Archaeoastronomy: A Sustainable Way to Grasp the Skylore of Past Societies

González García, A. C.; Belmonte J. A.
Bibliographical reference

Sustainability (2019) 11, 2240, 1-17

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4
2019
Description
If astronomy can be understood as the contemplation of the sky for any given purpose, we must realize that possibly all societies throughout time and in all regions have watched the sky. The why, who, how and when of such investigation is the pursuit of cultural astronomy. When the research is done with the archaeological remains of a given society, the part of cultural astronomy that deals with them is archaeoastronomy. This interdisciplinary field employs non-invasive techniques that mix methodologies of the natural sciences with the epistemology of humanities. Those techniques are reviewed here, providing an excellent example of sustainable research. In particular, we include novel research on the Bohí Valley Romanesque churches. The results provided go beyond the data. This is because they add new value to existing heritage or discovers new heritage due to the possible relationship to the spatial and temporal organization of past societies. For the case of the Bohí churches the results point to a number of peculiarities of these churches in a valley in the Pyrenees. This links these aspects to the ritual, practical and power sphere of past societies. A wonderful example of such links is the high mountain sanctuaries in Gran Canaria, where archaeoastronomy helps promoting a World Heritage candidacy.
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Archaeoastronomy

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

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