At Machu Picchu I examine astronomy and the Inca calendar. It got here as a fantastic shock to them that Europeans got here and made them introduce a seven-day work week. Earlier than that, they’d a totally completely different type of time group,” says Professor Mariusz Ziółkowski of the College of Warsaw, archaeologist and head of the Andes Analysis Heart.
TVP WEEKLY: What does Archaeoastronomy do?
MARIUSZ ZIOLKOWSKI: I am an archaeologist and a little bit anthropologist and historian. I do archaeoastronomy a bit on the aspect, however I’ve additionally printed on the topic and taught college students about it. My grasp was the late Professor Andrzej Wierciński, who pioneered seminars on the topic on the College of Warsaw within the Nineteen Seventies. So once I began instructing archaeoastronomy at UW years in the past – following in his footsteps – I requested the scholars the identical factor you requested me: what do you assume archaeoastronomy does? Consternation, slight trepidation within the eyes of the scholars, lastly one of the vital daring bought up and mentioned, “However Professor, to be trustworthy, I do not imagine in UFOs” (laughter). So let’s begin by explaining what archaeoastronomy will not be, as it’s typically related to the American TV Historical past Channel’s “Historical Aliens” sequence.
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Effectively, that is the place the continued confusion comes from. So to be clear, that is what archaeoastronomy will not be, that is what it isn’t about. However what’s it? It’s a self-discipline on the intersection of archeology and the historical past of astronomy, coping with historical data of the broader sky. It’s because we should keep in mind that so-called pre-industrial societies associated meteorological and astronomical phenomena of the celestial sphere. Nonetheless, it isn’t solely about learning the traces of this historical data, but additionally – maybe most apparently – its affect on the functioning of society as an entire. For instance, if the choices of the Assyrian rulers had been made after consulting astrologers, it affected the functioning of the complete state.
Most likely additionally as we speak – whoever knew the main points of the horoscope for the Yr of the Rabbit to the authorities of the Chinese language Communist Get together would most likely be smarter than the legendary diplomat Henry Kissinger… However let’s return to the previous and archaeoastronomy. How do archaeologists cope with astronomers, if it appears needed?
To start with, for the astronomer there is no such thing as a such factor as an estimated worth. He will need to have specified all the pieces to a couple decimal locations: portions, distances, rotation instances, and so forth. When it’s defined to him that sure issues had been decided way back with nice approximation, the astronomer feels a bit confused.
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