The Springer Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy


General editor: Clive Ruggles

Section editors: Juan Antonio Belmonte, Stanisław Iwaniszewski, Alejandro López, Stephen C. McCluskey, John Steele and Sun Xiaochun

Published in 2014 by Springer

This three-volume reference work aims to provide a definitive picture of the state of art of research in this field, and to be a reliable and wide-ranging source regarding theory, method, interpretation, and best practice.

Published in both electronic and printed form, it is suitable for academic readers and researchers regardless of their disciplinary expertise, and will also be accessible to students and serious general readers.

Full contents list

The 217 articles listed below are accessible on-line at Springer Link if your institution has the relevant subscription.

Part I: Themes and issues

Part II: Methods and practice

Part III: Pre-Columbian and indigenous North America

Part IV: Pre-Columbian and indigenous Mesoamerica

Part V: Pre-Columbian and indigenous South America

Part VI: Indigenous and Islamic astronomy in Africa

Part VII: Prehistoric Western Europe

Part VIII: Prehistoric Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Part IX: Ancient Egypt and the Classical World

Part X: Traditional astronomies in medieval and early modern Europe

Part XI: Ancient Near East

Part XII: India and the Islamic Near East

Part XIII: China and the Far East

Part XIV: Oceania, Australasia and the Malay Archipelago

Stonehenge, United Kingdom (Photo © Clive Ruggles)

Part I: Themes and issues
  1. Concepts of space, time and the cosmos by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  2. Calendars and astronomy by Clive Ruggles
  3. Astronomy and chronology—Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt by Rolf Krauss
  4. Astronomy and navigation by Fernando Pimenta
  5. Astronomy and power by Edwin C. Krupp
  6. Astronomy and politics by John Steele
  7. Astrology as cultural astronomy by Nicholas Campion
  8. Astronomy, astrology and medicine by Dorian Greenbaum
  9. Ancient “observatories”—a relevant concept? by Juan Antonio Belmonte
  10. Origins of the “Western” constellations by Roslyn Frank
  11. Astronomy in the service of Christianity by Stephen C. McCluskey
  12. Astronomy in the service of Islam by David King
  13. Interaction between “indigenous” and “colonial” astronomies: adaption of indigenous astronomies in the modern world by Alejandro López
  14. Development of archaeoastronomy in the English-speaking world by Alun Salt
  15. Disciplinary perspectives on archaeoastronomy by Stephen C. McCluskey
  16. Astronomy and rock art studies by William Breen Murray
  17. Presentation of archaeoastronomy in introductions to archaeology by Victor B. Fisher
  18. Archaeoastronomical concepts in popular culture by Edwin C. Krupp
  19. Astrotourism and archaeoastronomy by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  20. Archaeoastronomical heritage and the World Heritage Convention by Michel Cotte
Part II: Methods and practice
  1. Cultural interpretation of archaeological evidence relating to astronomy
    by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  2. Cultural interpretation of historical evidence relating to astronomy
    by Stephen C. McCluskey
  3. Cultural interpretation of ethnographic evidence relating to astronomy
    by Alejandro López
  4. Nature and analysis of material evidence relevant to archaeoastronomy
    by Clive Ruggles
  5. Best practice for evaluating the astronomical significance of archaeological sites
    by Clive Ruggles
  6. Techniques of field survey by Frank Prendergast
  7. Analyzing orientations by Clive Ruggles
  8. Analyzing light-and-shadow interactions by Stephen C. McCluskey
  9. Visualization tools and techniques by Georg Zotti
  10. Basic concepts of positional astronomy by Clive Ruggles
  11. Long-term changes in the appearance of the sky by Clive Ruggles
  12. Solar alignments—identification and analysis by Juan Antonio Belmonte
  13. Lunar alignments—identification and analysis by César González
  14. Alignments upon Venus (and other planets)—identification and analysis by Ivan Šprajc
  15. Stellar alignments—identification and analysis by Clive Ruggles

Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, USA (Photo © Clive Ruggles)

Part III: Pre-Columbian and indigenous North America
  1. Inuit astronomy by John MacDonald
  2. Medicine Wheels of the Great Plains by David Vogt
  3. Hohokam archaeoastronomy by Todd W. Bostwick
  4. Mesa Verde archaeoastronomy by Gregory E. Munson
  5. Great Houses and the sun—the astronomy of Chaco Canyon by Kim Malville
  6. Rock Art of the greater southwest by Edwin C. Krupp
  7. Hopi and Anasazi alignments and rock art by Bryan C. Bates
  8. Sun-dagger sites by Ray Williamson
  9. Diné (Navajo) ethno- and archaeoastronomy by Von Del Chamberlain
  10. Pueblo ethnoastronomy by Ray Williamson
  11. Hopi and Puebloan ethnoastronomy and ethnoscience by Stephen C. McCluskey
  12. Astronomy and rock art in Mexico by William Breen Murray
  13. Boca de Potrerillos by William Breen Murray
Part IV: Pre-Columbian and indigenous Mesoamerica
  1. Astronomical deities in ancient Mesoamerica by Susan Milbrath
  2. Astronomy in the Dresden Codex by Gabrielle Vail
  3. Counting lunar phase cycles in Mesoamerica by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  4. Astronomical correlates of architecture and landscape in Mesoamerica by Ivan Šprajc
  5. Astronomy at Teotihuacan by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  6. Pecked cross-circles by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  7. Templo Mayor, Tenochtitlan—Calendar and astronomy by Jesús Galindo Trejo
  8. Cave of the astronomers at Xochicalco by Arnold Lebeuf
  9. Colonial Zapotec calendars and calendrical astronomy by John S. Justeson
  10. Layout of ancient Maya cities by Grant Aylesworth
  11. Governor’s Palace at Uxmal by Ivan Šprajc
  12. E-Group arrangements by Grant Aylesworth

The thirteen towers of Chankillo, Peru (Photo © Clive Ruggles)

Part V: Pre-Columbian and indigenous South America
  1. Pre-Inca astronomy in Peru by Kim Malville
  2. Chankillo by Iván Ghezzi and Clive Ruggles
  3. Geoglyphs of the Peruvian coast by Clive Ruggles
  4. Inca astronomy and calendrics by David Dearborn and Brian Bauer
  5. Inca calendar by Mariusz Ziółkowski
  6. Ceque system of Cuzco—a yearly calendar-almanac in space and time by R. Tom Zuidema
  7. Inca Royal Estates in the Sacred Valley by Kim Malville
  8. Machu Picchu by Kim Malville
  9. Island of the Sun—Elite and non-elite observations of the June solstice by David Dearborn and Brian Bauer
  10. Inca moon—some evidence for lunar observations in Tahuantinsuyu by Mariusz Ziółkowski, Jacek Kosciuk and Fernando Astete
  11. Observations of comets and eclipses in the Andes by Mariusz Ziółkowski
  12. Landscape, mountain worship and astronomy at Socaire by Ricardo Moyano
  13. Skyscape of an Amazonian diaspora: Arawak astronomy in historical comparative perspective by Fabiola Jara
  14. Astronomy in Brazilian ethnohistory by Flávia Pedroza Lima
  15. Ticuna astronomy, mythology and cosmovision by Priscila Faulhaber
  16. Moxos’ lagoons by Juan Antonio Belmonte and Josep Barba
  17. “Chiriguano” astronomy—Venus and a Guarani new year by Gonzalo Pereira
  18. Astronomy and cosmology of the Guaraní of southern Brazil by Flávia Cristina de Mello
  19. The sky among the Toba of western Formosa (Gran Chaco, Argentina) by Cecilia Gómez
  20. Astronomy in the Chaco region, Argentina by Alejandro López
  21. Ethnoastronomy in the multicultural context of the agricultural colonies in northern Santa Fe province, Argentina by Armando Mudrik
  22. Selk'nam astronomy by Sixto Giménez Benítez
Part VI: Indigenous and Islamic astronomy in Africa
  1. Cultural astronomy in Africa south of the Sahara by Jarita Holbrook
  2. Indigenous astronomy in southern Africa by Thebe Medupe
  3. “Reading” central African skies: a case study from southeastern DRC by Allen F. Roberts
  4. Mursi and Borana calendars by Clive Ruggles
  5. Yoruba ethnoastronomy—“Orisha/Vodun’” or how people’s conceptions of the sky constructed science by Aimé Dafon Segla
  6. Pre-Islamic dry-stone monuments of the central and western Sahara by Yves Gauthier
  7. Astronomy at Nabta Playa, southern Egypt by Kim Malville
  8. Pre-Islamic religious monuments in North Africa by César Esteban
  9. Astronomy as practiced in West African city of Timbuktu by Thebe Medupe
  10. Calendar pluralism and the cultural heritage of domination and resistance (Tuareg and other Saharans) by Clare Oxby
  11. Pre-hispanic sanctuaries in the Canary Islands by Juan Antonio Belmonte
  12. A modern myth—the “pyramids” of Güímar by Antonio Aparicio and César Esteban

View of the skyline from the interior of the painted cave of La Candelaria, Gran Canaria, Spain (Photo © Clive Ruggles)

Part VII: Prehistoric Western Europe
  1. Patterns of orientation in the megalithic tombs of the western Mediterranean
    by Michael Hoskin
  2. Seven-stone antas by Michael Hoskin
  3. Megalithic cromlechs of Iberia by Fernando Pimenta and Luís Tirapicos
  4. Iberian sanctuaries by César Esteban
  5. Taula sanctuaries of Menorca by Michael Hoskin
  6. Celtic sites of central Iberia by Manuel Pérez
  7. Basque saroiak by Luis Mari Zaldua
  8. Possible calendrical inscriptions on Palaeolithic artifacts by Michael Rappenglück
  9. Possible astronomical depictions in Franco-Cantabrian Palaeolithic rock art
    by Michael Rappenglück
  10. Astronomical symbolism in Bronze-Age and Iron-Age rock art by Marco García Quintela and Manuel Santos
  11. Stonehenge and its landscape by Clive Ruggles
  12. The Neolithic and Bronze Age monument complex of Thornborough, North Yorkshire, UK by Jan Harding
  13. Irish Neolithic tombs in their landscape by Frank Prendergast
  14. Boyne valley tombs by Frank Prendergast
  15. Recumbent stone circles by Clive Ruggles
  16. Scottish short stone rows by Clive Ruggles
Part VIII: Prehistoric Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia
  1. TRB megalithic tombs and long barrows in central Europe by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  2. Neolithic longhouses and Bronze Age houses in central Europe by Emilia Pásztor and Judit Barna
  3. Neolithic circular ditch systems (“rondels”) in central Europe by Emilia Pásztor, Judit Barna and Georg Zotti
  4. Celestial symbolism of the Vučedol culture by Emília Pásztor
  5. Celestial symbolism in central European later prehistory—case studies from the Bronze Age Carpathian Basin by Emília Pásztor
  6. Nebra Disk by Emília Pásztor
  7. Lessons of Odry by Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  8. Astronomical orientation in the ancient Dacian sanctuaries of Romania
    by Florin Stanescu
  9. Astronomy in the Bulgarian Neolithic by Alexey Stoev and Penka Maglova
  10. Thracian sanctuaries by Penka Maglova and Alexey Stoev
  11. Thracian dolmens by César González, Dimiter Kolev and Vesselina Koleva
  12. Sardinian nuraghes by Mauro Peppino Zedda
  13. Nuraghic well of Santa Cristina, Paulilatino, Oristano, Sardinia by Arnold Lebeuf
  14. Temples of Malta by Frank Ventura and Michael Hoskin
  15. Minoan astronomy by Mary Blomberg and Göran Henriksson
  16. Astronomy in the ancient Caucasus by Irakli Simonia and B. Jijelava
  17. Carahunge: a critical assessment by César González
  18. Observational and cult sites in pre-Christian Georgia by Irakli Simonia, B. Jijelava, and G. Gigauri

Zorats Karer (Carahunge), Armenia (Photo © Clive Ruggles)

Part IX: Ancient Egypt and the Classical World
  1. Egyptian cosmology and cosmogony by James Allen
  2. Egyptian constellations by José Lull and Juan Antonio Belmonte
  3. Ancient Egyptian calendars by Anthony Spalinger
  4. Egyptian “star clocks” by Sarah Symons
  5. Orientation of Egyptian temples—an overview by Juan Antonio Belmonte
  6. Monuments of the Giza plateau by Clive Ruggles
  7. Karnak by Juan Antonio Belmonte
  8. Kingdom of Kush by Juan Antonio Belmonte
  9. Greek cosmology and cosmogony by Alexander Jones
  10. Greek constellations by Stamatina Mastorakou
  11. Ancient Greek calendars by Robert Hannah
  12. Greek temples and rituals by Efrosyni Boutsikas
  13. Greek mathematical astronomy by Alexander Jones
  14. Material culture of Greek and Roman astronomy by James Evans
  15. Reconstructing the Antikythera mechanism by Tony Freeth
  16. Greco-Roman astrometeorology by Daryn Lehoux
  17. Greco-Roman astrology by Roger Beck
  18. Etruscan divination and architecture by Giulio Magli
  19. Roman city planning and spatial organization by César González and Giulio Magli
  20. Light at the Pantheon by Robert Hannah and Giulio Magli
  21. Nemrud Dag by Juan Antonio Belmonte and César González
  22. Mithraism by Roger Beck
Part X: Traditional astronomies in medieval and early modern Europe
  1. Skylore of the indigenous peoples of northern Eurasia by Roslyn Frank
  2. Qibla in the Mediterranean by Mònica Rius
  3. Interactions between Islamic and Christian astronomical traditions in the Iberian Peninsula by César González and Juan Antonio Belmonte
  4. Orientation of Christian churches by Stephen C. McCluskey
  5. Orientation of English early medieval parish churches by Peter Hoare
  6. Church orientations in Slovenia by Saša Čaval
  7. Church orientations in central and eastern Europe by Rimvydas Laužikas
  8. Role of light–shadow hierophanies in early medieval art by Kirsten Ataoguz
  9. Light–shadow interactions in Italian medieval churches by Manuela Incerti
  10. Lost skies of Italian folk astronomy by Piero Barale
  11. Folk calendars in the Balkan region by Dimiter Kolev
  12. Wooden calendar sticks in eastern Europe by Vesselina Koleva and Svetlana Koleva

Slipper (St. Catherine’s) chapel, Houghton St. Giles, United Kingdom. (Photo by John Salmon, wikimedia commons licence)

Part XI: Ancient Near East
  1. Orientation in Hittite monuments by César González and Juan Antonio Belmonte
  2. Orientation of Phoenician temples by José Luis Escacena
  3. Astronomy in the Levant during the Bronze Age and Iron Age by Andrea Polcaro
  4. Petra and the Nabateans by Juan Antonio Belmonte and César González
  5. Mesopotamian cosmogony and cosmology by Wayne Horowitz
  6. Mesopotamian star lists by Wayne Horowitz
  7. Mesopotamian celestial divination by Lorenzo Verderame
  8. Mesopotamian calendars by John Steele
  9. Astronomy, divination and politics in the Neo-Assyrian empire by Lorenzo Verderame
  10. Babylonian observational and predictive astronomy by John Steele
  11. Babylonian mathematical astronomy by Mathieu Ossendrijver
  12. Late Babylonian astrology by John Steele
  13. Transmission of Babylonian astronomy to other cultures by Alexander Jones
  14. Ancient and medieval Jewish calendars by Sacha Stern
  15. Astronomy in the Book of Enoch by Jonathan Ben-Dov
  16. Astronomy and calendars at Qumran by Jonathan Ben-Dov
  17. Ancient Persian skywatching and calendars by Arkadiusz Sołtysiak
Part XII: India and the Islamic Near East
  1. Islamic mathematical astronomy by Clemency Montelle
  2. Islamic astronomical instruments and observatories by Tofigh Heidarzadeh
  3. Islamic folk astronomy by Petra Schmidl
  4. Folk astronomy and calendars in Yemen by Daniel Martin Varisco
  5. Star clocks and water management in Oman by Harriet Nash
  6. Astronomy of the Vedic Age by Yukio Ôhashi
  7. Use of astronomical principles in Indian temple architecture by BS Shylaja
  8. Astronomy of Indian cities, temples and pilgrimage centers by Kim Malville
  9. Mathematical astronomy in India by Kim Plofker
  10. Vākya system of astronomy by MS Sriram
  11. Kerala school of astronomy by K Ramasubramanian
  12. Astronomical instruments in India by SR Sarma
  13. Observatories of Sawai Jai Singh II by Susan N. Johnson-Roehr

Bronze instruments from the Qing dynasty on the brick platform at Beijing Ancient Observatory, China (Photo © Clive Ruggles)

Part XIII: China and the Far East
  1. Ancient Chinese astronomy—an overview by Shi Yun-li
  2. Observations of celestial phenomena in ancient China by Sun Xiaochun
  3. Chinese constellations and star maps by Sun Xiaochun
  4. Chinese calendar and mathematical astronomy by Sun Xiaochun
  5. Shang oracle bones by David Pankenier
  6. Excavated documents dealing with Chinese astronomy by Guan Yuzhen
  7. Astronomy and city planning in China by David Pankenier
  8. Gnomons in ancient China by Li Geng
  9. Taosi observatory by Sun Xiaochun
  10. Dengfeng large gnomon by Xu Fengxian
  11. Ancient Chinese sundials by Deng Kehui
  12. Chinese armillary spheres by Sun Xiaochun
  13. Water-powered astronomical clock tower by Sun Xiaochun
  14. Beijing ancient observatory by Shi Yun-li
  15. Astronomical aspects of Korean dolmens by Yang Hong-Jin
  16. Korean astronomical calendar, Chiljeongsan by Lee Eun-Hee
  17. Striking clepsydras by Nam Moon-Hyon
  18. Song I-Yeong’s armillary clock by Kim Sang-Hyuk and Lee Yong-Sam
  19. Cultural astronomy in Japan by Steven L. Renshaw
Part XIV: Oceania, Australasia and the Malay Archipelago
  1. Cultural production of skylore in Indonesia by Gene Ammarell
  2. Australian aboriginal astronomy—an overview by Ray Norris and Duane Hamacher
  3. Australian aboriginal astronomy and cosmology by Philip A. Clarke
  4. Archaeoastronomy in Polynesia by Clive Ruggles
  5. Ancient Hawaiian astronomy by Clive Ruggles
  6. Archaeoastronomy of Easter Island by Edmundo Edwards


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