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).
Keeping Ma’at: An astronomical approach to the orientation of the temples in ancient Egypt
For various reasons, Archaeoastronomy has not been one of the favourite disciplines of the Egyptologists in the past. Probably because of that, important questions such as the orientation of Egyptian temples and the relevance of astronomy in this respect had never been afforded with the necessary seriousness and deepness. The Egyptian-SpanishBelmonte, J. A. et al.
Book Review: The Archaeotopography of Egypt
Review of the book : Architecture, Astronomy and Sacred Landscape in Ancient Egypt. Giulio Magli (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013). Pp. xii + 272. £60. ISBN 978-1-10703-208-8.Belmonte, J. A.
Orientatio ad sidera: astronomy and landscape in Qart Hadašt/Carthago Nova
Archaeological investigations in Cartagena –the ancient Punic Qart Hadašt, Roman Carthago Nova– have manifested the existence of ritual, urban and topographical elements that could be analyzed from the perspective of Cultural Astronomy. Therefore, in October 2013, an interdisciplinary team of astronomers and archaeologists conducted a fieldGonzález-García, A. C. et al.