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Archaeoastronomy - how do you rate it
Quote:Dunno how long they belligerently stuck to their wiggles but poss centuries/millennia, not got any dating yet
the question is why? what was so important that it had to be... holding to this exact wiggle.

Returning to the alignments hpowever - and I hope you have filled in the short questionnaire
I thought everyone knew that the Romans invented the straight line :face-stir:

Evidence first, find all the possible, eliminate the improbable.......

But, please please please base your interpretations on all the evidence not on some nice-sounding story or what feels right. Or on what some modern 'fringe' society thinks.

Otherwise the Von Danikens and the scientologists and dare I say the druids have an equally valid interpretation
Dinosaur Wrote:In my experience (which is actually pretty extensive when it comes to Neolithic monuments) they could occasionally manage a pretty good circle but they were s**te at anything involving a straight line -couldn't even get the 3 Thornborough henges in a line (unless you subscribe to the 'belt of Orion' school of thought (which always gets brought up wherever someone's failed to get 3 things in a straight line). I've got a (majorr monument) site where they made a total dogs of what was clearly meant to be a straight ditch in Phase 1, then they just carried on blindly following all the wiggles in subsequent phases. Must have looked s**t when it was up. Don't think in reality they actually cared, and we're reading far too much into 'prehistoric geometry'
this statement probably proves why archaeologists should consider archaeoastronomy as much as it shows how obtuse you have to be to presuppose that people wanted straight lines in their architecture just because you think they should
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
Quote:But, please please please base your interpretations on all the evidence

That says it for me. gather evidence... gather data and examine it.

Like anything and everything - just cos we say it is so, does not mean it is... and the more evidence collected the better (never perfect ) it gets) I often get accused of being blinkered and close minded to ideas by pseudo archaeologists. far from it. I prefer to be open to possibilities and empirical evidence.

If I find that a solar alignment takes place on several monuments... I must conclude some connection... ie Churches.

As PP says. the above statement from Dino proves why it should be considered. and I like teh way PP says considered.
they were hardly consistent with church orientations - the intent may have been there but in reality somewhere between north-east and south-east seem to have been fine for the altar end. Some churches can't even manage a common alignment between the nave and chancel. And in towns they often threw the whole thing out and just fitted them to the street plan, so altar at east end can't have been that important, merely an aspiration for when it was convenient. Modern churches seem to have given up entirely depsite the advent of the compass...
Is nt there a theory that the slight misalignment between some chancels and naves is because they were built with enough time between them to make the east west alignments (to the sun) slightly out of kilter?
Though it is interesting to watch Quibla in Mosques get better with better compasses. Smile and also... Dino is only able to make that statement beacuse the alighnments have been checked and measured. as he alos says the intention is ggod.. just practical problems can get in teh way.

East west graves do see to represent Christian graves. or is that another dodgy non-alignment Smile what about the Newgrange sun box?
Big Grin
Dunno how things are done in midgy-land, but in most of christendom they plant people west-east!, bit like in all those west-east Roman cemeteries (including quite a lot of clearly pre-Christian ones) and I seem to have a report here with 100-odd L5th-6th C Anglians arranged in neat strings and almost entirely west-east (even the crouchers) , doubt anyone would suggest they were Christian unless you want to offend the Paulinus etc school of historical thought for Northumbria
:face-topic: If they were dead keen on lining things up on e.g. a star, wouldn't they have put more effort on alignments? As has been pointed out above, its hardly difficult laying out a straight line with 3 sticks. There are an awful lot of stars visible up there on a clear night, even with modern light pollution, so wiggly lines would have led to an awful lot of misdirected star-worship or whatever. They could get it right when it mattered (e.g. Newgrange works), but in most cases I think we're just looking for archaeoastronomy where it never existed. Seem to recall an article where the lines of (unexcavated) AP postholes on the end of the Thornborough double postpit alignment were reconstructed as some arrangement of little fences that served some astronomical purpose (was left none the wiser as to how exactly) when they could just as easily be some sort of building (for which there's an unpublished parallel). Where I've looked into it double pit/post rows often seem to be running from monument (often henge) axes (as at Thornbrough) and aiming for significant topograhic points on the horizon rather than anything astronomical (not got a map handy so can't suggest what Thornborough could be aimed at, but theres some useful hills not too far in that direction). Several people have suggested in print that double-entrance henges are positioned to incorporate existing routeways, nothing too astronomical about that?
The thing to eliminate first is accident. Just coz we think it's great (and it is!) that the rising sun shines through the Newgrange box on a day that we recognise as important, to illuminate a stone that we think is important.......doesn't mean that the builders (or designers!) thought so.

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