmic being’s body parts with the
constitutive framework of the universe (the centre, cardinal points, the points of rising and
setting of heavenly bodies, the world axis, main circles), with fixed stars and asterisms,
wandering stars (especially sun and moon), the Milky Way or the zodiac. The anatomy of
certain creatures, in particular of the human being, served as an excellent model for the
world’s spatial construction, time-factored changes and cycles of reproduction. People linked
the head, the limbs, the skeleton (especially the vertebral column), the nervous, the
circulatory and the digestive system, the navel, and the sensory organs to basic essentials of
the celestial sphere. The giant cosmic living being showed a form of metabolism, respiration,
and reproduction, appearing e.g. as wind currents, water cycle, seasons, tides, lifecycles of
plants, animal, and humans, linked to celestial phenomena. People especially considered
heaven and earth to act like the human reproductive organs and identified the cosmos with a
giant womb. Moreover the cosmogonic first and essential dichotomy, which causes the
world’s diversities, was compared with a kind of primordial sacrifice of a giant cosmic living
entity. People regarded the landscape, a cave, a dwelling, a cultic building, or a settlement as
an embodiment of the cosmic living entity in miniature, reflecting the characteristics of the
macrocosmic being.
This study gives a systematic overview of ideas considering the world as a living entity, with
respect to cultural spheres through the ages. Concepts of iatromancy are included. The
methodology is interdisciplinary and uses approaches of comparative mythology, studies of
rituals, archaeology, anatomy, medicine, and social anthropology. As a result it becomes
apparent that the world as a living entity was an impressive, memorable metaphor for
illustrating the structure of the cosmos as a kind of giant organism, involving the
microcosmic man.

References

 Baldry, H. C., ‘Embryological Analogies in Pre-Socratic Cosmogony’, The


Classical Quarterly 26 (1), 1932, pp. 27-34
 Baumann, H., Das doppelte Geschlecht. Ethnologische Studien zur Bisexualität in
Ritus und Mythos. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer, 1986.
 Leeming, D. A. Creation Myths of the World. An Encyclopedia, Second Edition.
Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 2010.
 Lincoln, B. ‘The Indo-European Myth of Creation’, History of Religions 15 (2),
1975, pp. 121-145.
 Rappenglück, M. A., ‘The Housing of the World: The Significance of
Cosmographic
 Concepts for Habitation’, Nexus Network Journal 15(3), 2013, pp. 387-422.
 Rappenglück, M.A., ‘The whole world put between to shells: The cosmic
symbolism of tortoises and turtles’, Mediterranean Archaeology and
Archaeometry 6 (2), 2006, pp. 223-230.

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 Wayman, A. ‘The Human Body as Microcosm in India, Greek Cosmology, and


Sixteenth-Century Europe’, History of Religions 22 (2), 1982, pp. 172-190

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On the road to understand possible archaeoastronomy around Orkney:


Maeshowe, Ness of Brodgar and Breckness.
Victor Reijs
Independent researcher, Ireland

This presentation shows the work around the skyline phenomenon of the reappearing Sun
from several monuments part of Neolithic Orcadian culture in Scotland.1 Within Maeshowe, a
chambered cairn (3100 - 2700 BCE), one can experience the Sun setting some 20 days
before/after Winter Solstice day behind Ward Hill and reappearing for a few minutes at the
right slope of Ward Hill.2

Figure 1. Skyline panorama seen from Maeshowe, Orkney.

Witnessing this phenomenon in 1998, not experienced in the recent past and not recognised
by other authors,3 was a very exciting and unforgettable event. When standing in front of
Maeshowe; some 41 days before/after winter solstice day, a reappearing happens from behind
the right slope of Cuilags (Kame of Hoy), before it finally sets. This reappearing cannot be
witnessed within Maeshowe.4 As this reappearing Sun is a phenomenon of the skyline
(foresight) due the steep slope of the two hills; it can also be witnessed at other locations on
Orkney. Based on computer prediction; Sun’s reappearance has been videotaped at Ness of
Brodgar and Breckness settlements in 1999. At that time Historic Scotland was informed
about the possible archaeological importance of the Ness of Brodgar and Breckness. But that
was not acted upon as for the archaeologists the question remained: Did humans made here
spatial foci (backsights)? Chance artefacts and recent excavations at Ness of Brodgar show
that there is indeed significant archaeology present.5 Field walks at Breckness show that there
might be human build foci.6 The skyline at several Neolithic locations has been investigated
using photographs. This has shown that Ward Hill and Cuilags can be seen from many
locations where Neolithic monuments were build.7 As Ward Hill and Cuilags can be seen
from many of these monuments, these hills might have been of cosmological importance for
the Neolithic people. Theodolite measurements and computer based skyline profiling have
been performed for: Maeshowe; Ness of Brodgar; the Watch Stone; and Breckness. With this
info the reappearing events have been analysed. Unstructured interviews were held with
landowners, an observer and an astronomer. Interviews were broadcasted in 1998, 2001 and
2012 by Radio Orkney and BBC Scotland to ask listeners/viewers for experiences around the
reappearing Sun. This provided a link to a sighting of light flashes on Ward Hill.8 Several
interpretations of the landscape with its build environment will be provided during the

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presentation: from the possible conscious perception of the reappearing Sun and a symbolic
link with the possibly sacred Hoy hills, through incorporating such foci into humanised space
that links sky, land and humans with an annual rhythm: a possible pilgrim route. The journeys
between the foci can be just as important as the foci themselves and these journeys might
have been indicated by certain pointers included in the foci.9 So on the pilgrim’s road of
understanding Neolithic Orcadian culture, another small step has been placed.

References

 Victor M. M. Reijs, 'The reappearing Sun in Neolithic Orcadian culture',


 http://www.archaeocosmology.org/eng/VictorReijs-ReappearingSun-014-web.pdf,
2012.
 Victor M.M. Reijs, 'Maeshowe's Megalithic Month alignment', 3rd Stone, no.
Oct.-Dec. (1998); Giulio Magli, Misteri e scoperte dell'archaeoastronomia: Il
potere dalle stelle, dalla preistoria all'Isola di Pasque, (Rome: Newton&Compton,
2005). Plates 4-6
 Euan W. MacKie, 'Maeshowe and the winter solstice ceremonial aspects of the
Orkney Grooved Ware culture', Antiquity 71, no. June (1997).
 Victor M.M. Reijs, 'The reappearing sun at Orkney'
 http://www.iol.ie/~geniet/maeshowe/eng/flashing.htm, 2001.
 Beverley Ballin Smith, 'A new late Neolithic house at Brodgar Farm, Stenness,
Orkney', (Glasgow: GUARD, 2003); Sigurd Towrie, 'The Ness of Brodgar
excavations',
 http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/, 2012.
 M.M. Charleson, 'Notice of the excavation of a chambered mound near Breckness,
Stromness, Orkney', Proc. Soc. Antiq. Scot 37(1903).
 Victor M.M. Reijs, 'Views towards Ward Hill and Cuilags, Orkney',
 http://www.iol.ie/~geniet/maeshowe/eng/horizons.htm, 1999.
 Walter Scott, 'The pirate', in Waverley novels (Edinburgh: A. & C. Black, 1871);
Jeremy Harte, 'The enchanted carbuncle of the northern hills', 3rd stone 33(1999).
 John W. Hedges, Tomb of the eagles: A window on stone age tribal Britain,
(Oxford: Tempvs Reparatvm, 1984); Christopher Tilley, A phenomenology of
landscape: places, paths and monuments, ed. B. Bender, J. Gledhill, and B.
Kapfere, 1 ed., Explorations in anthropology, (Oxford: Berg Publishers, 1994);
Julian Thomas, Understanding the Neolithic, (Taylor and Francis, 2002).

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First steps towards an archaeoastronomical software.


Eduardo Rodas (1), Javier Mejuto (2)
1. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, eduardo.rodas@unah.edu.hn
2. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, javier.mejuto@unah.edu.hn

During archaeoastronomical research made by the authors, they became aware of the need to
have a digital tool that could reproduce the characteristics of both local geographical
landscape and skyscape. Having such a tool available would help researchers make studies
of many archaeological sites, without increasing the costs of long field campaigns waiting for
astronomical phenomenae to happen. This tool should have specific caracteristics which are
hardly found in usual planetarium software that is commercially available.
A specifically designed software for archaeoastronomy had to be developed which included
the following: a) inputting the exact location of the observing point, b) accessing and
downloading from a geographical information database, a raster of elevations data that
includes the location of the observing point, c) calculation of the elevations of the local
horizon from the raster data, d) ability to make a graphical representation of the calculated
horizon, e) ability to draw on this graphical representation the routes that celestial objects
trace when performing their apparent movent through the sky, f) ability to draw a visual
representation of monumental or architectonic orientations of structures towards the local
horizon, g) visual detection of coincidences between structures orientations, celestial object
traces and local horizon heights. This kind of analysis is important since local horizon plays
a fundamental role in the determination of the correct astronomical orientations in
archaeological structures, as it can be seen in figure 1.
Figure 1. Differences in azimuth caused by the local horizon

Local Horizon

Ideal horizon
Azimuth of rising on an ideal horizon
Azimuth of rising on the true horizon Diference in Azimuth

With this in mind, a software was coded in Python language, one of the most widely used
computer languages used today in academic work and for which there are several libraries
that can calculate the topocentric positions of celestial objects. This software was tested by
the authors in a little studied maya archaeological site, located in western Honduras, called
“El Puente”.
In a combination of field work and software analysis that simulated rises and setting of the
Sun, Moon and planet Venus with respect to the local horizon, as described, it is concluded
that this software accurately describes phenomenae that occurred in the site, letting
researchers conclude in a relatevely short time (because with the help of the developed
software it was not necessary to wait for all the astronomical phenomenae to actually happen)
that the site itself does not have specific orientations towards astronomical phenomenae. This
agrees with the notion that the site was not a cultural, ceremonial nor a sacred center, but it
was instead a place for resting or passing by of travelers coming from or going to the nearby
city of Copan.

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References

 Aveni, A. (1997) Archaeoastronomical Fieldwork (Ed.) Stairways to the Stars (64-65,


203-206) John Wiley & Sons, Inc., USA.
 Aveni, A. (2005) La Astronomía y la Arquitectura en la América Antigua y la Cuenca
del Mediterráneo (Ed.) Observadores del Cielo en el México Antiguo (15, 297-299)
Fondo de Cultura Económica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de
México.
 Aveni, A. (2008) Introduction: The Unwritten Record (Ed.) Foundations of New
World Cultural Astronomy (7-9) University Press of Colorado, USA.
 Kelley, D.H., Milone, E.F. (2005) Exploring ancient skies: an encyclopedic survey of
archaeoastronomy, (1) Springer Science +Business Media, Inc.
 Krupp, E.C. (1994) The Temples We Align (Ed.) Echoes of the Ancient Skies – The
Astronomy of Lost Civilizations (38, 82, 231, 250-251, 254-255) Dover Publications,
Inc., USA.
 Krupp, E.C. (1997) The Center Of the World (Ed.) Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings:
Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power (17,299-301) John Wiley & Sons, Inc.,
USA.
 Lull, J (2006) Alineaciones Astronómicas (Ed.) La Astronomía en el Antiguo Egipto
(283-289) Universitat de Valencia, España.
 Malville, J.M., Eddy, F., Ambruster, C. (2008) Lunar Standstills at Chimney Rock
(ed.) Foundations of New World Cultural Astronomy (711) University Press of
Colorado, USA.
 Maskelyne, N (1763) British Mariner’s Guide (120) J. Nourse, Londres, Inglaterra
 Mejuto González, J (2013) Arqueoastronomía: El espacio celeste en la interpretación
arqueológica (Tesis de doctorado) Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid,
España, (56-59), Disponible en: http://eprints.ucm.es/23111/
 Nakamura, S., Cruz Torres, D. (1993) Investigaciones Arqueológicas y trabajos de
restauración en el sitio arqueológico El Puente, Copán, Honduras. V Simposio de
Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Copán, (518 – 526) Museo Nacional de
Arqueología y Etnología, Guatemala.
 Pineda de Carias, M.C., Veliz, V., AgurciaFasquelle, R. (2009) Estela D: Reloj Solar
de la Plaza del Sol del Parque Arqueológico de Copan Ruinas, Honduras, Yaxkin,
Año34, XXV (2), pp. 111-136.
 Scharer, R (1999) El Entorno, Ideología y Cosmología (Ed.) La Civilización Maya
[Reedición del texto original de Sylvanus G. Morley](35, 511) Fondo de Cultura
Económica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México.
 Šprajc, I. (2003) The South-of-East Skew of Mesoamerican architectural orientations:
astronomy and directional symbolism. Memorias del Simposio ARQ-13 del 51
Congreso de Americanistas, (161 - 176). Santiago de Chile.
 Šprajc, I.. Sánchez Nava, P. (2012) Astronomía en la arquitectura de Chichén-Itzá:
Una reevaluación. Estudios de Cultura Maya, XLI (35) Universidad Nacional
Autónoma de México, Ciudad de México.
 Zablah Ávila, J.I. (2009) Búsqueda a través de un Modelo por Ordenador de
Alineamientos Astronómicos entre el Planeta Venus, Altares G y Estelas ubicados en
la Gran Plaza del Parque Arqueológico de Copán Ruinas, Honduras, (Tesis inédita de
Maestría), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras
 Zotti G., Gröller M.E. (2005) A Sky Dome Visualisation for Identification of
Astronomical Orientations (Ed.) Proceedings IEEE Symposium on Information

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Visualization (9-16) Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers. Disponible en:


http://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2005/Zotti-2005-vis/

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An archaeoastronomical approach to roman urbanism: Orientation of


roman settlements across the empire.
Andrea Rodríguez Antón (1), Juan Antonio Belmonte (1), A. César González-
García (2)
1. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias & Universidad de Laguna
2. Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio, Incipit-CSIC

In this contribution, we present the conclusions of a wide and ambitious project for the study
of the role of astronomy in Roman urban layout started a few years ago which has constituted
the PhD Thesis of the first author. In particular, the main aim was to check whether Roman
cities present astronomical patterns in their orientations. It deals with data samples from
different regions of the Roman Empire, both in the East and West, although the Iberian
Peninsula ̶ Roman Hispania ̶ comprises the main testbed of this study. The origin of this
research lies in ideas about how to properly orientate the main streets of a town, something
accounted by a number of ancient writers. In particular, we mainly focus on the guidelines
given by Hyginus Gromaticus (Constitutio, 1) and Frontinus (De Agrimensura, 27), who
stated that the decumanus (one of the two main streets of a Roman city) should follow the
path of the sun.
In addition, the interest in carrying out this project was motivated as well by the results
extracted from previous studies on this topic that pointed towards the existence of orientation
patterns potentially connected with astronomy. In these studies are included those developed
in Italy (Magli, 2008), North Africa (Belmonte et al., 2006) or Emerita Augusta (present-day
Mérida, in Spain; González-García and Costa-Ferrer, 2011). Additionally, during this
research, the primary hypothesis has become much more realistic by the emergence of a
series of works on this field in Hispania (González-García et al, 2014) and elsewhere in the
Roman world (e.g. González-García and Magli, 2015; Rodríguez-Antón et al., 2016 and
González García et al., 2016).
In order to check whether those ancient criteria were really fulfilled, and also to
reinforce the idea of a likely relationship between Roman city planning and the sky, we have
statistically analysed the orientation of 81 urban layouts in Hispania, 30 in Roman Arabia, 93
in Britannia and 34 in North Africa; from which more than half have been measured in situ
by members of our group. By this statistical analysis, we pretend to extract significant
evidences that sustained the astronomical argument and shed more light on Roman ideas
about urbanism.
The current results, that consider settlements whose buildings spanned an extended
period of time, are not consistent with a random distribution. Actually, orientation patterns do
arise when a restricted area is focused, pointing towards a presumably planning according to
particular directions within the local land and skyscape.
Furthermore, these patterns are not homogeneous across the territory suggesting a link
with local pre-Roman traditions. This may highlight the integration of important dates in the
Roman or pre-Roman calendar into urbanism and, especially, they stress the necessity to
reinforce this kind of studies in order to elucidate what is behind those patterns. That is, if
beliefs or even political ideology were embodied within city plans.

References

 J. A. Belmonte, A. Tejera Gaspar, A. Perera Betancort, and R. Marrero, (2006) “On


the orientation of pre-Islamic temples in North Africa: a re-appraisal (new data in

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INSAP X – Oxford XI - SEAC XXV Conference. ROAD TO THE STARS. ABSTRACT BOOKLET

Africa Proconsularis)”, Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, special issue


vi (2006), 3, 77–85.
 A.C. González-García and L. Costa Ferrer, “The diachronic study of orientations:
Mérida, a case study”, Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy: Building bridges
Between Cultures edited by C.L.N. Ruggles, (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2011), 374-381.
 A.C. González-García, A. Rodríguez-Antón and J.A. Belmonte, “The orientation of
Roman Towns in Hispania: Preliminary Results”, Mediterranean Archaeology and
Archaeometry xiv (2014), 3, 107-19.
 A. C. González-García and G. Magli, “Roman City Planning and Spatial
Organization”, Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Etnoastronomy edited by C.
L.N.Ruggles (New York: Springer, 2015), 1643-50
 A. C. González-García, M.V. García Quintela and A. Rodríguez Antón,”The
orientation of Lugdunum Conuerarum and the Celtic feasts marking the start of the
seasons in ancient Gaul”, Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry xvi (2016),
4, 241-47.
 G. Magli, “On the orientation of Roman towns in Italy”, Oxford Journal of
Archaeology xxvii (2008), 1, 63-71.
 A. Rodríguez-Antón, J.A. Belmonte and A.C. González-García, “Romans in the Near
East: the orientation of Roman settlements in present-day Jordan”, Mediterranean
Archaeology and Archaeometry xvi (2016), 4, 153-60.

Figure 1. Roman settlements included in the sample.

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The Utter Failure of the Lunar Standstill Myth in Archaeoastronomy.


Bradley E. Schaefer
Department of Physics and Astronomy. Louisiana State University schaefer@lsu.edu
243 Nicholson. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70803, USA

Lunar standstills take place every 18.6 years when the Moon it at its extreme declination, so
that the Moon rises or sets as far north or south as is possible. The lunar standstill paradigm
in archaeoastronomy is that the azimuth of the lunar rise/set position at the time of lunar
standstill was marked by an intentional alignment of manmade structures. Famous and
influential examples of this paradigm are the 'lunar megalithic observatory' claims (Thom
1971), and the asserted alignments of the Station Stones at Stonehenge (Hawkins 1965) On
examining the myriad of proposed cases, the sole evidence for the existence of intention on
the part of the builders is the mere existence of the alignments. But any archaeological site
will have many azimuths that can be conceived as being significant, so random coincidence
of perceived alignments towards the lunar standstills are inevitable and common. This means
that the mere existence of the claimed alignment is useless as evidence to prove intent.
(A) Many of the leaders in our field have performed very broad and deep studies of historical,
ethnographic, and archaeological sources looking for any mention, discussion, or
acknowledgement of the existence of the lunar standstill phenomenon. We have a very
strong conclusion that no culture anytime (before Somerville 1912) or anywhere had any
knowledge or interest in lunar standstills. In comparison with the universal use of solar
standstills, we expect many ancient sources discussing lunar standstills, but we find zero.
This conclusion is so comprehensive that we must realize that there is no significant
likelihood that any ancient culture constructed any lunar standstill alignment.
(B) The lunar standstill cannot be observed with any useful accuracy due to the quantization
of extreme rise times to once each day and month, the invisibility of most moonrises during
the daytime, the variability of refraction (Schaefer & Liller 1990), low clouds, and lunar
nutation. Detailed calculations show that the lunar extremes vary by over 6 Moon-radii in
azimuth and over 3.3 years in period from cycle to cycle as viewed by a perfect observer.
(C) Further, the concept of lunar standstills has zero utility or survival value. Lunar
standstills are much too poor to serve as clocks, calendars, or azimuth markers. It really does
not matter to anything whether small declination differences change the nightly illumination.
The 18.6 year period has no relevance for other phenomena. A phenomenon with no utility
has no real chance of being intentionally incorporated into any ancient site.
D) To discover the phenomenon of lunar standstills and their ~18.6 year cycle, a long series
of observers must accumulate extensive (at least several days a month for most months for
perhaps a century) and exacting records of Moon rise azimuths over many cycles. Any such
observing program is anachronistic for any pre-modern culture.
With all this, there is no real chance that any claimed lunar standstill alignment was
intentionally constructed or with the knowledge of the builders.

References

 Hawkins, Gerald S. 1965 Stonehenge Decoded. Doubleday, New York.


 Schaefer, Bradley E., and Liller, William. 1990 Refraction Near the Horizon.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 102:796-805.
 Somerville, Boyle. 1912 Astronomical Indications in the Megalithic Monument at
Callanish. Journal of the British Astronomical Association 23:83-97.

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 Thom, Alexander. 1971 Megalithic Lunar Observatories. Oxford University Press,


Oxford.

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A new hierophany at Monte Croccia (Basilicata).


Alberto Scuderi (1), Andrea Orlando (2), Emmanuele Curti (3), Leonardo Lozito (1),
Vito Francesco Polcaro (4, 5,6)
1. National Vice-President of the Italian Archaeological Groups
2. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana
3. Councilor of the Gallipoli-Cognato Park
4. INAF-IAPS
5. ACHe, Ferrara University
6. CESAR, Rome

We have presented in previous SEAC Conferences the winter solstice hierophany at


megalithic complex of “Petre de la Mola”, sited on Monte Croccia (Basilicata, Italy) and
proofs of the sacred value of this site in past epochs (Curti et al., 2009; Lozito et al., 2014).
However, during our last visit to Monte Croccia on winter solstice 2016 we discovered a new
and even more astonishing observing point of the winter solstice sunset inside the Osco-
Samnite settlement, located on the same mountain peak at 1150 m above sea level, a few
hundred meters from the megalith (40° 33’ 02” N, 16° 11’ 39” E). Lacava (1887) performed
the first archaeological investigations of the area at the end of the 19th Century. Later, Di
Cicco (1896) uncovered the Osco–Samnite settlement, with a double surrounding wall and
various structures sited inside the acropolis on the top of the mountain. The Basilicata
Superintendence explored the southern side of the fortification in 1998 for a length of about
60 m (Russo, 1999). The first wall, dated between the end of the 8th and the end of 6th
Century BCE, is partly of squared and partly of polygonal huge sandstone blocks, alternating
with natural outcrops of the bedrock. The outer walls are dated, according to archaeological
finds, at the beginning of the 4th century BC. Strangely, right at the highest point of the
acropolis, the city walls goes around two big boulders, including them in its interior and not
using them as a part of the wall, as in all other parts of the fortification. The narrow opening
between the two boulders was monumentalized with a series of steps, leading to a flat
passage between them. A square petroglyph, with incisions inside, was engraved on one of
the boulders. Standing in front of the steps leading to the passage, the sun is seen to set at the
winter solstice exactly between the two boulders. We can not exclude that this fact happens
by chance. However, the monumentality of the place, the fact that the two boulders have been
included inside the city walls and the presence of the hierophany on the same day in the
nearby megalith suggest that the cult of the winter solstice on Monte Croccia was maintained
through the centuries, until the end of the occupation of the site.

References

 Curti E.et al., The “Petre de la Mola” megalithic complex on the Monte Croccia
(Basilicata), in M. Rappenglűck (ed.), Proceedings of the SEAC 17th annual
meeting, 25-31 October 2009, Alexandria, Egypt, B.A.R., London, in press.
 Di Cicco, V.: Accettura. Cinta muraria, NS, 1896, 53.
 Lacava M.: Accettura. Avanzi di città, NS, 1887, 332.
 L. Lozito, F. Maurici, V. F. Polcaro, A. Scuderi: New findings at the Petre de la
Mola megaliths, in Fabio Silva et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the 22nd Annual
SEAC Conference 2014, Malta, 22-26 September 2014
 Russo A.: Le prime tracce dell’uomo in Basilicata. Dal Paleolitico al Neolitico,
1999,

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 www.consiglio.basilicata.it/conoscerebasilicata

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Santiago de Compostela Symphonia coelestis.


Giuseppe Severini (1), Andrea Orlando (2)

1. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana, Italy. Associazione Culturale Secoli Bui,


Italy. APEMUTAM, France
2. Istituto di Archeoastronomia Siciliana, Italy. Laboratori Nazionali del Sud (INFN),
Italy

The famous Portico of the Glory in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Galicia),
dedicated to St. James (Unceta, 2004), recently also examined in an interesting
archaeoastronomical perspective (Vilas Estevéz and Gonzalez-Garcia, 2016), has been built
following an iconographic project inspired by St. John’s book of Apocalypse (Moralejo,
1988). At the top of main arch, in the middle of the 24 venerable men’s row around Christ’s
throne, there is a peculiar musical instrument (Fig. 1) -equipped with a wheel- played by two
of them (Luengo, 1988). The particular position, the extremely accurate details and the
peculiarity of the instrument underline the importance of an object whose origins, symbolism
and actual musical role (Lopez-Calo, 1988) have never been completely explained.
The most intriguing features are: a) 12 intervals division of the octave; b) wheel used to
produce sound; c) general shape and decorations. In this article we introduce a possible
interpretation of Organistrum as a sampler of cosmological and astronomical knowledge
typical of European culture from IX to XII century (Eastwood, 1997; McCluskey, 1998).
Close relationship between astronomy and music in platonic-pythagorean doctrines
(Albertazzi, 2010) is confirmed through detailed analysis of astronomical texts in
manuscripts copied in Benedictine scriptoria from Carolingian Renaissance onwards
(Eastwood, 2007).
Beyond general reference to Plato’s Timaeus, through Macrobius and Calcidius
commentaries (Martello, 2011), main suggestions to our study come from interesting
diagrams (Eastwood and Grasshoff, 2004) found in these manuscripts (e.g.: clm 14436, f.61r,
Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek). Organistrum could be considered a representation of
Cosmos, a sort of acoustic planetary, the Christian answer to Oud’s astronomical
interpretation proposed by Arabic school (Severini, 2015), that by the ninth century had
moved from Baghdad to Cordoba (Godwin, 1993; Lindberg, 1992).

References

 Albertazzi, M. (ed.), Philosophia. Lavìs. La Finestra editrice, 2010.


 Eastwood, B., Ordering the Heavens. Roman Astronomy and Cosmology in the
Carolingian Renaissance. Brill, 2007.
 Eastwood, B. and G. Grasshoff, Planetary Diagrams For Roman Astronomy In
Medieval Europe, ca. 800-1500, Transactions of the American Philosophical
Society, Vol. 94, No. 3, 2004.
 Godwin, J. (ed.), The Harmony of the Spheres: A Sourcebook of the Pythagorean
Tradition, in Music, Inner Traditions International, Rochester, Vermont, 1993.
 Lindberg, D.C., The Beginnings of Western Science: the European Scientific
Tradition in Philosophical, Religious an Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D.
1450. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
 Lopez-Calo, La musica en la Catedral de Santiago, A.D.1188, in El Portico de la
Gloria. Musica, Arte y pensamento. “Cuadernos de Musica en Compostela II”,
Santiago de Compostela, 1988.

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 Luengo, F., Los instrumentos del portico, in El portico de la Gloria. Musica, Arte
y pensamento, “Cuadernos de Musica en Compostela II”, Santiago de Compostela,
1988.
 Martello, C., Platone a Chartres. Palermo: Officina di Studi Medievali, 2011.
 McCluskey, S.C., Astronomies and Cultures in Early Medieval Europe.
Cambridge University Press, 1998.
 Moraeljo, S., Marco historico y contexto liturgico en la obra del Portico de la
Gloria, in El Portico de la Gloria. Musica, Arte y pensamento, “Cuadernos de
Musica en Compostela II”, Santiago de Compostela, 1988.
 Severini, G., La reconstitution des Rebabs d'après les peintures du XII siècle de la
Chapelle Palatine à Palerme, in L'instrumentarium du Moyen Age. La restitution
du son. Paris: l'Harmattan, 2015.
 Vilas Estévez, B. and A. C. González-García, Illuminating effects at the cathedral
of Saint James (Galicia): first results, Mediterranean Archaeology and
Archaeometry, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 465-471, 2016.

Figure 1. The Organistrum of Santiago de Compostela.

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Astronomical Imagery in the Work of the PreRaphaelite Brother (and


Sister) hood.
Valerie Shrimplin
Gresham College, London, England

To have genuine ideas to express;


to study Nature attentively in order to facilitate such expression;
to sympathise with what is direct, serious and heartfelt in previous art – excluding the
conventional;
and ‘most indispensable of all’ to produce thoroughly good pictures ….
…these were the key tenets of the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB), founded in 1848 by
William Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais (1829-96) and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-82).
Seeking to produce art in a purer simpler form by looking back to the proto-Renaissance and
Italian Quattrocento styles, they emphasised the detailed observation of the natural world in
an almost religious-like devotion to truth. Strongly influenced by the spiritual qualities of
medieval art, they rejected the distorted mannerist art that followed after Raphael. They also
rebelled against the formal approach of the Royal Academy of Art and its 18th century
founder Sir Joshua Reynolds, seeking rather to base their works on the observation of nature
and the study of science. Astronomy was one of many sources of inspiration that members of
the PRB derived from nature – influenced also by the writings of John Ruskin (1819-1900) as
the group and its followers expanded and developed, leading into the Arts and Crafts
Movement and Art Nouveau.
Many of the Pre-Raphaelites were fascinated by the night sky and used astronomical
symbolism to express their ideas. Key proponents were George Frederick Watts (1817-1904)
and later generation pre-Raphaelites such as Arthur Hughes (1832- 1915) and Edward Burne-
Jones (1833-98), whose works will be examined to determine the relationship, if any, with
contemporary astronomical thinking and discoveries. Significantly, one of the female
members of the group Evelyn De Morgan (née Pickering, 1839-1917) seems to have done as
much as, if not more, than others in promoting the depiction of astronomical features,
particularly the moon, in art. Many of her works seem, on the surface, to reflect a Victorian
sentimentality about the sun, moon and stars – but it seems they had more serious underlying
astronomical themes with specific scientific influences. A keen follower of Burne-Jones who
often featured astronomical subjects, and married to William De Morgan (a leader of the Arts
and Crafts movement) Evelyn de Morgan was well-educated herself and very involved in
women’s education and the suffragette movement. It cannot be coincidence that her

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husband’s father, Augustus de Morgan, was a well-known mathematician and astronomer –


who had a crater on the moon named after him. He was also the one-time tutor to the famous
mathematician Ada Lovelace, who is often attributed with the original concept of computer
programming.
This paper will explore astronomical features in the work of the PRB and its followers, with
particular reference to the moon and the role of female artists in the late 19th century.

References

 Evelyn de Morgan, Luna, 1885 [illustration]


 Hilton, Timothy (1996) The PreRaphaelites
 Gordon, Catherine ed, (1997) Evelyn De Morgan Oil paintings
 Ruskin, John (1843) Modern Painters

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Inferring Alignments 2: a practical application of the maximum likelihood


principle.
Fabio Silva
Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint
David. f.silva@uwtsd.ac.uk
IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social; Àrea de Prehistòria,
Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

Statistical inference is defined as the ‘the process of coming to some conclusion about a
population based on a sample’ (Clapham and Nicholson 2014: 239). The quantitative analysis
of a sample of structural orientations, for identifying patterns that might relate to celestial or
topographic patterns, belongs to the realm of statistical inference. In archaeoastronomy, the
analysis of the curvigram is the most widely used approach to inference (e.g. Ruggles 2015:
418). In a paper delivered in SEAC 2016 I highlighted an alternative approach, based on the
principle of maximum likelihood (e.g. Edwards 1992) and, using computer simulations,
showed that for a single target scenario this was much more precise than picking the highest
peak of a curvigram (Silva, in print). This paper will present an implementation of the
principle of maximum likelihood for the multiple target scenario and compare its accuracy
and precision to those of the curvigram approach (with recourse to Monte Carlo simulations).
The proposed methodology, combining Gaussian Mixture Models (McLachlan and Peel 2000)
and Information-Theoretic Model Selection (Burnham and Anderson 2002), will then be
applied to four established datasets in the literature: Ruggles’ data on the Scottish Recumbent
Stone Circles (1999); Ruggles’ data on the stone rows of Cork-Kerry counties in Ireland
(1999); Hoskin’s data on the seven-stone passage graves of Alentejo, Portugal (2001) and
Belmonte and Shaltout’s data on Ancient Egyptian temples (2009). The inferred orientations
using the curvigram and maximum likelihood approaches will be compared and contrasted,
and the importance of estimating inferential uncertainty to the interpretation of these sites
will be discussed.

References

 Belmonte, J.A. and M. Shaltout (eds), 2009. In Search of Cosmic Order: Selected
Essays on Egyptian Archaeoastronomy. Cairo: Supreme Council of Antiquities.
 Burnham, K.P. and D.R. Anderson, 2002. Model Selection and Multimodel
Inference: A Practical Information-Theoretic approach. 2nd ed. New York:
Springer.
 Clapham, Christopher and James Nicholson, 2014. The Concise Oxford
Dictionary of Mathematics 5th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Edwards, A.W.F., 1992. Likelihood. Expanded Edition. Baltimore and London:
The Johns Hopkins University Press.
 Hoskin, Michael (2001). Tombs, Temples and Their Orientations: A New
Perspective on Mediterranean Prehistory. Bognor Regis: Ocarina Books.
 McLachlan, Geoffrey J. and David Peel, 2000. Finite Mixture Models. New Jersey:
John Wiley & Sons.
 Ruggles Clive L.N. (ed), 2015. Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and
Ethnoastronomy. New York and London: Springer.
 Ruggles, Clive L.N., 1999. Astronomy in prehistoric Britain and Ireland. New
Haven: Yale University Press.

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 Silva, Fabio, in press. Inferring Alignments I: Exploring the Accuracy and


Precision of Two Statistical Approaches. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology 3(1).

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Revisiting Stellar Limiting Magnitudes: results from preliminary


laboratory experiments.
Kieran Simcox (1), Daniel Brown (1), Fabio Silva (2,3)
1. School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University
2. Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity
Saint David
3. IPHES, Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social; Àrea de
Prehistòria, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV)

As only the brightest of stars can be seen close enough to the horizon, and the most
interesting stellar events occur at dawn or dusk (e.g. Brady 2015), when sunlight is beginning
to permeate the celestial dome, the question of how bright a star needs to be to be visible
under such conditions is a very important one. This paper starts by reviewing the literature on
the topic of stellar visibility and how it relates to the physiognomic limits of vision, as well as
previous laboratory work done on the latter (e.g. Knoll 1946 work interpreted by Hecht 1947
and Schaefer 1990). Initial analysis revealed that several parameters have been under- or
completely un-researched by previous scholars, resulting in Schaefer’s (1990) paper being
commonly quoted without any update. We propose that especially the role of fixation of the
eye with respect to the stellar location and background sky colour will need to be considered.
To test whether such parameters impact the estimates of stellar limiting magnitudes, an
experimental setup that combined Knoll’s (1946) monocular observation of a point source
with Blackwell’s (1946) scattering surface for the background was designed. One 25 year-old
observer with normal eyesight was used as a test subject to illustrate general functionality. A
first set of results enabled to verify the set up and in more depth compare and contrast
previous results. The results, albeit preliminary, suggest that colour contrast and fixation of
the eye with respect to the stellar location play a significant role in boosting the visibility of a
star in twilight conditions, and a case is made for future, more comprehensive laboratory and
field testing of these parameters.

References

 Blackwell, H Richard (1946) Contrast Thresholds of the Human Eye. Journal of the
Optical Society of America 36(11): 624-43.
 Brady, Bernadette (2015) Star Phases: the Naked-eye Astronomy of the Old Kingdom
Pyramid Texts. In F Silva and N Campion (eds) Skyscapes: The Role and Importance
of the Sky in Archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 76-86.
 Knoll, HA, Tousey, R and Hulburt, EO (1946) Visual Thresholds of Steady Point
Sources of Light in Fields of Brightness from Dark to Daylight. Journal of the Optical
Society of America 36(8): 480-1.
 Hecht, Selig (1947) Visual Thresholds of Steady Point Sources of Light in Fields of
Brightness from Dark to Daylight. Journal of the Optical Society of America 37(1):
59.
 Schaefer, Bradley E (1990) Refraction Near the Horizon. Publications of the
Astronomical Society of the Pacific 102(653): 796-805.

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Averting cosmic collapse: dual and reversible principles in prehistoric


monument complexes.
Lionel Sims
University of East London (Emeritus)

Three recent independently developed models suggest that some prehistoric monument
complexes have dual design properties by pairing obverse structures. Parker Pearson’s (2012)
materiality model proposes that monuments of wood are paired with monuments of stone,
these material metaphors respectively signalling places of ritual for the living with rituals for
the dead. Higginbottom’s (2016) landscape model suggests that many western Scottish
megalithic structures are paired in mirror-image locations in which horizon distance,
direction and height of one site is the topographical reverse of the paired site – all in the
service of ritually experiencing the liminal boundaries to their world. Sims’ (2009) diacritical
model suggests that materials, horizons and lunar-solar alignments are diacritically combined
to facilitate cyclical ritual processions between paired monuments through a simulated
underworld. Each of these models is tested against the evidence from the Stonehenge,
Avebury and some west Scotland monument complexes. Once incompatibilities with the
evidence are removed the models so parsed are integrated into a single model. The data
predicted by this emergent model is precise and unusual, such that the model should be easy
to refute. The integrated model predicts that symbolically constructed materials such as wood,
stone and water, north and south horizons, and phenomena such as solstice sunsets and major
and minor southern and northern lunar standstills are all asymmetrically combined into paired
categories in a dualistic and reversible monument complex. Such a highly specified model is
in contrast to less specified models such as fertility, eclipse prediction, calendar and
agricultural timekeeping models, all widely distributed across the archaeoastronomy
literature, their lack of definition allowing easy application to a wide range of monuments.
Paradoxically the reverse is found. The combined suite of structures found in each monument
complex duplicate many lunar-solar alignments, they are put into orthogonal arrangements,
they are not high precision, they are combined with ‘underworld alignments’ (Sims & Fisher,
forthcoming) and they are bracketed with a symbolism imputed to wood and stone, water and
the dead. Within each monument complex the paired asymmetric categories within one
structure are reversed and overlapping the arrangements in their obverse structure. The
complexes are organised in dualistic and diacritical combinations. When tested against this
evidence both the current archaeoastronomy models and the sepulchral model of Parker
Pearson and the landscape model of Higginbottom are weakened. Instead the stipulated
alternation found in the integrated model between the nine-yearly standstill cycle and
prescribed journeys between dual monuments through a simulated underworld suggest a
cosmos felt to be in need of repair and management to forestall stasis.

References

 Higginbottom, G. (2016). ‘The world begins here, the world ends here’ at
 https://www.academia.edu/22473630 [accessed 3 January 2017].
 Parker Pearson, M. (2012). Stonehenge. (London: Simon & Schuster)
 Sims, L. D. (2009). ‘Entering, and returning from, the underworld: reconstituting
Silbury Hill by combining a quantified landscape phenomenology with
archaeoastronomy’. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 15: 2, 386-408.

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 Sims, L. D. and Fisher, D. (forthcoming). ‘Through the gloomy vale: underworld


alignments at Stonehenge’.

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Astronomical Phenomena North of the Arctic Circle.


Rolf Sinclair
University of Maryland, College Park, USA and Centro de Estudios Científicos, Valdivia,
Chile

Astronomical phenomena and climate conditions well north of the Arctic Circle (66° 34’ N)
are markedly different from those in the temperate and tropical zones. Most noticeably, the
cycle of the year consists of a long period of sunlight alternating annually with long twilights
flanking a period of darkness, and particularly cold winters. The Inuit people have inhabited
Canada and Greenland north of the Arctic Circle for millennia (with their northernmost
settlements close to 79° N), where they developed a way of life and technology that allowed
them to reach an equilibrium with these seasonal extremes. The astronomical phenomena
forced them to develop ways of establishing “day” (a time of work) and “night” (a time for
sleep) independent of light and darkness by using circadian body cycles, without using the
Sun as a primary guide. The passage of time and days during the long daylight could be
sensed by the Sun’s azimuth, and during deep twilight and darkness by the position of the
stars. For the Inuit, “day” and “night” were thus decoupled from an astronomical alternation
of light and dark. The astronomical cycles at their disposal could be coupled to biological
cycles to determine the approximate passage of days, months, and years, whether the Sun was
above or below the horizon. Because of the long time that the Sun was below the horizon, the
Moon was of primary importance for providing light during the dark periods. The Moon’s
phases then determined “months” yielding a lunar calendar, and a full Moon was the time for
traveling and hunting.
The Inuit functioned well when it was dark and had little to say about the darkness, and were
able to supply their needs in the absence of the Sun. Extremes of cold weather were much
more of a worry, and forced them to take shelter. Astronomical phenomena were absorbed
into their world view and cosmology. In their folklore the Moon was cast as a friendly spirit,
and lunar eclipses (and the much rarer solar eclipses) were sources of anxiety and confusion.
This talk will describe these and other facets of Inuit life as it was lived until recently, and
contrast it with other cultures in more temperate regions. The introduction of settlements,
electricity, and schools are changing the Inuit life and culture irreversibly.

References

 Bordin, Guy (2015): Beyond Darkness and Sleep. Louvain: Peeters.


 MacDonald, John (1998): The Arctic Sky: Inuit Astronomy, Sky Lore, and Legends.
Toronto: The Royal Ontario Museum; and Iqaliut: Nunavut Research Institute.
 Saladin d’Anglure, Bernard (1990): Frère-lune, sœur-soleile et l’intelligence du
monde. Cosmologie inuit, cosmographie arctique et espace-temps chamanique,
Études/Inuit/Studies 14 (1-2): 75-139.

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Hypatia of Alexandria (c. 355-415 AD), teacher of philosophy.


Fenny Smith

The first woman astronomer of whom we have reasonably secure and detailed knowledge,
Hypatia was the daughter of Theon of Alexandria, mathematician, astronomer, and member
of the Museum. Reputed to have outshone her father in her studies, she devoted her life to the
teaching of mathematics, astronomy, and Neoplatonist philosophy in her native city. She is
most famous for her brutal murder c.415 AD.
Much has been written about Hypatia, and she has been “iconised” as a martyr for various
causes: women intellectuals, liberated women generally, science and/or freedom of thought
amid ‘restrictive’ Christianity. Journals and art galleries have been named for her. She has
been hailed as a romantic heroine in novels (e.g. Charles Kingsley, also author of The Water-
Babies), and even a film: Agora. All of these examples say more about the authors than about
Hypatia herself – and few if any of them are based on evidence from contemporary sources.
Indeed little is known for certain about her life except that Hypatia was a renowned teacher in
Alexandria. Her reputation was such that people came from far and wide to hear her teach,
and, unusually for a female, she wore the tribon or scholar’s cloak to teach philosophy
publicly in the city. She is said to have advised the magistrates there and to have been
accepted and respected in such a male assembly. All reports say that she was very beautiful
and attractive, but that she chose not to marry.
This talk attempts to set this remarkable woman astronomer and philosopher into context as
teacher and mentor to many members of the establishment of her time, bishops, wealthy
landowners, and others holding positions of authority in the Roman Empire. It draws heavily
on two almost contemporary historical treatises: the Life of the philosopher Isidorus (c.450—
c.520) by his Neoplatonist pupil Damascius (c.458–after 538), and the Ecclesiastical History
of Socrates Scholasticus (c. 440). There is also the extensive correspondence of Hypatia’s
pupil Synesius, and what has come down to us of contemporary astronomical treatises. For
analysis of all these and more, I am greatly indebted to Deakin, Dzielska, Watts, Belenkiy,
and Knorr, referenced below.

References

 Acerbi, Fabio, “Hypatia”, New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. Gillespie et al,
New York, Scribner vol. 3, 2008
 Belenkiy, Ari, “An astronomical murder?”, Astronomy & Geophysics, Volume 51
April 2010, pp. 2.9-2.13
 Cameron, Alan, “Isidore of Miletus and Hypatia: On the Editing of Mathematical
Texts”, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, 31, 1990, p.103-127
 Deakin, Michael, Hypatia of Alexandria, Mathematician and Martyr, Prometheus
Books, 2007
 Dzielska, Maria, Hypatia of Alexandria (tr. F. Lyra), Harvard University Press, 1995
 Edward J. Watts, City and School in late antique Athens and Alexandria, 2006
 Knorr, Wilbur, Textual Studies in Ancient and Medieval Geometry, Boston,
Birkhäuser, 1989
 Migne, J.-P. editor, Patrologiae Graecae, Paris, 1857-1866 (165 vols)
 Rist, J. M., “Hypatia”, Phoenix, Vol. 19, No. 3. (Autumn, 1965), pp. 214-225.

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De quattuor partibus mundi. Medieval sacred buildings on the Via


Francigena Orientation and light incidence in solstitial churches.
Eva Spinazzè
Università Ca’ Foscari Venice, e-mail: aquadelph@gmail.com

Some years ago the author studied for her PHD numerous medieval sacred buildings (63)
particularly in relation to their orientation thus disclosing an ancient building tradition. The
buildings are situated, in the section of the Via Francigena that goes from Romainmôtier to
the South of Tuscany and bear the imprint of the Romanesque architectural language (10 th-
12th century). In Medieval times this route was a vital artery for communication and for
pilgrims who wanted to visit the Holy places. The Via Francigena was important for
economic and religious reasons and created a cultural exchange between Northern Europe
and Italy, while the route to Santiago de Compostela connected central Europe to the West
coast. Numerous sacred buildings and structures hosting travellers and pilgrims were built on
these routes of faith about a day’s walk one from another. Thanks to many medieval travel
diaries written by pilgrims the scholars were able to get some evidence that construction
knowledge travelled from one place to another. One of the few, oldest and most significant
medieval drawings of buildings that have reached us is by Adamnanus Hiensis, an Irish monk
(7th century). In his writings De locis sanctis he includes a drawing of the church of the Holy
Sepulchre in Jerusalem described by the Gaulish monk Arculf. In the drawing this church has
eight doors, four facing the wind Volturno (summer solstice) and four facing the wind Euro
(winter solstice), creating a true representation of the solstice section designed and planned
for the church.
These four sections which are formed by the solstice division represent the thought of
medieval scholars and how they interpreted the world, divided in four parts. The Eastern
sector is so called because there the sun rises there every day between the extreme points of
the solstices, where the Sun rises on June 24th and on December 25th. The South is measured
from the place where the sun rises on December 25th to the place where it sets on the same
day. The West is so called because it ends the day and is measured in relation to the space
between the two extreme points of the solstices, where the Sun sets on December 25th and on
June 24th. The North is measured from the place where the Sun sets on June 24th to the place
where it rises on the same day.
This thought makes us understand that in the Middle Ages cardinal directions were
understood not as points, but as sectors. This explains how medieval sacred buildings were
orientated: their alignment falls in most cases precisely within the boundaries of this arc that
is defined by the solstices. In particular the author will also discuss about the solstice
orientated churches met along this ancient route, outlining the results and the symbolic
liturgical meaning related to the solstices. It is a scientific comparative study which cross
analyses objective evidence (sacred buildings) with written evidence (liturgical and
astronomical subject matter).

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Figure 1. De locis sanctis, by Adamnanus Hiensis (7th century), Zurich, Zentralbibliothek,


Ms. Rh. 73, manuscript 9th century, originating from Reichenau, ff. 2r-28r, drawing f. 5r

References

 De locis sanctis, by Adamnanus Hiensis (7th century), Zurich, Zentralbibliothek,


manuscript Ms. Rh. 73, 9th century.
 Computus, manuscript Clm 14456, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, 8th-9th century.
 ALEXANDER PODOSSINOV, Himmelsrichtung, in Reallexikon fuer Antike und
Christentum, Anton Hiersemann, Stuttgart, 1991, Band XV, pp. 233-286.
 IMMO WARNTJES, The Munich Computus: Text and Translation, Irish computistics
between Isidore of Seville and the Venerable Bede and its reception in Carolingian
times, Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2010.
 EVA SPINAZZÈ, La luce nell’architettura sacra: spazio e orientazione nelle chiese del
X-XII secolo tra Romandie e Toscana, collana Beihefte zur Mediaevistik n. 20, Peter
Lang Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2016 (dissertation).
 Different works regarding the Via Francigena by RENATO STOPANI: Le grandi vie di
pellegrinaggio del medioevo, le strade per Roma, Centro Studi Romei, Firenze, 1986.
La Via Francigena, una strada europea nell’Italia del Medioevo, Le Lettere, Firenze,
1988.

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The Development of the Babylonian Zodiac.


John Steele
The development of the zodiac is thought to have taken place during the fifth century BC in
Babylonia and was an important milestone in the history of astronomy. The zodiac grew out
of a tradition of a series of constellations in the path of the moon (i.e., zodiacal constellations).
Unlike constellations, which are of unequal length and which have gaps between them, the
zodiac is an abstract mathematical division of the zodiacal band into twelve equal-length
zodiacal signs. The boundaries between signs of the zodiac are invisible and so the position
of a celestial body within a zodiacal sign can only be observed indirectly. Most scholars (e.g.
van der Waerden 1952–53 and Rochberg-Halton 1991) have argued that the zodiac was
developed around 450 BC but recently Britton (2010) has placed the date of its invention to
within a couple of years of 400 BC.

In this paper I address two issues: (i) how and when was the concept of the zodiac developed,
and (ii) how were the twelve signs of the zodiac named. Evidence from published and
unpublished Babylonian cuneiform tablets is used to examine these questions. First, the
evolution of the zodiac and its link to the schematic 360-day calendar is discussed. The
schematic calendar was used as a simplifying tool in Babylonian accounting practice and
astronomical calculations and as I will demonstrate the zodiac functions in exactly the same
way. Using a variety of different types of astronomical texts I critically assess Britton’s claim
for the date of the invention of the zodiac. In addition, these tablets are used to trace the
gradual standardization of the Babylonian names of the twelve signs of the zodiac, a question
that has been ignored in previous scholarship. I argue that the choices made in naming the
zodiacal signs was influenced by the use of the zodiac in astrology.

References

 Britton, J. P., 2010, “Studies in Babylonian Lunar Theory: Part III. The Introduction
of the Uniform Zodiac”, Archive for History of Exact Sciences 64, 617–663.
 Rochberg-Halton, F., 1991, “Between Theory and Observation in Babylonian
Astronomical Texts”, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 50, 107–120.
 van der Waerden, B. L., 1952–53, “History of the Zodiac”, Archiv für
Orientforschung 16, 216–230.

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The Great Comet of 1858: a road sign to the stars.


Christiaan Sterken
Vrije Universiteit Brussel

During an expedition to the Texan-Mexican border area in October 1858, the Belgian
astronomer Jean-Charles Houzeau (1820-1888) “discovered” and admired “a beautiful
comet”. He was not aware that the comet had already been discovered in June 1858 by
Giovanni Battista Donati. Houzeau, as a scientist, wrote detailed descriptions to his family
and to a colleague at the University of Brussels. The comet, with its40-degrees curved tail,
became a big-news event, and it inspired artists worldwide. Many paintings and sketches
were produced, and as to be expected, the focal point was always on the brilliant comet, with
the night sky on the background. Starting from Houzeau’s verbal description, this
presentation focuses not on the comet, but on the associated starry sky. Some art works are
quite realistic, others are more artistic than exact. But fact is that the pictorial representations
of this comet indirectly con-tributed to familiarization of the mid-19th century public with
some specific stars and constellations. As such, Comet Donati showed the road to the stars.

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Evolution of astronomical facilities and practices in ancient thrace.


Alexey Stoev (1), Penka Maglova (1), Mina Spasova (2)
1. Space Research and Technology Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Stara
Zagora Department
2. Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge, Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences, Sofia

Copper Age, the Eneolithic age (5000-3000 BC) is one of the brightest periods in Prehistory
in the Bulgarian lands. According to experts, in this era was born very ancient ethnicity and
complex culture. Hundreds Eneolithic settlements were found in Bulgaria - they are well built,
with streets oriented according to the cardinal directions, protected by wooden or clay fence.
Further, during the Bronze Age (3100-1200 BC) a process of gradually improving of the
economy and evolution of the socio-economic life takes place in Bulgarian lands. Mastering
the production of metal tools completely changed the lives of native people. The tools of
stone and bone were abandoned and replaced by more sophisticated tools and weapons
including bronze swords, knives, arrows, spears with metal tip and others. At that time
blossomed creation of megalithic and rock-cut monuments. The rock-cut monuments -
sanctuaries and tombs are the only almost completely preserved representatives of
monumental religious architecture of the ancient people from the Eneolithic to the end of the
Iron Age in Ancient Thrace.
The basic concepts and structures of the theory of categories used in the description of
megalithic and rock-cut monuments are presented in this work. Process of the shape
formation during the emergence and development of the megalithic and rock-cut culture has
been investigated. An attempt is made to define the categories of "form" and "surroundings"
of the range of megalithic monuments. The basic laws of the shape formation -
systematization, structuring and designing the geometry of the shapes of megalithic
monuments - applied from ancient builders are also disclosed. The discovery and the
accumulation of "in situ" material allow to identify the signs of the formation of a number of
their parameters - territorial, chronological, functional. One of the promising areas of
research, for example, is to distinguish different rock shrines and megalithic complexes
associated with long term astronomical observations and astronomical practices. Another area
is the specification of the affiliation of individual objects to synchronously existed villages
and tribal communities. The possibility of studying objects of this type by region and by
chronological boundaries is shown. This way, reasons for their appearance, function and
place in everyday life of citizens and society in Ancient Thrace can be justified. People of the
then society obviously have created and continuously used the powerful solar-chthonic cult
united the cult of the Sun and this to Heaven and Stone. The rock is heavy in its suggestions
personification of Mother-Goddess, who born and raised the Sun itself.
An example of systematization and classification of shapes and spatial relations of the
megalithic and rock-cut monuments used for astronomical observations of the sun is
presented. The basic principles and methods of their organization and structure that are
associated with horizons of development of mathematical and astronomical knowledge of
people about the world around him are noted. Their main dependencies on the topography of
the region, archaeological structures found and their basic functions and context of use are
shown. Moreover, the basic rules of shape creation made by ancient builders of megalithic
and rock-cut designs are probably based on their knowledge of the organization of forms in
living and non-living nature connected with the cult of the Heaven and the Sun. Last but not
least is the process of creating and maintaining a calendar, especially needed in the social
organization and religious practices of the societies.

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The term "structure of the rock-cut monument" and its basic elements as a set of
interconnections, ensuring the integrity of the monument and its strength and durability, has
been defined. Moreover, the structural types of rock-cut monuments have been identified
with specific structural types used for astronomical observations in a long time. It is shown
that the same structure may be realized by various structures - monolithic, skeletal systems,
rock cuts, as well as different ways of construction according to the particular object of
observation. It is shown that the basic organization of the elements of a given type of system
is subject to certain laws and interaction with the natural environment and the society.
The concept of "dynamic structure of the rock-cut monument" is suggested in the report
which means that it is characterized not only with space but also with time parameters. Time
parameters are cyclicity and duration of existence of rock-cut monuments connected with
various cults and cult practices. For those of megaliths and rock-cut monuments that are
associated with specific astronomical practices seasonal occurrences of the observed
heavenly bodies (sunrises and sunsets, culminations, conjunctions and other astronomical
phenomena and events) should be added to temporal parameters.

References

 Stoev Alexey, Georgi Kitov, Penka Maglova, Spatial orientation and geometry of
temples and tombs in the tumuli of the Valley of the Thracian Rulers, Proceedings of
the 10th International Congress of Thracology, Komotini – Alexandroupolis, Greece,
18 – 23 October 2005, Athens, 2007, ISBN: 978-960-7905-38-3, pp 557-560.
 Alexey Stoev and Penka Maglova, Astronomy in the Bulgarian Neolithic, In
Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, part VIII, Springer Reference,
Springer New York, C.L.N. Ruggles (Ed.), Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4614-6140-1,
Online ISBN: 978-1-4614-6141-8, 07 July 2014, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-
8_137, pp 1377-1384.
 Penka Maglova and Alexey Stoev, Thracian sanctuaries, In Handbook of
Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, part VIII, Springer Reference, Springer New
York, C.L.N. Ruggles (Ed.), Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4614-6140-1, Online ISBN:
978-1-4614-6141-8, 07 July 2014, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-6141-8_135, pp 1385-
1394.
 Alexey Stoev and Mina Stoeva, Early Bronze Age Megalithic monuments situated
near large ancient settlements in Central Thrace, Bulgaria, In: Proceedings of the
International Conference Astronomy and world heritage - across time and continents,
19 – 24 August 2009, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation, pp 118-125.

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Figure 1. The Cabyle rock-cut sanctuary used for determining of the sunrises during summer
solstice and equinoxes from the end of the Eneolithic Age to Late Antiquity. Mutually
perpendicular trenches with a variable depth have been hewn out in the rocks and oriented
East – West and North – South. Relief image of the Great Mother–Goddess Cybela.

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ΒΩΜΟΣ ΔΟΔΕΚΑ ΘΕΩΝ / Altar of the Twelve Gods: An Astro-


Archaeological Analysis.
Vance Tiede
Astro-archaeology surveys <vance.tiede@aya.yale.edu>

Pisistratos the Younger, archon of Athens 522/1 BCE, dedicated the Altar of the “Twelve
Gods” in the Agora of Athens (Thucydides 6.54, 6-7). In 1935, American archaeologists
excavated a marble statue base in situ with the inscription “Leagros, the son of Glaukon,
dedicated to the Twelve Gods” outside the west opening of a stone peribolos enclosure in the
Agora on the Panathenaic Way north of the Acropolis (Fig. 1). Today, only the southwest
corner of the peribolos foundation is visible, as the ISAP Athens-Piraeus railway right-of-
way covers the remainder.

Figure 1. Southwest View of Reconstructed Altar of the Twelve Gods (left) and its Location
in the Agora (right) (M.L.H. McCallister 1906; after Mauzy 2006, Fig 10, p.9)

Research Question. Is the orientation of the Altar of the Twelve Gods simply random, or
does it take “its orientation from the street” (Camp 1992, p. 45) or perhaps from an
astronomical alignment of significance in the Archaic Athenian festival calendar?
Data. Four published archaeological site plans of the Agora show that the Altar has a 31°
azimuth deviation from facing the adjacent curbing of the Panathenaic Way (Crosby 1949,
Fig. 2, p. 85; Gadbery 1992, Fig. 1, p. 448; Camp 1992, Fig, 66, p. 89; Mauzy 2006, Fig. 10,
p. 9). Preliminary astro-archaeological data was compiled from archival site plans curated
by the American School of Classical Study at Athens (ASCSA), NOAA Magnetic Field
Calculator (IGRF12), aerial/satellite imagery, and Google Earth’s Digital Elevation Model,
viz.: Latitude = North 37° 58’ 32.89’; Elevation = 54 meters ASL, True Azimuth ≈ 72.5° ;
Date = 522/1 BCE; and horizon Altitude = +1° 30’. A Ground Truth field survey with
theodolite (for sun-shot corrected azimuths and horizon altitudes) is being planned for Spring
2017.
Results. Analysis with Program Stonehenge (Hawkins 1983) and Starry Night Pro Plus-6
digital planetarium indicates that in 522/1 BC the northeast opening of the Altar’s peribolos
wall was oriented to the point (+13° 29’ declination) on Likavitos Hill where the
constellation Pleiades rose heliacally (apparent magnitude = 1.2), 1-7 May 522/1 BCE.
Conclusion. If field survey confirms the peribolus azimuth error to the heliacal rise of the
Pleiades is significantly less than the azimuth error to the curb facing the Panathenaic Way,
then it is reasonable to conclude that the Altar of the Twelve Gods takes its orientation from

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the Archaic Attic-Boeotian calendric tradition that, “When the Pleiades, daughters of Atlas,
are rising, begin your harvest….” (Hesiod, 380). Moreover, both the Old (+13°
21’declination, ca. 550 BCE) and New (+14° 00’ declination, ca. 350 BCE) Temples of
Dionysos Eleutherios on the south slope of the Athenian Acropolis share the same Pleiades
heliacal rise orientation (Boutsikas 2008, Table 1, p. 6). The redundant Pleiades orientation
shared among all three sacred structures is presumably a consequence of the Cult of Dionysus
having been introduced to Athens in Attica from Eleutherai in Boeotia (AFA 2004, pp. 10-
12). If so, then astro-architectural orientation could prove to be diagnostic of particular
Hellenic religious cults.

References

 Association of Friends of the Acropolis (AFA), South Slope of the Acropolis: Brief
History and Tour, Athens: Hellenic Ministry of Culture, First Ephorate of Prehistoric
and Classical Antiquities, 2004.
 Boutsikas. Efrosyni, “Placing Greek Temples: An Archaeoastronomical Study of the
Orientation of Ancient Greek Religious Structures,” Archaeoastronomy, vol. XXI, 4-
19.
 Camp, John Mck., Athenian Agora: Excavations in the Heart of classical Athens,
New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992.
 Crosby, Margaret, ‘The Altar of the Twelve Gods in Athens,’ Hesperia Supplements,
Vol. 8, (1949), pp. 82-103, 447-450.
 Gadbery, Laura M., "The Sanctuary of the Twelve Gods in the Athenian Agora: A
Revised View", Hesperia 61 (1992), pp. 447–489.
 Hawkins, Gerald S., ‘Program STONEHENGE’, Mindsteps to the Cosmos, New York:
Harper & Row,1983, pp. 328-330.
 Hesiod of Boeotia (ca. 750 BCE), Works and Days, in The Homeric Hymns and
Homerica with an English Translation (Hugh G. Evelyn-White, trans.). Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Hes.%20WD%20387
 Mauzy, Craig A., Agora Excavations 1931-2006 A Pictorial History, American
School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2006.
 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Magnetic Field
Calculator
 https://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag-web/
 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 6.54,6-7 (Benjamin Jowett trans.)
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1881.

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g-ASTRONOMY: The Universe with all your senses.


Roberto Trotta (1), Jozef Youssef (2), Stefano de Costanzo (2)
1. Imperial College London
2. Kitchen Theory

Figure 1. The expanding Universe described with a scientifically accurate model made of a
rising focaccia bread.

Astrophysics is one of the most universally appealing fields of science, as it asks questions
about the very nature of the cosmos we live in. But the cosmos is also far removed from our
everyday experience. This is part of its mystery and fascination, but it can be a hurdle when
trying to engage the public in a genuine, two-way dialogue.
g-ASTRONOMY [1] is an ongoing, cross-disciplinary research project that aims at creating
an immersive, multi-sensorial experience to engage the public with some of the most
fascinating questions of modern astrophysics and cosmology: the nature of dark matter; the
properties of black holes; the origin of the Universe. Astrophysicist and science
communicator Dr Roberto Trotta has joined efforts with experimental gastronomy chef Jozef
Youssef and his team at Kitchen Theory to develop an interactive culinary experience that
translates these questions in dishes designed to embody in a metaphorical (but scientifically
accurate) way the core physical characteristics of dark matter, black holes and the Big Bang.
With this collaboration, Roberto and Jozef aim short-circuiting the perception of astrophysics
and cosmology as “brainy” subjects, that can often be seen as daunting by members of the
public and young adults [2]. Instead, they use food and the sensorial experience it entails [3]
as a tool to engage a wider public than the usual punters.
g-ASTRONOMY thus translates complex ideas into a relatable and interactive (not to
mention delicious) medium: food. In this paper, Roberto and Jozef will present the g-
ASTRONOMY concept, and the research process they have devised to for this award-
winning collaboration. They will share their experience in presenting g-ASTRONOMY at the
Cheltenham Science Festival 2016, and at an event for people with sight loss (in
collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People) in March 2017. They will ask
the question of whether and how food and taste can become a new, creative medium to
engage with astronomy and cosmology in a multi-sensorial way that is not limited to vision
and its aesthetic references [4].
g-ASTRONOMY is supported by the Institute of Physics and the Science and Technology
Facilities Council, UK.

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References

 http://robertotrotta.com/the-hands-on-universe/
 M.J. West, “Public Perception of Astronomers: Revered, Reviled and Ridiculed”, The
Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture, Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 260,
411-419, D. Valls- Gabaud & A. Boksenberg (eds), CUP (2009)
 B.C. Smith, "The nature of sensory experience: the case of taste and tasting."
Phenomenology and Mind 4 (2013): 212-227.
 E.A. Kessler, Picturing the Cosmos: Hubble Space Telescope Images and the
Astronomical Sublime, Univ. of Minnesota Press (2012).

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The signs of Morning star Aušra in Baltic tradition: regional and


intercultural features.
Vytautas Tumėnas
The Lithuanian Institute of History, dept. of Ethnology and Anthropology

In the traditional world outlook for the man surrounding natural and cultural elements of
environment (farm tools, housing parts, clothing etc.) the metalanguage signification was
prescribed. It was characterized by surplus variance, which provided resistance to the loss of
cultural memory: although some elements of culture disappeared, they were duplicated by
other (Baiburin 1993). This enables the reconstruction of mythic concepts by analyzing their
fragments.
The presentation aims to reveal the elements of Lithuanian folk culture associated with
mythologem of Baltic Aušra (Morning star), highliting previously unnoticed systemic
relations. The author examines interdisciplinary the ethnographic, folkloric and
archaeological data. He analyses the forms and names of artefacts’ patterns and their links
with folklore and customs. The patterns’ names are investigated as the mythic poetic images’,
related with a combing (pansy swimming and combing in a boat), with bridal hair grooming
rites and with the weaving and spinning technologies in general. These complex images and
symbols are disclosed as the elements of regional Aušra mythical semantic field. Their
intercultural links with Sun Maiden, Sunrise mythic archetipe are shown as well.
Under the historical-typological, semiotic and comparative method, the “comb”, “rake”
patterns shape and names links with the folklore and mythic images are analyzed.
Comparative analysis is based on ethnological, folklore, mythologic, art historical,
archeological and other local cultural and transcultural material.
Although the attributes of Aušra (Austra, Dawn, Sun daughter) and elements of her semantic
field have got considerable attention (A. Afanasjev (1865-1869), N. Vėlius (1994), M.
Gimbutas (1985, 2002), A. Greimas (1979), P. Dundulienė (1988), V. Tumenas (1999, 2002),
D. Razauskas (2010), but her specific associations with a comb, hair maintenance and
weaving technology images from regional and intercultural (D. Ward 1968; L. West 2007)
point of view still are poorly studied.
Mythopoetical folk cultural context (folklore, customs) of Aušra allows to detect in her (and
her close mythical beings, which are characterized by wedding transformation symbolism)
semantic field the comb and hair grooming, wicker braiding bride, hair mowing dawn the
river images as the semantic complex of actions with the artefacts very closely related to the
textile technology. The narrative image of production of mythical Life Yarn which ends in
the star also belongs to this mythologem.
The Lithuanian folk textile "comb/rake" pattern originated in the pre-Christian world: in this
type pattern is traced from the 10th-11th c. The symbolically significant comb amulet shroud
in Lithuania is known from the 9th c. The earliest “comb/rake" type pattern examples in
Europe are known from the Neolithic artefacts. "Comb" ornament semantically is consistent
with the bridal comb image in folklore, described as full of vital protective and fertility
powers, and also with its symbolic, magical role in the wedding customs. It constitutes as the
important element of Aušrinė semantic field.

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Figure 1. “Comb“or “rake" pattern in Lithuanian folk textiles

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The Universe hidden inside Galician cantigas: moons, suns and stars
popularly sung over generations.
Ana Ulla-Miguel
Applied Physics Department, University of Vigo, E-36310 Vigo, SPAIN – ulla@uvigo.es

Background: In Galicia, the NW Spanish region of the Iberian Peninsula, the musical
tradition is extremely rich and alive, both in tunes and lyrics. It is also very extensive the
variety of instruments employed and their typologies and uses [1, 2]. In particular, the type of
popular (folk) songs called cantigas outstands significantly because of their characteristics. In
general, their lyrics correspond to poems in quartets, invented by the people, transmitted
orally over generations, and sung by women (called cantareiras) playing tambourines, and
other percussion instruments, in groups [3]. The themes cover a wide variety of subjects and,
in particular, all jobs, trades or occupations developed in Galicia –some of them still in use
nowadays. They also include love songs and a good deal of the so-called Galician “retranca”
(breeching). The current cantigas are often referred to as “coplas”, a term also used in other
Spanish regions. It is important, however, to distinguish them from the medieval ones, such
as for example those by the troubadour Martín Códax or the King Alfonso X The Wise.
Figure 1: Rumba de Monzo, as an example of astronomical song within the “Contos e coplas

de estrelas” project.

Aim and Data: Several compilations of cantigas have been published so far (see for
example, but not only: [4, 5, 6]). More than ten years ago I noticed that many of them
mention the Sun, Moon or stars, in various combinations and in connection with other topics.
I started to compile these in particular, as a personal hobby, calling them “astronomical
cantigas”. During the 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA), I participated in the
outreach project “Contos e coplas de estrelas” (tales and songs of stars) that included the
publication of a musical CD-ROM with various “astronomical” songs of this type [7]. Figure
1 shows one of them, as it appears illustrated in the material accompanying the CD-ROM. A
public presentation took place in Vigo, during the Science Week in November, 2009,
including a scientific conference, storytelling, dance and a concert.
Then, the aim of my work here was to convert what started as hobby in a systematic scientific
study: a study of Galician cantigas mentioning the Sun, Moon and stars, from a Cultural

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Astronomy perspective, trying to extract trends, statistics and possible clues on a true social
astronomical meaning for them, if at all exists. I am not aware of specific literature references
for this topic.

Results: So far, 7 books have been reviewed in searching for astronomical Galician cantigas.
Near a hundred different ones have been found. About 17% of the quartets mention the Sun,
Moon and stars together. Other astronomically-related terms, such as night, down or sunset
are being investigated as well. In many cases, slightly different versions exist of the same
copla for various geographical areas. The study is complemented with some field work or the
interviewing of folk musicians.
It is expected that a summary of preliminary conclusions for all these aspects can be
presented at the conference. A short live music demonstration could accompany the
presentation. Or, as I have many contacts with Galician folk musicians, teachers and
cantareiras, a specific “astronomical concert” (similar to that during the IYA-2009 in Vigo)
could be organized as a complement, if so is found convenient.

References

 Carpintero Arias, P., 2009. Instrumentos tradicionales galegos, Ed. Difusora de letras,
artes e ideas, Ourense. ISBN: 978-84-937421-1-9
 Sanmartín Montaña, A., 2007. O pentafol, Ed. Inquedanzas editoriais, Vigo. ISBN:
978-84-936150-0-0
 Lisón Tolosana, C., 2004. Antropología cultural de Galicia, Ed. Akal, Madrid. ISBN:
978-84-460-2162-9
 Lorenzo Fernández, X., 2004. Cantigueiro popular da Limia Baixa, Ourense.
Deputación Provincial de Ourense e Museo do Pobo Galego. ISBN: 978-84-96011830
 Sampedro y Folgar, C. et al., 2007. Cancionero musical de Galicia, Fundación Pedro
Barrié de la Maza. ISBN: 978-84-95892-62-1
 Martínez Torner, E. et al., 2007. Cancionero gallego, Fundación Pedro Barrié de la
Maza. ISBN: 978-84-95892-59-1
 Ros, R.M. (ed.), 2009. Contos e coplas de estrelas, Editorial Galaxia S.A., Vigo.
ISBN: 978-84-606-4979-3

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Previous tradition? Coincidence? Design? How it was possible to create the


illumination effects at the Cathedral of Saint James (Galicia, Spain)?
Benito Vilas-Estevez (1), Encarnación Ruth Varela-Rodriguez (2), Antonio César
González-Garcia (2)
1. University of Vigo. Galicia, Spain
2. Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio, Incipit (CSIC), Santiago, Spain

In a previous work based on different oral traditions collected at the beginning of the XX
Century we verified that inside the cathedral of Santiago different illumination effects take
place over the figure of Saint James located at the main altar, in particular at important dates
related with Christianity and the own Saint. However, despite the fact that illumination
effects occur and therefore suggest that they were sought and not a coincidence, we should
ask how the builders of the cathedral could “create” them during the baroque reform of the
cathedral. This is precisely the objective of this communication, to show how they could
create this project of illumination or how they readapt a previous tradition that took place in
the Romanesque building.

Figure 1. Illumination effect at Saint James Cathedral.

In order to do that we will count with different primary sources such as texts, drawings,
ethnographic resources and cross-references. On a more methodological level, this is a study
which deals with very different methods from diverse disciplines, such as archaeoastronomy
or cultural astronomy, archaeology, architecture and ethnography. It is important to take into
account, that the cathedral is an architectural project where the builders thought and planned
a structure suitable for people in which the Christian imaginary had to be present, and
therefore this illumination effects would play a very important role. However, such project
was a living organism that evolved through time by the different reforms. Such reforms not
only involved changes in the architectural styles but also in the concepts behind such styles.
In particular it is important for our study how the concept and use of light within the temples
changed along these centuries and how the light phenomenology was incorporated with a

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different meaning in the subsequent reforms. Finally, we will recreate the possible method
that the builders used based on architectural treatises.

References

 Otero Pedrayo, R, (1926) Guía de Galicia. Galaxia, 5th edition, Vigo


 Sánchez Rivera, C. (1945) Notas Compostelanas: historia, tradiciones, leyenda,
miscelánea. Santiago de Compostela, sucesores de Gali. Santiago de Compostela
 Vilas Estevez, B; González García, A.C (2016) Illumination effects at the cathedral of
Saint James (Galicia): First Results. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry,
Vol 16, No 4, pp: 465-471

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Black Sky: Aesthetics of the Extraterrestrial Landscape.


Gary Wells
Ithaca College wells@ithaca.edu

One consequence of the exploration of the solar system is the accumulating body of images
of the surfaces of planets, comets, moons, and asteroids. These images are landscapes,
although the land they represent may be quite unlike Earth. Extraterrestrial landscapes may
incorporate conventions of representation that provide a familiar grounding for the viewer.
But images of alien landscapes also break some of those conventions and force us to consider
the nature of landscape itself.
This paper will examine the presence of artistic conventions in the pictures of non-terrestrial
landscapes taken during missions to various bodies in the Solar System, and the opposing
appearance of unique pictorial and expressive elements that have no counterpart in the history
of earthly landscape images. Conventionalization may be the consequence of imager design,
processing, and editing of images that converge around representational norms found in
pictorial images of terrestrial subjects. Deviations from these norms, the emergence of an
“extraterrestrial aesthetic,” may be the result of the unique conditions found on the body itself,
or the result of human intervention in the imaging process.

Figure 1. Rosetta image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 5 September 2014


Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team
MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Extraterrestrial landscape, as a subject, predates the Space Age, and so the conventions of
landscape painting and photography dominated the early attempts to show the surfaces of
alien worlds. New perspectives on the landscape were a consequence of human flight, which
allowed the “view from above.” Early spacecraft flying past or crashing into other planetary
bodies introduced yet another unique point of view. Landers gave a “normalized” view of
extraterrestrial landscapes by simulating a human viewpoint. But certain aspects of imaging

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technology, and associated science goals, dissociate the earth-bound viewer from the
unearthly terrain.
In this paper, we will discuss the role of color, atmospheric perspective, and point of view in
establishing both the descriptive and subjective aspects of alien landscape. We will also look
at comparable images in historical and contemporary landscape imagery of Earth, as well as
scientific illustrations pre-dating the Space Age. Images from the Apollo lunar missions, the
Curiosity Mars mission, Venera missions to Venus, and the Rosetta mission to Comet
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (see enclosed image) will be included. Comparative images
from both art history and from the history of science will be used as well.

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Beyond 3D Models: Simulation of Phased Models in Stellarium.


Georg Zotti (1), Florian Schaukowitsch (2), Michael Wimmer (2)
1. Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual
Archaeology, Vienna
2. Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, TU Wien

In recent years, the interactive visual exploration and demonstration of three-dimensional


virtual models of buildings or natural structures of archaeoastronomical interest under a
simulated sky has become available for users of the open-source desktop planetarium
program Stellarium [Zotti, 2015, 2016]. Users can load an architectural model in the well-
known OBJ format and walk around to explore sight lines or light-and-shadow interaction in
present and past times [Frischer et al., 2016].
However, until now, the model itself did not change in time, and loading models for various
building phases (e.g., the assumed order of building the various standing stones, timber
circles and stone circles of Stonehenge) always required a break in simulation and user
interaction to load a model for the next phase. On the other hand, displaying a model under
the sky of the wrong time may lead to inappropriate conclusions. Large-area models required
considerable time to load, and loading caused a reset of location, so the user interested in
changes in a certain viewing axis had to recreate that view again. Given that Stellarium is an
“astronomical time machine”, nowadays capable of replaying sky vistas thousands of years
ago with increasing accuracy [Zotti et al., submitted] and also for models with several million
triangular faces, it seemed worth to explore possibilities to also show changes over time in
the simulated buildings.
The Scenery3D plugin of Stellarium is, however, not a complete game engine, and
replicating the infrastructure found in such game engines like Unity3D – for example to
interactively move game objects, or load small sub-components like standing stones and
place them at arbitrary coordinates – seemed overkill. The solution introduced here is
remarkably simple and should be easily adoptable for the casual model-making researcher:
the MTL material description for the model, a simple plain-text file that describes colour,
reflection behaviour, photo-texture or transparency of the various parts of the object, can be
extended for our rendering system. Newly introduced values describe dates where parts of the
model can appear and disappear (with transitional transparency to allow for archaeological
dating uncertainties). The model parts with these enhanced, time-aware materials appear to
fade in during the indicated time, will be fully visible in their “active” time, and will fade out
again when Stellarium is set to simulate the sky when the real-world structures most likely
have vanished. The only requirement for the model creator is now to separate objects so that
they receive unique materials that can then be identified and augmented with these entries in
the MTL text file. The advantages of this new feature should be clear: an observer can remain
in a certain location in the virtual model and let the land- and skyscape change over decades
or centuries, without the need to load new models. This allows the simulation of construction
and reconstruction phases while still always keeping particularly interesting viewpoints
unchanged, and will always show the matching sky for the most appropriate reconstruction
phase of the model.

References

 Bernard Frischer, Georg Zotti, Zaccaria Mari, and Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi.
Archaeoastronomical experiments supported by virtual simulation environments:
Celestial alignments in the Antinoeion at Hadrian's Villa (Tivoli, Italy). Digital

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Applications in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage (DAACH), Vol.3:3, pages 55–79,


July 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.daach.2016.06.001
 Stellarium website: http://stellarium.org (Visited February 25th, 2017)
 Georg Zotti. Visualization Tools and Techniques. In Clive L.N. Ruggles, editor,
Handbook for Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, Vol. 1, Ch. 29, pages 445–
457. Springer Reference, New York, 2015.
 Georg Zotti. Open-Source Virtual Archaeoastronomy. Mediterranean Archaeology
and Archaeometry, 16(4):17–24, 2016. http://maajournal.com/Issues/2016/Vol16-
4/Full3.pdf
 Georg Zotti, Florian Schaukowitsch, and Michael Wimmer. The Skyscape
Planetarium. In Fabio Silva et al., editors, Proc. SEAC2016, Bath, submitted.

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ARTWORKS

Artwork 1

Walking through the field of darkness and light. Marea Atkinson

Exhibition Proposal

1. Title: Walking through the field of darkness and light

In conjunction with my proposal for a poster paper, Walking in fields of darkness and light I
propose to create an installation of prints and digital images that explore a fictional event of a
moon or moons landing on earth.

Medium: Digital prints on paper.

Size: approx. 120 cms W x 2m H

Description:

The work is 2-dimensional large scale and made in sections, which can be easily assembled
together, using a special mounting strip that can attach the work straight to the wall and be
removed without damaging the wall or the work. The image is expected to be in black and
white, featuring the installation of the luminous event.

2. Title: Virgo

This work explores the constellation of Virgo, known as the Mistress of the Vineyard and
used as a guide for viticulture in Medieval Europe. Today, the constellation is slowing
expanding and drifting apart as witnessed by deep space images. This work uses a medieval
woodcut of the figure of Virgo and experiments with the disintegration of the image in the
sky.

Medium: drawing on paper, digital and/or screen-print on paper.

Size: 120 cm W x 140cm H approximately.

Description:

This work is 2 dimensional and made on A4 size paper or similar size so that it can be
assembled easily to form a large work, using a easily removable temporary strip that fixes to
a wall and is removed without damage to the wall or work. The image features a large figure
of Virgo, sectioned and interrupted by emerging areas of outer space, using colours, silver
and black papers.

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Artwork 2

From Cosmos to Craters. Dinah Jasensky

Proposed Art Exhibit

In my current work, I am exploring the bridge between art and science. My proposal for the
INSAP X – Oxford XI – SEAC 25th art exhibit is a collection of astronomy paintings with
the theme “From Cosmos to Craters” created in collaboration with University of Arizona
Astronomer Chris Impey. This body of work fits the “Road to the Stars” conference theme as
the images link a range of astronomical phenomena that have been under investigation by
humans from prehistoric to present times.
There are 14 original oil paintings in this body of work, all or some of which are available for
this exhibition. Each original is photographed, then transferred to a coated metal support
which presents a unique surface and luster that works well with astronomy themes. The size
of each piece is approximately 11 x 14 inches, with variations due to dimension and
orientation. The metal prints are light and easy to hang. They will be equipped with a mount
or attachment for wire as required by the exhibit space. Subject matter includes the Milky
Way seen over Santiago de Compostela, a star formation nebula, a nearby galaxy, features of
Solar System planets and moons, and imagined exoplanets with exotic and Earth-like
landscapes.

Artist Bio

Dinah Jasensky is a professional artist and environmental scientist living in Tucson, Arizona.
She specializes in art-science collaborations and her body of work, “From Cosmos to Craters,”
has been featured locally and abroad. Collaborating with University of Arizona Astronomer
Chris Impey, her art has been shown at the Flandreau Planetarium, Biosphere 2, World View
Enterprises, and the Lunar and Planetary.
Laboratory. She recently had an individual show at the Osher Lifelong Learning Gallery in
Tucson. She has also been selected as a SpaceFest VIII and a Tucson International
Airport 2017 solo artist.
Dinah’s background is in Environmental Science as well as Scientific Illustration. She holds
both Bachelor and Masters degrees of Science. In 2003, she moved from a career in
environmental science and illustration to fine art. Dinah works in oils, acrylics, charcoal and
pastel, and has taught portraiture to students of all ages. Her work has included portrait and
figurative subject matter. Dinah is a member of Oil Painters of America, the International
Society of Astronomical Artists, the Portrait Society of America, Arizona Portrait Artists, and
the Tucson Plein Air Painters. In 2014, she was awarded second place in the Portrait Artists
of Arizona annual competition for her painting “Cactus Rose.”

Dinah’s art can be viewed at www.dinahjasensky.com.

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Artwork 3

Native Skywatchers – Earth Sky Connections. Annette S. Lee (1), William


Wilson (2), Jeff Tibbetts (3), Anne Meyer (4), Cark Gawboy (5), Wilfred Buck (6)
1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, St. Cloud State University, 740 Fourth
Ave. S., St. Cloud, Minnesota, 56301, USA
2. Consultant, Ojibwe language and culture; visual artist, Minnesota, USA
3. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College, 2102 14th Street, Cloquet,
Minnesota, 55720, USA
4. Consultant, visual artist, art educator Minnesota, USA
5. (Emeritus) College of St. Scholastica, Department of Am. Ind. Studies, 1200
Kenwood, Duluth, MN, 55811, USA
6. Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, 2-1100 Waverly St.,
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 3X9, Canada

Relevance to conference themes and aims:

In native teaching, stars are “our oldest living relatives.” Also said, “Our spirits come from
the stars, our bodies come from the earth.” The artistic vision of Native Skywatchers-Earth
Sky Connections is to remember nuggets of truth such as these and to explore them through
the powerful tool of the visual arts. There is healing power in native star stories. There is
healing power in art. The vision here is to use the native perspective to help bring voice and
wellness to individuals & communities. In this way, we are empowered. We are leaders.

Description of artwork:

Presented in this exhibit is a subset of a larger exhibit called “Native Skywatchers – Earth
Sky Connections”. Funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board – Arts Tour, this exhibit
presents an inspired visual arts display featuring work created by professional artists and
community artists; native artists and non-native artists. Much of the work included here was
made or inspired by previously delivered Native Skywatchers art-making community
workshops. All work in the exhibit was created to tell the story of our human connection to
the cosmos. In some cases, this means looking back for traditional Ojibwe, D(L)akota,
Ininew, or other indigenous teaching. In other cases, it means looking within for our human
connection to the cosmos.

Note: Due to transportation costs, original works will be reprinted as museum-quality giclee
prints or high-resolution silk-fabric banners. Size will vary depending on space allotment,
maximum dimensions will be 48 x 48”. Expectation is approximately ten prints including
four indigenous star maps and six other selected images of original artwork from the Native
Skywatchers – Earth Sky Connections arts tour. Additional resources will be available such
as an exhibition booklet, postcards, and smaller-size color reproductions of artwork.

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Artwork 4

Creativity and Curiosity: Exploring the space in-between astronomers and


artists. Alison Lochhead, Gillian McFarland, Ione Parkin, Dipak Mistry (1),
Juliet Bowmaker (1), Martin A. Barstow (2), Caroline Crawford (3), Thomas J.
Haworth (4), Roberto Trotta
1. Acuity Arts Ltd, C/O Future Business Centre, Kings Hedges Road, Cambridge,
CB4 2HY, UK
2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road,
Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
3. Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0HA, UK
4. Astrophysics Group, Imperial College London, Blackett Laboratory, Prince
Consort Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Creativity and Curiosity1,2 is a collaboration between artists and astrophysicists. A key


outcome of this is a touring exhibition of works in the UK, beginning March 2017. We
propose to bring this exhibition to \Road to the Stars".
The artists have been in discussion with experts researching topics from planet formation,
through to supernovae, galaxy evolution and cosmology. By developing a creative interaction
between the artists and astronomers, we generate new art that is inspired by the underlying
physical processes in astronomical objects, that are not apparent in the scientific images. This
has catalysed the work of the artists, which they undertake using a range of resources and
techniques (paper, glass, metal, paint and mixed media). Having both artists and astronomers
from the collaboration at our exhibitions also means that, should they so wish, attendees can
discuss interpretation from the two different perspectives. This other unique environment for
better understanding of both the art, and astrophysical phenomena.

Figure 1. An example piece in glass by Gillian McFarland. Spheres may initially conjur up
images of stars or planets, but the filamentary structures featured here are also somewhat
reminiscent of the cosmic web of galaxies condensing out of an initially hot, expanding,
curved universe.

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In addition to this exhibition, we also propose to discuss the collaboration itself in an oral
presentation, submitted as a separate abstract. We propose to exhibit about 18 works from the
collaboration. These pieces are designed to tour and will be displayed on walls, plinths and
floor standing pieces. Additionally, we also propose a 10 minute _lm as part of the exhibition.
Originating at the University of Leicester, the collaboration now includes astronomers from
the University of Cambridge, University of Cardi_ and Imperial College London. The artists
are Alison Lochhead3, Gillian McFarland4 and Ione Parkin5.

References

 1
Ione Parkin, Alison Lochhead, Gillian McFarland; Creativity and curiosity: when art
meets
 science. A&G 2016; 57 (6): 6.28-6.31. doi: 10.1093/astrogeo/atw222
 2
https://www.creativityandcuriosity.com
 3
.http://www.alisonlochhead.co.uk
 4
https://www.axisweb.org/p/gillianmcfarland/info
 5
http://www.ioneparkin.co.uk

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Artwork 5

Catching the Equinox. A temporary installation. John David Mooney

Figure 1. Proposal for the tenth session of the conference “Inspiration for Astronomical
Phenomena”. A temporary artwork to be sited in a Santiago de Compostela renaissance
courtyard. This work is to honor the successful series of INSAP conferences and its original
founders, Ray White, Rolf Sinclair and Father George Coyne S.J.

Proposal

To create for INSAP X and the joint meetings of Oxford XI and SEAC 25, a temporary
installation in one of Santiago de Compostela’s cloister courtyards, such as the Palace of
Fonseca, or the courtyards of the Hostal dos Reis Catolicos. Another good site for this
installation would be Vista Alegre Park adjacent to the conference area.

The Renaissance courtyards are approximately 20 meters by 20 meters; a size which allows a
one-day intervention and removal 24 hours later, returning the space to its’ normal use.
The process of making this art work is most important – in fact, I consider the process and the
collaboration of contributors to the work to be essential. The finished piece is a celebration of
everyone’s involvement.
 The first component for “Catching the Equinox” is the invitation to conference
attendees to collaborate on this piece from concept to execution.
 The second component is measuring the solar light, its’ reflection and shadow on
the
ground plane of the cloister’s courtyard – and to create a drawing catching the shadows
movement from dawn until dark, taking into account the particulars of the Renaissance
cloister architecture and its’ harmony with the sun.
The daytime component of “Catching” the Equinox in a Renaissance container is the kinetic
element of this piece, a drawing on the ground plane in an “open air” cave, inspired by the

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proximity of Paleolithic drawings of the Cave of Altamira which is situated along the Camino
del Norte.
 The third component of “Catching the Equinox” is the nighttime presence and its
relationship to the night sky. During the time of the conference, there will be a new moon on
September 19-21, and a truly starry sky. The darkness will allow some special sightings –
such as Neptune’s close approach (viewed with binoculars), the bright overheard presence of
the Summer Triangle and the Milky Way, and the conjunction of Mercury and Mars. From
Spain, there should be sightings of the Orionid meteor shower on September 21st-24th. This
and more will serve as the inspiration to execute this installation as part of “The Road to the
Stars.”
The Camino de Santiago and INSAP X, the Road to the Stars, will merge in this piece
through the materials’ choice and the drawing’s form. “Catching the Equinox” will focus on
the sun by daytime, and the stars by night. Possible daytime material will be thousands of
scalloped sea shells, and the nighttime material will be candles. The soft glow of the candle
light will transform the work’s daytime drama into a quiet, all-encompassing starry reflection.
For the review panel’s deliberation, I am presenting (see other pdf file) a few examples of
previous installations based on celestial inspiration.
The exact materials and form of “Catching the Equinox” will evolve with suggestions and
with research into materials fitting the nature of the particular site chosen. We wish to include
everyone in the realization of this work.

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Artwork 6

A new astronomical life for old blue jeans: drawing and painting of the
Universe here down on a recycling planet Earth (astro-bluejeans&things).
Carmen Villar-Rivera (1,2), Rita Landeiro-Suárez (3), Ana Ulla-Miguel (4)
1. Xylazel S.A., Gándaras de Prado, E-36400 Porriño, SPAIN mc.villar@xylazel.com
2. Freelance designer and restorer, E-36211 Vigo, SPAIN
pinturreandoconsentido@gmail.com
3. Freelance drawer, E-36207 Vigo, SPAIN garike@hotmail.com
4. Applied Physics Department, University of Vigo, E-36310 Vigo, SPAIN
ulla@uvigo.es

Background and relevance to the conference theme:

Astronomy is embedded in daily culture possibly more than society believes. Cities have lost
ancestral contact with the sky and people no longer know the importance of celestial uses and
applications. In rural areas, however, that knowledge is still generally kept, and part of it
permeates all societies, including urban ones, because rural contact is not so far, neither in
distance nor in time. So, even without knowing, people have a connection to the universe
through everyday elements, such as clothes, music, advertising, furniture or utensils; a
connection that comes from old and behaves like a thread of social cohesion in many
circumstances.
By the end of 2016, a designer (CVR), a drawer (RLS) and an astrophysicist (AUM) decided
to join efforts and try to exploit the possibilities of an artistic-astronomical collaboration.
This project is based on the following four main elements: 1- the universe and all its
astronomical components as the source of artistic inspiration; 2- the recycling of daily life
things in an increasingly consumerist world; 3- an investigation on the usage of non-
decorative paints over various materials; and 4- an attempt to increase the scientific culture of
society through our creations.
By its characteristics, we consider that our proposal fits adequately within the framework of
the conference. We summarize below our aims and a concise description of the proposal we
would like to present in September.

Aims:

The present collaboration is basically a newborn yet and therefore only the conceptual design
of several pieces and elements has been proposed so far. In particular, we have agreed to start
exploring the possibilities of painting over (recycled) clothes, shoes or bags, using non-
specific clothing paints. CVR is a technical expert on paints properties and characteristics,
and has a solid expertise in painting and restoring. The drawings are composed by RLS and
CVR, based on inspiring astronomical elements, from exoplanets through active galactic
nuclei (AGNs), or comets and clusters. For that, AUM provides detailed information on both
high quality publicly available astronomical images and their astrophysical meaning. As an
example, Figure 1 shows one astronomical drawing by RLS, to be used (painted) over cloth.
Our main goal will be to show in September at least a collection of 10 pieces ready for
exhibition.

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Figure 1. Example of astronomically inspired drawing by RLS.

Description of the artwork and activities to be presented at the conference:

The pieces of our exhibition are intended to be beautiful but useful as well. For that, they will
be accompanied by scientific explanations in the form of panels, flyers or other didactical
materials.
Besides, we propose to offer and distribute during the conference technical informative flyers,
with detailed information on workshops, procedures or on-line decorative assistance, for
those potentially interested in our methodology. These will be available for the congress
attendees, for the general public (children and grownups), or for anybody.
All the required elements for the exhibition assembly would be provided by the authors.

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