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books about 'Astro-Arcaeology/Archaeoastronomy' and 'Megalithic Science'

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Astro-Archæology/Archaeoastronomy and Megalithic Science
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Below are a small selection of books that will give you a good background in understanding astro-archæology and megalithic science. Over the past fifty years or so, the abilities of ancient peoples to accurately survey the landscape and build megalithic structures that could accurately chart the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars, and particularly the 'death-star' comets and their debris streams, has slowly come to be appreciated by a wider general public. Some of the books below were landmarks in this greater awareness, whilst others are recent works by researchers following in the footsteps of the pioneers. Collectively they paint a radically different picture of the past to the one we are offered in our schools, colleges and universities. Who is right and who is wrong? ...

 

"Decoding the Heavens:
Solving the Mystery of the World's First Computer"

by
Jo Marchant
William Heinemann Ltd

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"In 1900 a group of sponge divers blown off course in the Mediterranean discovered an Ancient Greek shipwreck dating from around 70 BC. Lying unnoticed for months amongst their hard-won haul was what appeared to be a formless lump of corroded rock, which turned out to be the most stunning scientific artefact we have from antiquity. For more than a century this 'Antikythera mechanism' puzzled academics, but now, more than 2000 years after the device was lost at sea, scientists have pieced together its intricate workings. Unmatched in complexity for 1000 years, it was able to predict eclipses and track the paths of the Sun and the Moon through the zodiac, and probably even showed ancient astronomers the movements of the five known planets.

In Decoding the Heavens, Jo Marchant tells for the first time the story of the 100-year quest to understand this ancient computer. Along the way she unearths a diverse cast of remarkable characters - ranging from Archimedes to Jacques Cousteau - and explores the deep roots of modern technology not only in ancient Greece but in the Islamic world and medieval Europe too.At heart an epic adventure story, it is a book that challenges our assumptions about technology transfer over the ages while giving us fresh insights into history itself."

 

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"A Little History of Astro-Archaeology" by John F. Michell

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UK Edition

 

"Stonehenge today is a battlefield, not only for police and festivalgoers at midsummer but also for rival camps of archaeologists, astronomers, and other researchers into the mysteries of prehistoric religion and science. Controversy flared up in 1963, when Gerald Hawkins made early use of the computer to identify Stonehenge as an observatory for the sun and moon and an instrument for predicting eclipses. Further studies of megalithic sites by Alexander Thom proved that many of them were also related to the seasonal positions of the heavenly bodies. The study of astro-archaeology has now expanded worldwide, bringing new revelations about the mystical sciences of antiquity. This "little history" summarizes the issues involved in astro-archaeology, and illustrates its principal sites and personalities. Included are recent findings of British scientists, whose records of anomalous levels of natural energies at stone circles are in accordance with the magical reputations of such places in local folklore."

 

"Megaliths, Myths and Men: An Introduction to Astro-Archaeology" by Peter Lancaster Brown

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"Noted British astronomer’s fascinating study of early astronomical knowledge through the interpretation of Stonehenge, Carnac, other megalithic sites. Stone Age sculpture, astronomical computations, radiocarbon dating, many other topics. Over 140 maps, photos, illustrations. The author has very comprehensively analysed several sites and shown how they can be used as astronomical machines. He discusses the different interpretations of the sites and includes many diagrams of sites including the important astronomical alignments. Very enjoyable overview of archaeo-astronomy. Brown neatly debunks the lunatic fringe, reveals some of the unsung heroes of the field, and provides a clear summary of current ideas for the lay person."

 

"Stonehenge: A New Interpretation of Prehistoric Man and the Cosmos" by John David North

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UK Edition

 

"Argues that Stonehenge's scientific purpose was to observe the setting midwinter sun, and that astronomical observations made by the ancient Britons were as rational and methodical as they are today. North brings his distinguished background in astronomy to this study of Neolithic monuments. His aim is "to discover certain patterns of intellectual and religious behavior through a study of archaeological remains that seem to have been deliberately directed in some way towards phenomena in the heavens." Most of this book is a painstakingly detailed on-site investigation. Judging from the scale of Stonehenge and other monuments that incorporated astronomical alignments, North argues that the heavens played a central place in Neolithic and Bronze Age religion."

 

"Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland" by Clive Ruggles

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UK Edition

 

"Do prehistoric stone monuments in Britain and Ireland incorporate deliberate astronomical alignments, and if so, what is their purpose and meaning? This work provides an account of megalithic astronomy debates and examines prehistoric man's concern with celestial bodies and events. For decades debates have boiled among archaeologists and astronomers over the idea that prehistoric stone monuments in Britain deliberately incorporate astronomical alignments. In this book Clive Ruggles is the first to approach the subject from the perspectives of both disciplines. He analyzes the history and lessons of previous debates, the most current research, and new agendas for future research."

 

"Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures" by Anthony F. Aveni

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"What is the meaning of Stonehenge? Why was the elaborate Incan city of Cuzco built? What is the significance of the Great Pyramid at the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itz´? These ancient structures have spellbound natives and tourists alike. This mysterious architecture points to a centuries-old search for celestial order. Anthony Aveni, a professor of astronomy and anthropology, takes us on a stimulating virtual tour of these legendary constructions. He describes how they were built and straightforwardly and often humorously critiques diverse theories attempting to explain their origin and function. For example, Aveni breathes life into the mysteries of the Great Pyramid and its use as a sacred temple, sacrificial altar, and celestial calendar."

 

"Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings : Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power" by E. C. Krupp

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"In Skywatchers, Shamans, and Kings, acclaimed author E. C. Krupp takes us on a fascinating journey to all corners of the world to visit the shrines and temples, tombs and caves where ancient priests and rulers communed with the gods of the sky. These are the sacred places where the magical power of the celestial spheres was encountered and the secrets of the planets and stars were divined. The tomb of the Maya ruler Six Sky served as a compass of cosmic power, built at the center of the Maya cosmos where the First Father was said to have given order to the world. The King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid of Egypt contained a narrow portal through which King Khufu ascended to rule over the Imperishable Stars. From the Terrace for Managing Heaven, hosts of skywatchers attended Khubilai Khan and devised masterful calendars of celestial events that confirmed his divinely sanctioned right to rule."

 

"Prehistoric Astronomy in the Southwest" by J. McKim Malville & Claudia Putnam

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"Archaeoastronomy is a discipline pioneered at Stonehenge and other megalithic sites in Britain and France. Many sites in the southwestern United States have yielded evidence of the prehistoric Anasazi’s intense interest in astronomy, similar to that of the megalithic cultures of Europe. The authors describe the astronomical alignments at the well-known sites of Chaco Canyon and Hovenweep and present new evidence, based on recent field work of alignments at Yellow Jacket, Chimney Rock, and Mesa Verde. Drawing on the archaeological evidence, ethnographical parallels with historic pueblo peoples, and mythology from other cultures around the world, the authors present theories about the meaning and function of the mysterious stone alignments and architectural orientations of the prehistoric Southwest."

 

"Ancient Astronomers (Exploring the Ancient World)" by Anthony F. Aveni & Jeremy A. Sabloff (Editor)

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"Anthony Aveni is well known in scholastic circles for his many excellent and ground-breaking publications in the field of archaeoastronomy. This particular volume is geared toward interested laymen and uninitiated scholars who are not yet well grounded in the history of astronomy or ideas of cosmology from an anthropological perspective. The book is graced with numerous and apt illustrations, while the text reads easily with Aveni's smooth and informative style. Chapters were clearly organized thoughtfully, as information builds upon previous explanations and new concepts or ideas are charted out for the neophytes as needed. "Ancient Astronomy" provides an ideal introduction to archaeoastronomy, ethnoastronomy, and cosmology for students in anthropology and the history of astronomy."

 

"Records in Stone: Papers in Memory of Alexander Thom" by Clive Ruggles (Editor)

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"Professor Alexander Thom, who died in 1985, was a distinguished engineer. Independently of his 'mainstream' academic career, he developed a deep and active interest in the prehistoric megalithic sites of Britain and Brittany, visiting and surveying many hundreds of them over a period of forty years. Thom's interpretations of the field data have aroused strong interest and some intense controversy. The main areas of debate are: geometry (the methods used to set out the megalithic rings, many of which appear to be non-circular); mensuration (the possible use of 'standard' units of measurement in setting out rings and rows); and astronomy (the connection between structures aligned upon the horizon and the rising and setting positions of the sun, moon or stars."

 

"The Petroglyph Calendar: An Archaeoastronomy Adventure" by Hubert A. Allen Jr.

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"Tells the story of the author's discovery of a mysterious rock in the New Mexico desert and his unfolding of its significance as a sun shadow-casting calendar that marks dates in much the same way that a sun dial tells time. He proposes that ancestral Puebloans created the petroglyph calendar around 1200 AD. For students and general readers interested in Native American culture, history, archaeology, and astronomy. Arousing his curiosity as a biostatistician and ethnographer, it occurred to him to stick a pen in the center of the triangle and note how the pen's shadow fell precisely through one point of the triangle. After a year's study, the author has now published his very convincing research on the rock. Includes a glossary and b&w photos and diagrams."

"Mysterious Britain"

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"Stonehenge: Secrets of the Unknown"

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"Lost Treasures of the Ancient World 1: Stonehenge and the Ancient Britons"

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"Maya Temples, Tombs and Time"

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"Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: The Pyramids"

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a further selection of books about
Archaeoastronomy

 

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Astro-Archaeology and Megalithic Science
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