Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy

Editors: Ruggles, Clive L.N. (Ed.)

  • Explains the study of cultural perceptions and understandings of astronomical phenomena across various disciplines
  • Collates theory, method, interpretation and best practices in Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy
  • Illuminates broad issues through thematic articles and both geographic and historical case studies
  • Includes studies of contemporary practices related to astronomy, particularly among modern indigenous societies
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About this Reference Work

How human communities interpret what they perceive in the sky is vital in fulfilling humankind’s most basic need to comprehend the universe it inhabits, both from a modern scientific perspective and from countless other cultural standpoints, extending right back to early prehistory. Archaeoastronomy, which is concerned with cultural perceptions and understandings of astronomical phenomena, is a rich cross-disciplinary field.

The central aim of “Handbook of Archaeoastronomy” is to provide a reliable source for theory, method, interpretation and best practices that will give a definitive picture of the state of the art research in this field for serious scholars regardless of the discipline(s) in which they are qualified. It will be equally suitable for those already contributing to the field and those interested in entering it. Also included are studies in ethnoastronomy, which is concerned with contemporary practices related to astronomy, particularly among modern indigenous societies.

A major part of this MRW is comprised of a set of wide-ranging archaeoastronomical case studies both geographically and through time, stretching right back to Palaeolithic days, and also in terms of the types of human society and nature of their astronomical ideas and practices. However, these are chosen in order to best illuminate broader issues and themes, rather than to attempt, for example, to provide systematic coverage of recent ‘discoveries.’

Thematic articles cover general themes such as cosmologies, calendars, navigation, orientations and alignments, and ancient perceptions of space and time. They also highlight various aspects of the social context of astronomy (its relationship to social power, warfare, etc) and how we interpret astronomical practices within the framework of conceptual approaches. There are also discussions of broad issues such as ethnocentrism, nationalism, and astronomical dating. The “methods and practices” articles cover topics from field methodology and survey procedures to social theory, as well as providing broad definitions and explanations of key concepts. We are also including a number of “disciplinary perspectives” on approaches to archaeoastronomy written by leading figures in the constituent fields. These articles cover material that, generally speaking, would be familiar to graduates in the relevant discipline but, critically, not so to those with different backgrounds.

About the authors

Dr. Clive Ruggles is currently an Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, the University of Leicester.

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Table of contents (218 chapters)

  • Concepts of Space, Time, and the Cosmos

    Iwaniszewski, Stanisław

    Pages 3-14

  • Calendars and Astronomy

    Ruggles, Clive L. N.

    Pages 15-30

  • Astronomy and Chronology - Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt

    Krauss, Rolf

    Pages 31-41

  • Astronomy and Navigation

    Pimenta, Fernando

    Pages 43-65

  • Astronomy and Power

    Krupp, Edwin C.

    Pages 67-91

Buy this book

Print $1,200.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-6140-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
eReference $1,200.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-6141-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Print + eBook $1,740.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-6142-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Online orders shipping within 2-3 days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy
Editors
  • Clive L.N. Ruggles
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
Print ISBN
978-1-4614-6140-1
eReference ISBN
978-1-4614-6141-8
Print + eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-6142-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXXVI, 2297
Number of Illustrations and Tables
597 b/w illustrations, 372 illustrations in colour
Topics