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Archaeoastronomy

Babylonian clay tablet
Babylonian clay tablet
The burgeoning new scientific disciplines known as archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy seek to measure a culture's interest in celestial phenomena by investigating its astral lore, calendrical systems, architectural monuments, and sacred rituals. Although much work remains to be done and the evidence continues to be gathered and subjected to analysis, the verdict is already in: Astronomical observations played a prominent role in the belief-systems of ancient and indigenous cultures. Worship of the most prominent celestial bodies is well-attested already at the dawn of history in Mesopotamia and Egypt. The same is true of the earliest cultures of Mesoamerica, where the observation and veneration of the various planets formed a virtual obsession and a matter of life and death.

In the past three decades I have written as much as anyone on the role of the various planets in ancient myth and religion. The following articles address important issues in archaeoastronomy and, together, present compelling evidence of wholesale changes in the solar system well within the memory of mankind: