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Natural Science
NATS 1745
Robin Metcalfe

NATS1745 60 History of AstronomyChapter 1 ArchaestronomyThroughout the world we find evidence that prehistoric mankind developed the ability to predict the cycles of the sky3 sites with archaeological evidence of a solar connectionNewgrangeIrelandlarge stone tomb over 5000 yrs old 3200 BC 20ft high roofRock passageway on inside Roofbox above entrance Newgranges roofbox is aligned to the winter solstice sunriseLight illuminated on winter solstice through roofbox illuminates main chamber for 15 minAlignment of the tomb likely reflects a belief in rebirth or reincarnationBuilders of newgrange propbably believed in some form of reincarnationSundagger New Mexico1000 AD major settlement contained over 600 rooms Known as very central placeOn the summit of Fajada Butter in New Mex 2 spiral carvings were found behind 3 stone slabsAt noon on the solstices and equinoxes the sundagger exhibits 2 beams of sunlight which either bisect or frame the spiralsOnly perfectly bisected spiral on day of summer solsticeStonehenge Southwest England3000 BC rings of stones most famous archeology relative to astronomy placement of stones from about 2200BC but ditch was added about 1000 yrs laterStonehenges Heel Stone is aligned to the summer solstice sunrise Very dramatic appearance Appears as a torch Today summer solstice sun rises BEHIND the Heel stone When Stongehenge was built the summer solstice sun rose BESIDE the Heel stone due to the precession of the equinoxesThis suggests there were initially 2 heel stones Had the second stone still been there the light would shine between the two Stones were constructed to frame the sun rather than block light Stonehenge constructed before 2300 when the druids started using for ritualsEach stone is about the size of car and about mass of 5 elephantsSeveral celestial alignments have been studied by archaeastronomers The builders would have had to understand the suns motion to understand the astronomy they didSun rises on easy and sets on the west it appears because the earth turns in the opposite directionCelesstial bodies move in an arch westerly
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