Thursday, March 15, 2012

Monuments Tied to the Sky: Ancient Astronomy and its Global Heritage

Sydney Observatory welcomes you to a special night about Archaeoastronomy.  Professor Clive Ruggles from the University of Leicester, will give a special talk about ancient stone monuments and their relationship to astronomy.  This is a must see event!

The evening also includes a telescope viewing (weather permitting), a glass of wine or cup of tea, and is presented in Sydney Observatory’s marquee overlooking the beautiful Sydney Harbour.  A short ‘how to view the Transit of Venus’ presentation will be offered after the key-note presentation.

Location: Sydney Observatory
Date: Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Time: 6:00-8:00 pm
Cost: $18 adult, $14 concession - $16 adults members, $11 concession members
Bookings:  Book online or call (02) 9921 3485

Monuments Tied to the Sky
Ancient Astronomy and its Global Heritage

Naked-eye observations of the sky stretch back countless millennia into prehistory. In today’s brightly lit world it is all too easy to forget just how overwhelming the dark night sky would have been to human societies in the past—a prominent part of the observed world that was impossible to ignore. The objects and cycles seen there were vital to people striving to make sense of the world within which they dwelt and to keep their actions in harmony with the cosmos as they perceived it. For the archaeoastronomer, certain ancient monuments provide tantalising glimpses of long lost beliefs and practices relating to the sky, although they have to be interpreted with considerable caution. In this lecture Clive Ruggles, Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the University of Leicester, will describe some major new discoveries made in recent years, focusing on his own work in Peru, Polynesia, and prehistoric Europe, and describe the efforts of UNESCO and the International Astronomical Union to preserve and protect the often-fragile heritage of ancient astronomy around the planet.

The Thirteen Towers of Chankillo, in Peru, a 2300-year-old solar observation site that hit the headlines
in March 2007 with the first publication of Ruggles’ work together with Peruvian archaeologist Ivan Ghezzi.

About the Speaker:
CLIVE RUGGLES is Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, UK. He has worked in many parts of the world and published numerous books, papers and articles on subjects ranging from prehistoric Europe and pre-Columbian America to indigenous astronomies in Africa and elsewhere. He has ongoing fieldwork projects in Peru and Polynesia and is a leading figure in the joint initiative by UNESCO and the International Astronomical Union to promote, preserve, and protect the world's most important astronomical heritage sites. See more at

1 comment:

  1. Moonbows