Journal of Skyscape Archaeology 2021-12-13T16:09:56+00:00 Fabio Silva and Liz Henty Open Journal Systems <p><em>The Journal of Skyscape Archaeology</em> (<em>JSA</em>) is concerned with the role and importance of the sky in the interpretation of the material record. Currently, elements of this study can be found separately in the disciplines of archaeoastronomy, archaeology, cultural astronomy, anthropology and history. <em>JSA </em>brings them together under the aegis of a new academic journal in order to promote cross-fertilization towards an understanding of the cosmologies of the societies who constructed and used the rich archaeological heritage we study today. <a href="">More about the journal.</a></p> Analysis of Structures’ Orientations in Archaeoastronomy 2021-12-13T16:09:56+00:00 José M. Abril <p>In the scope of archaeoastronomy, the analysis of a large number of structures through the frequency histograms for their azimuths and declinations can identify singular patterns of orientation. Conclusions often rely on qualitative assessments. Quantitative assessments have been proposed by using as null hypothesis a pure random distribution of azimuths over the 360º horizon. In some cases, such as orientation of Christian churches, the histograms or spectra are composite, with peaks overlapping a continuous and not uniform background. This paper presents a methodology for assessing the statistical significance of the net area of a peak in the histogram in relation to the local background level. The spectra use Normal kernel functions. The background contribution is estimated from the area of the trapezoidal polygon under the peak, and it is interpreted as the probability parameter for a Binomial distribution.&nbsp; The methodology is illustrated with a real case study which includes the azimuth and declination histograms for a set of churches from southern Spain dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption. The method is more restrictive than previous approaches.</p> 2021-12-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. Following The Milky Way Path of Souls 2021-12-13T16:09:50+00:00 William F. Romain <p>Cahokia was a major Native American city on the east side of the Mississippi River, across from the modern-day city of St. Louis, Missouri. Cahokia flourished from c.1050 AD to c.1250. In this paper archaeoastronomic and ethnohistoric data along with computer simulations are used to explore the idea that the Cahokia site axis and the Rattlesnake Causeway were intentionally aligned to the Milky Way. It is proposed that this alignment accounts for the peculiar 5° offset of the site from the cardinal directions. Following Sarah Baires, it is suggested that Rattlesnake Causeway was a terrestrial metaphor for the Milky Way Path of Souls used by the deceased to cross to the Land of the Dead. Rattlesnake Mound at the end of the Causeway is suggested as a portal to the Path of Souls. According to ethnohistoric accounts, the Land of the Dead was guarded by a Great Serpent – suggested here as visible in the night sky as either the constellation Serpens or that of Scorpius.</p> 2021-12-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd.