Journal of Skyscape Archaeology https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA <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="https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/about">More about the journal.</a></p> en-US <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> fsilva@bournemouth.ac.uk (Fabio Silva and Liz Henty) aparkin@equinoxpub.com (Ailsa Parkin) Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 3.3.0.7 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss 60 Books https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20984 Fabio Silva, Liz Henty Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20984 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Conferences https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20985 Fabio Silva, Liz Henty Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20985 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Günther Oestmann, The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral: Function and Significance. Trans. Bruce W. Irwin https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19440 <p>Günther Oestmann, The Astronomical Clock of Strasbourg Cathedral: Function and Significance. Trans. Bruce W. Irwin Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2020. Hardback xvi, 348 pp. ISBN: 978-90-04-42346-6. $179.00.</p> Carole Taylor Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19440 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Chris Scarre and Luiz Oosterbeek, Megalithic Tombs in Western Iberia: Excavations at the Anta da Lajinha https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19441 <p>Chris Scarre and Luiz Oosterbeek, Megalithic Tombs in Western Iberia: Excavations at the Anta da Lajinha Oxford and Philadelphia: Oxbow Books, 2020. Hardback, 242 pp. ISBN 978-1-78570-980-7. £45.00.</p> Fabio Silva Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19441 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Steven R. Gullberg, Astronomy of the Inca Empire: Use and Significance of the Sun and the Night Sky https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20981 <p>Steven R. Gullberg, Astronomy of the Inca Empire: Use and Significance of the Sun and the Night Sky Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2020. Hardback, 370 pp., 42 b/w illus., 275 colour illus. ISBN 978-3-030-48365. €135.19.</p> Brian S. Bauer Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20981 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Editorial https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20983 Fabio Silva, Mai Rashed, Erica Ellingson, Liz Henty Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20983 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 A Possible New Solstitial Sightline in the Stonehenge Landscape https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19439 <p>The landscape around Stonehenge contains a number of major Early Neolithic monuments dating to the fourth millennium BC, including the Stonehenge Cursus, the Lesser Cursus, Robin Hood’s Ball causewayed enclosure and several long barrows. A previously unsuspected Early Neolithic causewayed enclosure whose northeast rim was uncovered in 2016 on the slopes of Lark Hill, just to the north of the World Heritage Site boundary, represented a major new discovery. About a millennium after the construction of the Lark Hill Enclosure, a line of at least six timber posts was erected crossing from the interior to the exterior of the old enclosure, just to one side of a wide entrance. The line is slightly curved but the last three posts in the line face directly out towards the position of June solstice sunrise. While several short and longer rows of posts are now known to have been built in this vicinity both during the Later Neolithic and at later times, there are several reasons for believing this solstitial alignment to have been intentional and meaningful. It may even have represented the “monumentalisation” of an earlier broadly solstitial alignment of natural features, as has been suggested at Stonehenge itself.</p> Clive Ruggles, Amanda Chadburn, Matt Leivers, Andrew Smith Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19439 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Review of the monthly “Skyscape Archaeology Keynote Lecture Series” organised by the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology and the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, October 2020–March 2021 https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20982 <p>Review of the monthly “Skyscape Archaeology Keynote Lecture Series” organised by the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology and the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, October 2020–March 2021</p> William F. Romain Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20982 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Cultural Astronomy in Hispanic-Indigenous Contexts of Central Chile https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19437 <p>We present the results of an archaeoastronomical analysis of structures dating from the Inca and early colonial periods in the Mapocho River basin, Chile. Our purpose is to show possible continuities or ruptures in the creation and management of architectural and natural spaces, particularly those linked to the observation of astronomical phenomena with ceremonial and calendrical significance in the Andean world. We focus on Santiago, where we undertook topographical and horizon survey work at the Main Square, Metropolitan Cathedral, San Francisco Church and Santa Lucía Hill, and evaluate documentary and ethnographic sources. Using models developed in cultural astronomy and landscape archaeology, we found these places were ancient observation spots for the Sun and Moon around the solstices, equinoxes and lunar standstills. Sightlines (ceques) may have connected these places to potentially sacred elements of the environment from a central point located in the Main Square (haukaypata).</p> Ricardo Moyano, Patricio Bustamante Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19437 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Revisiting the 5000-Year-Old Tally at Mnajdra, Malta https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19438 <p>The pillars at the entrance of the inner apse of one of the cluster of Neolithic temples at Mnajdra, Malta display rows of drilled holes which have been interpreted as a tally of days. Furthermore, it has been proposed that the number of holes in the rows on the east pillar coincides well with a sequence of intervals between the heliacal rising of bright stars or star groups. Is this remarkable correspondence simply a chance occurrence, or do the drilled holes represent material evidence of deliberate time reckoning by means of heliacal star risings in the Neolithic age? This question has led to the statistical investigation described in this paper, which takes into account the heliacal risings of all stars of magnitude 2.0 or brighter visible from Malta 5000 years ago as well as the Pleiades and the Hyades star clusters, which attracted the attention of other ancient cultures. The paper presents and discusses the method used and the challenges involved in the investigation. The results show that with a tolerance of ±1 day for uncertainty in the calculated heliacal rise days, the probability of achieving an exact correspondence between a random ordering of the tally and a series of star rises is 0.0014. With a wider tolerance of ±2 days the probability is 0.011. The final section discusses the significance and implications of these results.</p> George Agius, Lorraine Brown Read, Frank Ventura Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/19438 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Celestial Aspects of Hittite Religion, Part 2 https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/17829 <p>Evidence of systematic astronomical observation and the impact of celestial knowledge on culture is plentiful in the Bronze Age societies of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Europe. An interest in astral phenomena is also reflected in Hittite documents, architecture and art. The rock-cut reliefs of 64 deities in the main chamber of Yazilikaya, a Hittite rock sanctuary associated with Hattuša, the Hittite capital in central Anatolia, can be broken into groups marking days, synodic months and solar years. Here, we suggest that the sanctuary in its entirety represents a symbolic image of the cosmos, including its static levels (earth, sky, underworld) and the cyclical processes of renewal and rebirth (day/night, lunar phases, summer/winter). Static levels and celestial cyclicities are emphasised throughout the sanctuary – every single relief relates to this system. We interpret the central panel with the supreme deities, at the far north end of Chamber A, as a reference to the northern stars, the circumpolar realm and the world axis. Chamber B seems to symbolise the netherworld.</p> Eberhard Zangger, E. C. Krupp, Serkan Demirel , Rita Gautschy Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/17829 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Decoding the Urban Plan of the City of Pilsen (Plzen) https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20980 <p>The historic centre of the city of Pilsen in western Bohemia, today a region of the Czech Republic, was constructed at the end of the thirteenth century, at a time when Gothic architecture was universal across most of western and central Europe. The Gothic style had emerged and developed during an era when social and economic changes were favouring the development of new urban settlements, and when the translation of ancient Greek natural philosophy, including astronomy, was giving rise to a new intellectual movement. This revival of the natural sciences was inevitably bound up with the Roman Catholic Church, since much of this knowledge had been preserved within monastic institutions and was now being used by theologians/natural philosophers who wanted to apply reason to theology. This paper’s analysis of the urban plan of the historic centre of Pilsen is an attempt to investigate the possible influence that the science of astronomy had on architectural thought and creativity in western Bohemia, and how this was represented in the light of scientific advancement.</p> Nikolaos Ragkos Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/20980 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The Golden Hat of Schifferstadt https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/18113 <p>Four conical golden hats of the Late Bronze Age were discovered in southern Germany and western France in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Their users were probably members of a caste of priests or priestesses performing ceremonies linked to astronomical/calendrical knowledge. Another find discovered in central Germany, the Nebra bronze-gold disk, predates the golden hats by two to six centuries and has also been interpreted as an astronomical/calendrical ceremonial tool. From the burial location of the Nebra disk the Sun sets on the highest mountain of the Harz range, the Brocken, on the summer solstice. Here we investigate whether the burial location of the Schifferstadt golden hat also had an astronomical meaning. Our results make it possible to hypothesise that the Schifferstadt location was a natural astronomical/calendrical viewing place with the same function as several prehistoric circular enclosures, but where the natural hilly horizon of the Odenwald and the Palatinate Forest replaced the artificial horizon of the enclosures.</p> Luca Amendola Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. https://journal.equinoxpub.com/JSA/article/view/18113 Tue, 21 Sep 2021 00:00:00 +0000