The World Tree

Categorisation and Reading of an Archaic Cosmographic Concept


  • Michael A. Rappenglück Adult Education Center (VHS) Gilching and Observatory Gilching



categorisation, comparative mythology, sundial, World Axis, World Tree


The symbolism of the World Tree has not hitherto been explored from the perspective of possible astronomical references, despite widespread examples of the concept across the world and attention from various fields of study. The aim of the current study is to respond to that gap, using an interdisciplinary methodology that draws on approaches from comparative mythology, ritual studies, archaeological records, botany and socio-anthropological analysis.


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Author Biography

Michael A. Rappenglück, Adult Education Center (VHS) Gilching and Observatory Gilching

Michael Rappenglück is currently president of SEAC and a member of ISAAC. His research interests include the history of science and particularly the history of astronomy. As executive director and headmaster of the Adult Education Center, Gilching he teaches philosophy, astronomy and history of sciences as well as religious studies and symbolic communication, with a special interest in interdisciplinary issues. He was involved in theplanning and construction of the public observatory at Gilching of which he is head. He is also President of the Society of Archaeoastronomy in Germany and Member of the Working Group on Astronomy and World Heritage (IAU, UNESCO).


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How to Cite

Rappenglück, M. A. (2018). The World Tree: Categorisation and Reading of an Archaic Cosmographic Concept. Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, 3(2), 253–267.



Theory & Method