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Beyond Paradigms in Cultural Astronomy

Proceedings of the 27th SEAC conference held together with the EAA

A. César González-García, Roslyn M. Frank, Lionel D. Sims, Michael A. Rappenglück, Georg Zotti, Juan A. Belmonte, Ivan Šprajc
Publication Year:
182 pages
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Cultural Astronomy is the endeavour to understand the role of the sky in past and present societies, and how these societies incorporated the sky into their culture. This broad ranging discipline is closely related to archaeology when investigating material remains of the past. Cultural Astronomy also explores the role of the heavens from the perspectives of the anthropological sciences. In recent decades the discipline has been concerned with methodological and theoretical issues. This volume offers chapters based on presentations at the 27th SEAC meeting held in Bern (2019). These chapters provide a vivid image of front-line research in diverse areas, from Roman light and shadow effects to highlight power, to Maya city organization, Etruscan temple orientation or the ontology of the sky.

A. César González García is currently the president of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC). Based at the Institute of Heritage Sciences in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), his main research lines are centered in the orientation of past cultures buildings, including possible astronomical and landscape relations.

Roslyn M. Frank has been an active member of SEAC since its inception. Her research areas are Basque culture and language, ethnomathemtics and ethnoastronomy, landscape and skyscape studies, as well as European folklore and ethnography.

Lionel D. Sims, B.Sc. (Hons) Salford, M.Sc. LSE, M.Sc. Surrey, M.Sc. UCL, Ph.D. UEL. Head of Anthropology, University of East London (Emeritus). A film of his research, ‘Stonehenge Rediscovered’, was commissioned for National Geographic and distributed world-wide. He uses inter-disciplinary method by integrating archaeology, archaeoastronomy, anthropology and mythology.

Michael A. Rappenglück Dr. rer. nat. (history of sciences, history of astronomy) and M.A. (philosophy); He carried out studies of history of natural sciences, astronomy and systematical theology at the Ludwig Maximilian University Munich. Since 1990 he is general manager and head of the Adult Center Gilching, Munich, Germany.

Georg Zotti is computer scientist and astronomer, currently working at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology. His key interest in cultural astronomy is the application of computer graphics and virtual environments for research and demonstration of historical astronomical events, building orientation with enclosing landscape etc.

Juan A. Belmonte is Research Professor of Astronomy at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Tenerife, Spain). He was the President of SEAC from 2005 to 2011. In 2012 he received the "Carlos Jaschek" award of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture for his contributions to the discipline. He is advisory editor of the Journal for the History of Astronomy.

Ivan Šprajc Ph.D. in anthropology (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1997), he is head of the Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies, of the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Šprajc's interests have been focused on Mesoamerican archaeology and archaeoastronomy.

List of editors: A. César González-García, Roslyn M. Frank, Lionel D. Sims, Michael A. Rappenglück, Georg Zotti, Juan A. Belmonte, Ivan ŠprajcContributors: M. Almushawh, A.I. Alpay, J.A. Belmonte, N. Campion, I. Cristofaro, M. De Franceschini, K. Ernstson, R. Gautschy, M. Hiltl, J.C. Holbrook, S. Iwaniszewski, R. Krauss, A.P. Pernigotti, B. Rappenglück, M.A. Rappenglück, V. Reijs, W.F. Romain, L.D. Sims, E. Spinazzè, I. Šprajc, C. Sterken, M. Urrutia-Aparicio, A. Wolf, G. Zotti.

‘A valuable publication not only for archaeologists but all readers interested in the cultural engagement of peoples of the past, and in some instances also of the present, with celestial phenomena.’ Luís Tirapicos, Journal for the History of Astronomy, November 2022

‘It is a very important volume for the field of cultural astronomy and also for the field of archeology in general.’ Dr Alejandro Martín Lopez, Universidad de Buenos Aires

‘This book contributes to this area greatly by capturing the current status of the field of cultural astronomy, archaeoastronomy as well as skyscape archaeology. In its diversity it celebrates and illustrates the multifaceted subject areas coming together.’ Dr Daniel Brown, Nottingham Trent University

Foreword (9781407358222_Gonzalez_Garcia_Foreword.pdf, 237 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (S3033_Gonzalez_Garcia_9781407358222_-_toc.pdf, 347 Kb) [Download]