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Archaeoastronomy

by Giulio Magli

Part of the Undergraduate Lecture Notes in Physics Series

Archaeoastronomy Synopsis

This is a second edition of a textbook that provides the first comprehensive, easy-to-read, and up-to-date account of the fascinating discipline of archaeoastronomy, in which the relationship between ancient constructions and the sky is studied in order to gain a better understanding of the ideas of the architects of the past and of their religious and symbolic worlds. The book is divided into three sections, the first of which explores the past relations between astronomy and people, power, the afterworld, architecture, and landscape. The second part then discusses in detail the fundamentals of archaeoastronomy, including the celestial coordinates; the apparent motion of the sun, moon, stars, and planets; observation of celestial bodies at the horizon; the use of astronomical software in archaeoastronomy; and current methods for making and analyzing measurements. The final section reviews what archaeoastronomy can now tell us about the nature and purpose of such sites and structures as Stonehenge, the Pyramids of Giza, Chichen Itza, the Angkor Temples, the Campus Martius, and the Valley of the Temples of Agrigento. In addition, it provides a set of exercises that can be performed using non-commercial free software, e.g., Google Earth and Stellarium, and that will equip readers to conduct their own research. This new edition features a completely new chapter on archaeoastronomy in Asia and an augmented reality framework, which on the one hand enhances the didactic value of the book using direct links to the relevant sections of the author's MOOC (online) lessons and, on the other, allows readers to directly experience - albeit virtually -many of the spectacular archaeological sites described in the book. This is an ideal introduction to what has become a wide-ranging multidisciplinary science.

Book Information

ISBN: 9783030451462
Publication date: 8th September 2020
Author: Giulio Magli
Publisher: Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 266 pages
Categories: Astronomy, space & time, History of science, Theory of architecture, Cultural studies,

About Giulio Magli

Giulio Magli is an Italian astrophysicist/archaeoastronomer who works primarily on the relationship between the architecture of ancient cultures and the sky. After receiving his PhD in Mathematical Physics at the University of Milan, he initially conducted research in Relativistic Astrophysics but gradually moved toward Archaeoastronomy, with a special interest in the relationship between architecture, landscape, and the mathematical/astronomical lore of ancient cultures, especially among the Ancient Egyptians but also among the Incas, in Asia and in the Mediterranean. He became full professor of Mathematical Physics at the Politecnico of Milan in 2005, and he is currently Head of the ...

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