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Stellar Alignments - Identification and Analysis

Reference work entry

Abstract

Fortuitous stellar alignments can be fitted to structural orientations with relative ease by the unwary. Nonetheless, cautious approaches taking into account a broader range of cultural evidence, as well as paying due attention to potential methodological pitfalls, have been successful in identifying credible stellar alignments—and constructing plausible assessments of their cultural significance—in a variety of circumstances. These range from single instances of alignments upon particular asterisms where the corroborating historical or ethnographic evidence is strong to repeated instances of oriented structures with only limited independent cultural information but where systematic, data-driven approaches can be productive. In the majority of cases, the identification and interpretation of putative stellar alignments relates to groups of similar monuments or complex single sites and involves a balance between systematic studies of the alignments themselves, backed up by statistical analysis where appropriate, and the consideration of a range of contextual evidence, either derived from the archaeological record alone or from other relevant sources.

Keywords

Bright Star Material Evidence Stellar Association Greek Temple Medicine Wheel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Archaeology and Ancient HistoryUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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