Orientatio ad sidera: astronomy and landscape in Qart Hadašt/Carthago Nova

González-García, A. C.; Noguera Celdrán, J. M.; Belmonte Avilés, J. A.; Rodríguez Antón, A.; Ruiz Valderas, E.; Madrid Balanza, M. J.; Zamora, E.; Bonnet Casciaro, J.
Bibliographical reference

Zephyrus, LXXV, enero-junio 2015, 139-160

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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 field campaign of the main topographic and archaeological landmarks of the Punic and Roman periods of the city. Methodologically, a basic guide criterion was established for each particular element, measuring its corresponding azimuth(s). Three tandems, including precision compasses and clinometers, were used to take the measurements. The data obtained have demonstrated the relevance, within the ancient city, of a series of orientations towards sunrise and sunset at the summer solstice, whose significance could be fully integrated within the context of the Punic ritual. This skyscaping was merged and reinterpreted in the framework of the subsequent Roman appropriation of the city landscape, including their successive urban and architectural programs, in particular that of the period of Emperor Augustus, when certain astronomical orientations could serve to strengthen the image of Rome and the ‘Princeps’ as restorers of peace and guarantees of a new order based in cosmological elements.
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