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Echoes of the ancient skies : the astronomy of lost civilizations

Author: E C Krupp
Publisher: New York : Harper & Row, ©1983.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Summary:
The intriguing world of archaeoastronomy - the study of ancient peoples' observations of the skies and the impact of what they saw on their cultural evolution - is the focus of this eminently readable and authoritative survey. Krupp's interpretations of sky-watching customs from around the world range from everyday pursuits such as measuring time and calculating planting seasons to philosophical issues concerning  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Krupp, E. C. (Edwin C.), 1944-
Echoes of the ancient skies.
New York : Harper & Row, ©1983
(OCoLC)904187019
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: E C Krupp
ISBN: 0060151013 9780060151010 0195088018 9780195088014
OCLC Number: 8669471
Description: xiii, 386 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: 1. The Lights We See. How the sky works and how we use it: Day and night. Directions. The seasons. The year. precession. Cycles of planets. Cycles of the moon. The sky symbolism of Osiris. --
2. The Skies We Watch. Ancient and prehistoric observatories: "stretching of the Cord" ceremony (Egypt). Bronze age inscriptions in China. Babylonian astronomical tables. The "Sun Circle" at Cahokia, Illinois. Kintraw, Scotland. Megalithic lunar observatories. Inca skywatchers at Machu Picchu. The Caracol of Chichen Itza, Yucatan. Gnomons in ancient China. --
3. The Gods We Worship. Sky gods around the world --
why we have them and what they mean: Sun gods, divine planets, and sacred stars. Gods of rain, fertility, and storm. Sacred kingship --
the connection between sky and earth. --
4. The Tales We Tell. Sky myths and the cycle of cosmic order: Phaethon, a Greek myth. The Pleiades and the opossum (Barasana Indians, Colombia). The Omaha Indian myth of the sacred pole. The birth of Huitzilopochtli (Aztec). The retreat of the sun goddess and her return (Japan). --
5. The Dead We Bury. The celestial components of funerals and tombs and the journeys of the dead: The Great Pyramid. Royal Tombs of New Kingdom Egypt. The tumulus of China's first emperor and other Chinese tombs. Burial and the city plan of Cahokia. The Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque (Maya). Newgrange (prehistoric Ireland). --
6. The Vigils We Keep. Shamanism and the celestial travels of the soul: California Indian sun shrines. Mysical star treaders of China. Tukano Indians and their shamans (Colombia). Medicine wheels of North America. Sun priests in the American Southwest. Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. --
7. The Days We Tally. Calendars and the sacred structure of time: Notation and the Ice Age hunters of Europe. Stone rings and the calendar of prehistoric Britain. Namoratunga II and the calendar in ancient Kenya. The three calendars of dynastic Egypt. Calendars, omens, and kings in China and Babylon. The Inca calendar and Inca society. Calendar cycles of the Maya and the Aztec. --
8. The Rituals We Perform. Ceremonies that celebrate the sky: The Hopi Indians and the winter solstice. The "Burning of Tara" and the Irish Celts. Imperial ritual in old Beijing. The Inca festival of Inti Raymi. The Babylonian New Year. "Bundling the Years" in ancient Mexico (Aztec). The "Opening of the Mouth" ceremony in ancient Egypt. --
9. The Space We Enclose. Astronomy, geometry, and sacred space: Stonehenge. Other megalithic rings in England. Scotland's recumbent stone circles. Sarmizegetusa --
a Thracian temple. --10. The Temples We Align. Astronomical orientation and symbolism in ancient temples: Casa Rinconada and other kivas (American Southwest). The Skidi Pawnee earth lodge. Kogi temples (Colombia). Alta Vista, Monte Alban, Uaxactun, and Uxmal --
celestial alignment in ancient Mexico. Solar sanctuaries of New Kingdom Egypt. --
11. The Cities We Plan. Sacred capitals and the source of world order: Beijing. Pueblo Bonito. Tenochtitlan. Cuzco. Teotihuacan. --
12. The Symbols We Draw. How we code the sky and what those messages say about our brains: Mescalero Apache and the four-pointed star. Cross glyphs and pecked crosses from ancient Mexico. The Aztec "Calendar Stone." The serpent of equinox sunlight at Chichen Itza. Irish rock art, Knowth. A honeycomb mural from prehistoric Turkey (Catal Huyuk). Babylonian boundary stones. Winged suns from Mesopotamia and Egypt. Horizon symbols and astronomical observation. The UFO --
a modern sky symbol. --
13. The Universes We Design. Cosmology and why we do it: The Desana Indian cosmos (Colombia). The bell-shaped universe of the Warao (Venezuela). Greek cosmologies. The sky and earth in ancient China. The heralds of modern cosmology --
Copernicus, Kepler and Newton. The hierarchical universe of ancient Mexico. Hubble's redshift and the expanding universe.
Responsibility: by E.C. Krupp.

Abstract:

The intriguing world of archaeoastronomy - the study of ancient peoples' observations of the skies and the impact of what they saw on their cultural evolution - is the focus of this eminently readable and authoritative survey. Krupp's interpretations of sky-watching customs from around the world range from everyday pursuits such as measuring time and calculating planting seasons to philosophical issues concerning the role of humanity within the larger context of the universe. Beginning with an explanation of how the sky works and how people have relied upon its guidance for centuries, Dr. Krupp explores ancient and prehistoric observatories, from sites in China and Babylonia to Scotland and Peru. He relates sky god mythology from many cultures, discusses astronomy's influence on funerary rites and other vigils and rituals, and profiles sacred places such as Stonehenge and the kivas of the American Southwest.

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