Celestial Geometry : Understanding the Astronomical Meanings of Ancient Sites Hardback
by Ken Taylor
This book travels the world to explore over 60 archaeological sites that enshrine the remarkable achievements of ancient astronomers.
In many cultures an early understanding of the cosmos is expressed through architecture - stone circles that act as giant computers for the timing of eclipses; apertures that offer sightlines to the rising or setting sun at one of the solstices; or connections with the rising or setting of planets - as well as a host of allusions to sky gods and goddesses in carvings and wall paintings. The author's focus ranges broadly - from the great stone circles of Europe (Stonehenge, Ring of Brodgar, Carnac) to the pyramids of Egypt and the pyramid-temples of Central America, from the medicine wheels of North America to the carved monoliths of Easter Island.
In part, however, the book's value lies in its revelation of astronomical alignments in lesser-known structures, such as the vast sun clock of Goseck in Germany, the mysterious standing stones of the Basque Country and the ancient rock art of Australia. The book is organised by key celestial events including lunar and solar eclipses, and features original artwork showing key alignments and the movements of the planets and stars.
This is a beautiful and fascinating insight into the mysteries of the ancient world - and a convincing vision of mankind's efforts to integrate our sense of spiritual belonging with the mysteries of space and time.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 240 pages, col. Illustrations
- Publisher: Watkins Media
- Publication Date: 11/10/2012
- Category: Prehistoric archaeology
- ISBN: 9781780283869
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Review by Katyas
Book Info: Genre: Metaphysics/Archeoastronomy/MythologyReading Level: AdultRecommended for: those interested in these ideasMy Thoughts: What an absolutely fascinating book! The only problem is that this is a heavily illustrated book in e-galley format that I was trying to read on a Kindle PaperWhite, which means the formatting was a mess. A lot of the pictures didn't show up at all, and those that did were not necessarily where they should have been, the picture subtitles were interspersed into the text, sentences would begin and never end, or stop half-way and finish two or three pages later... it was pretty hard to maintain the thread of the text.However, I managed to keep myself more or less on the path they had put in front of me, and I really enjoyed reading this. I've always been interested in stuff like this, and to learn some of the fascinating things I did was particularly good. For instance, the Newgrange observatory is over half a millennium older than the Great Pyramid! The ancient Irish were more advanced then the Egyptians, how about that? I was also fascinated to learn that the hymns to Aten (worshipped during the time that Moses was growing up the son of a princess in Egypt) are very similar to the hymns that Moses later wrote and dedicated to Jehovah... There are actually a lot of parallels in the Bible to earlier myths and legends, which makes me think that a lot of the Bible is basically plagiarism.At any rate, people who are interested in the history of astronomy, and in various ancient cultures and how they saw the skies, should find this book fascinating. I absolutely want a hard copy of this book so I can view it properly, with all the pictures and labels in the correct places, so I'll be adding the book to my wishlist as soon as I finish with my review. If it sounds like your sort of thing, don't hesitate—it's a fascinating read.Disclosure: I received an e-galley through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.Synopsis: Since the dawn of civilization, humans have sought inspiration and guidance in the night sky. Celestial Geometry explores the remarkable achievements of ancient astronomers at over 60 archaeological sites, from European stone circles like Stonehenge to the pyramids of Egypt and Central America, the medicine wheels of North America, the carved monoliths of Easter Island, and lesser-known structures like the sun clock of Goseck. Combining myths and legends with modern science, this beautifully illustrated book is a profoundly illuminating celebration of human curiosity and creativity.