It’s time for the A to Z Challenge! Hello and welcome to my main blog. My name is Rose Anderson and I’m a novelist. Join me and nearly 2000 bloggers and authors as we blog the alphabet throughout the month of April. It’s not as easy as you might think. There’s a reason Q and Z are worth 10 points in Scrabble!
For me, this year’s alphabet will be about history and historical science– things that tickle my fancy or capture my imagination. I hope you will find them interesting too.
Keep the topic rolling! If you’ve enjoyed the today’s offering and have comments or questions, add them at the end of the post in the comment section. And…if you enjoy romances with unique twists, a good deal of steam, facts, and characters full of personality and depth, scroll down for a free chapter sampler. I love to make the impossible sound plausible. Suffice to say, I have an unusual mind.
The blue link above will take you to the main event page. Once there, click on the participant’s sign up list at the top to find great A to Z posts ALL over the web. Your imagination awaits!
Today’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter A ~ A for Archaeoastronomy
Archaeoastronomy studies the hows and whys of prehistoric people interpreting the phenomena they saw in the skies. Within this field of study, the tools of archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, history, and lesser disciplines are all employed to make sense of the physical remnants these early peoples left behind. The accuracy of the early astronomers is pretty amazing.
As a species, Homo sapiens is hardwired to look for patterns so it didn’t take long for imagination to take hold. Those regular positionings of stars became the stuff of myths and legends. But there was more to the sky than legends about constellations of hunters and ferocious beasts. Being aware of celestial movement was a matter of survival.
Early astronomers were often priests/priestesses studying the movement of celestial bodies to determine celebrations, animal migrations, and planting cycles. In Ancient Egypt, for example, the seasonal rising of the the star Sirius signaled when the Nile would flood. Now that’s important to know. Also, to understand when the solstices took place gave one an accurate annual calendar to go by. Ancient astronomers needed to know how long it would be until more food resources became available. When a population has the ability to anticipate the seasonal cycle, survival isn’t as risky.
Precision and prediction requires time and effort
You may not pay much attention to where the sun and other celestial bodies rise and set each day, but it’s not in the same spot on the horizon or in the sky. As the year progresses and the earth runs its orbit around the sun, that position slowly inches over. To track the movements of the sun, planets, moon, and stars, the ancients devised observatories to chart these incremental changes. Precise alignment of these astronomical tools took years of careful study. Today we cherish the constructions of early civilization for their uniqueness and mystery. Many are astronomically aligned. Two of the most recognizable sites with ties to the heavens are the Giza Plateau and Stonehenge, but there are many more found around the world and new ones turn up all the time.
It’s likely some observatories and calendars were also made of wood. Today, all that remain are the astronomical tools built of stone.
Here’s a partial list.
Yes, you can actually see the International Space Station in the night sky.
This documentary in rather long. In my opinion, the speaker rambles a bit in the beginning but his info is sound and very interesting. The first half talks about archaeoastronomy, the second half deals with early astronomers.
Tomorrow ~ letter B!
Check out our April contest. We have prizes!
Join me on my satellite blog April 8th – 17th http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/
Authors’ lives outside of the books we write are often as interesting as the worlds we create. One of the more unusual things my husband and I have done was lead wild foods programs for Chicago’s Field Museum. For this multi-author event I’ll be sharing my recipes. I hope you stop by. You just might have tasty things waiting in your backyard. 🙂
Love Waits in Unexpected Places –
Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
Download your free chapter sampler today!