Blog #2: Archaeoastronomy, or Ancient Astronomy

Archaeoastronomy is the study of the practice of astronomy in prehistory, or Ancient Astronomy. Once the subject of much debate by scientists, it is now accepted that astronomy was indeed practiced in prehistory. Human astronomical observations began in the Palaeolithic period, with the discovery of “decorated Baboon fibula with 29 parallel notches incised notches from Kwazulu border cave, Africa.” This discovery, from 35,000 – 33,000 BC, has 86 notches on a tablet, a number that has two special meanings: “it is the number of days that must be subtracted from a year to equal the average number of days of a human gestation”, as well as the number of days Betelguese, “one of Orion’s two prominent stars”, is visible. Later, in 32,000 BC, lunar notations were found on remains in W. Siberia, and even later, in 22,000 BC, artefacts to record “the solar year and phases of the moon” were also found in Siberia. Mesolithic Astronomy is the next phase, which began around 10,000 BC and includes the discovery of bone plaque being found, around 9,000 BC, in Grotte Dutai, in west France, as well as “engraved bone with lunar notations from Ishango, Congo” being found in 6,500 BC. Finally, we have the neolithic to present phase, which began around 5,000 BC, and included the discovery of the Kerkado passage in Carnac, France, a monument used for lunar observations, as well as the new, predominately lunar monuments being discovered in 3,300 BC , in Lochmariaquer, France. To learn more about Archeoastronomy, please refer to the source.




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