Man and sky: problems and methods of Archaeoastronomy

Polcaro, A. and Polcaro, V.F. (2009) Man and sky: problems and methods of Archaeoastronomy. Archeologia e Calcolatori, 20. pp. 223-245. ISSN 1120-6861


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Archaeoastronomy is a discipline devoted to the study of the astronomical observations preceding the invention of the telescope. It is an interdisciplinary science, requiring the knowledge of astronomers, archaeologists, linguists, anthropologists and architects. It has highlighted the great importance that ancient civilizations attributed to celestial phenomena and demonstrated how the analysis of the testimonies of this interest can greatly help us in the understanding the past history of mankind. However, we must avoid the mistake of believing that it is possible to study the impact of celestial phenomena on ancient cultures without taking into account their context: unfortunately, this error is still common to date. This paper illustrates the evolution of Archaeoastronomy since the beginning of the 20th century, its basic principles and the modern methodologies for Archaeoastronomy measurements and data analysis. Moreover, the proofs needed to claim the actual intentionality of an astronomical alignment are discussed, showing the potential of Archaeoastronomy, as long as it is strongly linked to, and continuously compared with, excavation data, and combined with Archaeology in various cultural contexts, thus providing valuable assistance in the interpretation of material data.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: History of applications and research projects: theoretical and methodological problems
Subjects: 900 Storia, Geografia e discipline ausiliarie > 930 Storia dei mondo antico fino al 499 ca. > 930.1 Archeologia (Classificare qui la Storia fino al 4000 a.C., l'Archeologia preistorica, le opere interdisciplinari sull'Archeologia) > 930.102 Archeologia - Opere miscellanee > 930.1028 Archeologia – Tecniche, metodologie, apparecchi e strumenti (comprende: Archeometria) > 930.10285 Archeologia – Applicazioni informatiche (comprende: tecniche di datazione)
Depositing User: Dott.ssa Paola Moscati
Date Deposited: 19 May 2010
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2017 10:11

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