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NATS 1745 – Lecture 1 Notes.docx

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York University
Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

NATS 1745 – Lecture 1 Notes Archaeoastronomy and the Sun Earliest evidence of mankind understanding the sky Archaeological evidence that motion of sun and stars helped to predict behaviour of the movement Connection to the sun is the earliest sign Path through the sky follows an easily recognizable cycle essential to survival and tracking time Newgrange (~3200 BC) Newgrange’s roofbox is aligned to the winter solstice sunrise. Simple solar connection On east coast of Ireland Photograph is not of original structure but a reconstruction of the ruins Controversy of small details, but main features properly represented Inside: A rock passageway which leads to a chamber with three rooms or alcoves Spiral carvings throughout Bottom right = watercolour of rocks in centre, rock in middle has a bowl shape  found in other rooms as well Possibly used to hold ashes of important people Above the entrance is a carefully constructed square hole  sun rises on shortest day of the year, “winter solstice” The alignment of the tomb likely reflects a belief in rebirth or reincarnation. “Magical NewGrange
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