The main objective of this project is to study the importance of astronomy as a fundamental part of human culture and civilization from Paleolithic to the present day. Our interest is mainly devoted to the people of the ancient Mediterranean cultures from the Atlantic to the Middle East, with a special dedication to Spain, its geographical neighbourhood and ancient Egypt. However, we are also developing projects in Mesoamerica, Peru and the Pacific islands.
Members of the project
Highlights and results
- The summit of Gran Canaria has been considered as an excellent example of a Cultural Landscape worthy of being declared World Heritage site within the Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative of UNESCO and the IAU. In 2018 the memory has been completed and the process of evaluation by ICOMOS has begun.
- A rock engraving or petroglyph of the aboriginal era on the island of La Palma (Benahoare) has been interpreted as an island map where its major landmarks are represented for purposes of sympathetic magic. This is without doubt one of the finest examples of prehistoric map produced before the development of modern cartography.
- The megalithic monumental complex of Castillejo del Bonete stands as the first evidence of a solar marker (towards the winter solstice sunrise) in a megalithic site of the Iberian Peninsula, indicating that the precise location of the monument was carefully chosen (Benítez de Lugo Enrich, L., Esteban, C., 2018).
The 'Genetic' Analysis of Iberian Dolmens: A Test of the Idea in the Central Pyrenees
Not AvailableBelmonte, J. A. et al.
Light and Shadows over Petra: Astronomy and Landscape in Nabataean Lands
A statistical analysis of the orientation of Nabatean sacred monuments demonstrates that astronomical orientations were often part of an elaborated plan and possibly a trace of the astral nature of the Nabataean religion. Petra and other monuments in the ancient Nabataean kingdom have proven to be marvellous laboratories for the interaction betweenBelmonte, J. A. et al.
On the orientation of Roman cities in Hispania: preliminary results
Despite the fact that ancient writings indicate a clear necessity to orient Roman towns according to the path of the sun (Hyginus Gromatius, Constitutio, 1), Le Gall (1975) in an early work made clear that there was no clear preferred orientation pattern. However, Le Gall’s analysis was done by taking into consideration a sparse number of RomanGonzález-García, A. C. et al.