SEACTeach. Structure of basics section

Cross-sectional introduction

CSI1 Whats SEAC (video), reviewed by Frank Prendergast

CSI2 Aims and concept of this series of short lectures (video), reviewed by Frank Prendergast

CSI3 Evolution and meaning of key concepts: “cultural astronomy”, “archaeoastronomy”, “ethnoastronomy”, “skyscape archaeology”, “palaeoastronomy”

Basics of astronomy

AST1 Coordinate systems

AST1.1 Coordinate systems: general introduction (video), reviewed by Frank Prendergast

AST1.2 Horizontal coordinate system (video), reviewed by Frank Prendergast

AST1.3 Equatorial coordinate system (video), reviewed by Frank Prendergast

AST1.4 Ecliptic coordinate system (video), reviewed by Frank Prendergast

AST1.5 UTM System (video), reviewed by Stanislaw Iwaniszewski

AST1.6 Conversion between coordinate systems

AST2 Seasons

AST2.1 Seasons

AST2.2 Cause of the seasons

AST3 Solar Motion

AST3.1 Observables: Diurnal motion

AST3.2 Observables: Annual motion

AST3.3 Equation of time

AST4 Lunar Motion

AST4.1 Observables: Lunar Motion

AST4.2 Lunar orbit

AST4.3 Definitions of lunar months

AST4.4 Lunistices

AST5 Motion of fixed stars

AST5.1 Observables: Motion of fixed stars

AST5.2 Star phases

AST6 Displacement of constellations

AST6.1 Observables: Displacement of constellations

AST6.2 Precession and nutation

AST7 Influence of the atmosphere

AST7.1 Influence of the atmosphere

AST8 Concept of arcus visionis

AST8.1 Concept of arcus visionis

AST9 Lunar and solar eclipses

AST9.1 Observables: Lunar and solar eclipses

AST9.2 Causes of eclipses

AST9.3 Eclipse cycles

AST10 Visibility of the planets

AST10.1 Inner planets: Mercury and Venus

AST11 Time difference ΔT

AST11.1 Time difference ΔT

AST11.2 Processes which are responsible

AST12 Useful tools and what to be aware of

AST12.1 Useful tools and what to be aware of

AST12.2 JPL Horizons

AST12.3 Horizon (Andrew Smith, SRTM)

AST12.4 PeakFinder

AST12.5 Clive’s programs

AST12.6 HeyWhat’sThat

AST12.7 skyscapeR

AST12.8 Stellarium

AST13 Calendars

AST13.1 Calendar types

AST13.2 Mesopotamian calendars

AST13.3 Egyptian calendars

AST13.4 Jewish calendar

AST13.5 Chinese calendar

AST13.6 Hindu calendar

AST13.7 Greek calendars

AST13.8 Roman calendars

AST13.9 Mesoamerican calendars

AST13.10 Celtic calendar

AST13.11 Julian calendar

AST13.12 Islamic calendar

AST13.13 Gregorian calendar

Basics of ethnoastronomy


ETH1.1 What’s ethnoastronomy in the general context of “cultural astronomy” (video)

ETH1.2 Relations of ethnoastronomy with archaeoastronomy, history of astronomy and astronomical education (video)

ETH1.3 The “ethno” concept (video)

ETH2Social construction of knowledge

ETH2.1 Cosmologies and cosmovisions

ETH2.2 Naturalization

ETH2.3 Knowledge and socialization

ETH2.4 The politics of knowledge

ETH3Field-work A

ETH3.1 Be in “the margin”

ETH3.2 Field access

ETH3.3 Sampling by theoretical saturation

ETH3.4 Participant observation

ETH3.5 Be in “the margin”

ETH4 Field-work B

ETH4.1 Ethnographic interview

ETH4.2 Life stories

ETH4.3 Linguistic elicitation techniques

ETH4.4 Documents

ETH4.5 Statistics and census

ETH4.6 Photography, video, drawings and field notes

ETH4.7 Radio, TV, social media

ETH5 Problematizing some key concepts

ETH5.1 Time, duration, cycles

ETH5.2 Horizon, landscape and territory

ETH5.3 Light/darkness

ETH6Middle-range theories

ETH6.1 Ethnographic induction

ETH6.2 Fruitful comparisons

ETH6.3 “Deep logics” and “details”

ETH7The astronomy of who?

ETH7.1 Person, boundaries and identity

ETH7.2 Group identities

ETH7.3 The politics of identity

ETH8 Knowledge Systems and their change

ETH8.1 Logics and structures

ETH8.2 Structures and change

ETH8.3 Cosmovisions and cosmologies

ETH8.4 Myth and history

ETH9 Astronomy from the body

ETH9.1 The embodied knowledge

ETH9.2 Somatic modes of attention

ETH9.3 The sky experience

ETH10 Astronomical knowledge and European global expansion

ETH10.1 Colonial system and modernity

ETH10.2 Modernities

ETH10.3 Coloniality of knowledge

ETH11Ethnography of the academic astronomy

ETH11.1 Methodological issues

ETH11.2 The boundary problem

ETH11.3 Diversities, academy and inequality

ETH11.4 Dialog with other disciplines

ETH12Gender and astronomy

ETH12.1 Gender roles and knowledge

ETH12.2 Gendered skies

ETH12.3 Field work and gender bias

ETH13The researcher responsibility

ETH13.1 Field work and ethic

ETH13.2 Informed consent

ETH13.3 Sharing knowledge

ETH13.4 Impact of the research in the local community situation

ETH14 Ethnoastronomy and education

ETH14.1 Knowledge as social product

ETH14.2 Feelings, body and learning

ETH14.3 Understanding the other’s logics

ETH14.4 The importance of naked eye astronomy

ETH15 Heritage

ETH15.1 The concept of heritage

ETH15.2 Heritage, institutions and power

ETH15.3 Heritage and local communities

ETH15.4 Astronomical heritage

Basics of archaeoastronomy


ARA1.1 Archaeoastronomy and its relationships with archaeology (landscape archaeology, cognitive archaeology, archaeometry, etc.).

ARA1.2 The uncertain disciplinary status of archaeoastronomy: multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, or other.

ARA1.3 Is there a place for anthropological archaeoastronomy?

ARA2Archaeoastronomical Record

ARA2.1 The meaning of an archaeoastronomical record (“archaeoastronomical fact”)

ARA2.2 Distinct views of the nature of the past material record.

ARA2.3 Types of past record: material, iconographic, and textual evidence.

ARA2.4 The value of the context.

ARA3Field archaeoastronomy . coordinate with Frank!

ARA3.1 Azimuth and altitude of the horizon in the indicated direction

ARA3.2 Surveying with transits or theodolites.

ARA3.3 Surveying with magnetic compass and clinometer.

ARA3.4 Surveying with Google Earth and PeakFinder.

ARA4Alignments and orientations in archaeoastronomy

ARA4.1 Concepts of alignments and orientations in archaeoastronomy.

ARA4.2 The concept of directions.

ARA4.3 The function and meaning of orientations in archaeology.

ARA4.4 Archaeoastronomical obsession with the so-called “intentionality” of astronomical orientations: precise and statistically confirmed “intended” alignments.

ARA4.5 Astronomical alignments

ARA4.5.1 Solar alignments: solstitial and presolstitial, equinoctial and solar zenithal and nadiral.

ARA4.5.2 Solar intersolstitial alignments (calendar horizons)

ARA4.5.3 Lunar alignments

ARA4.5.4 Planetary and stellar alignments

ARA4.5.5 Solar arc and geographical latitude of a site

ARA4.5.6 Directionality: cardinal points and world directions

ARA5The concept and structure of an archaeoastronomical site

ARA5.1 the need for an observational astronomy to carefully watch and interpret celestial movements and events: the value of a place

ARA5.2 places occupied by the skywatchers to observe celestial bodies

ARA5.3 techniques of observation:

ARA5.3.1 direct: the practical use of the movement of celestial bodies along the horizon (horizon features = reference points = markers)

ARA5.3.2 indirect: the use of a beam of light to cast the shadow (light-and-shadow phenomena, gnomons, sunsticks)

ARA5.4 Discussion: skywatching sites and astronomical observatories

ARA6Inference processes in archaeology

ARA6.1 Inductive vs. deductive types of inference

ARA6.2 Abductive inference and reductive logic

ARA6.3 Analogical reasoning, general comparative approach

ARA6.4 Statistical inferences

ARA7Archaeoastronomy as archaeometry

ARA7.1 Subdivisions of archaeometric research (archaeological chronology, palaeoecological and palaeoecological studies, physical, chemical and engineering analysis, remote sensing, airborne radar, LIDAR, etc. applications)

ARA7.2 Dating by studying astronomical alignments

ARA7.3 Dating by past astronomical events (eclipses, novae and supernovae events, comets,etc.)

ARA8Archaeoastronomy as cognitive archaeology

ARA8.1 Two concepts of cognitive archaeology (processual and post-processual ones)

ARA8.2 Alignments of buildings towards the horizon as expressions of human cognitive models of the world and relationships between human groups and their surroundings

ARA8.3 Alignments as calendric markers, social versus astronomical time.

ARA8.4 Tallying devices, record-keeping techniques

ARA9Archaeoastronomy as an archaeology of time

ARA9.1 Time in the past: time indication vs. time-reckoning

ARA9.2 Astronomical origin of basic time units: day, week, year

ARA9.3 Quarter and mid-quarter days

ARA9.4 Weather and astrometeorology

ARA10Archaeoastronomy as landscape and skyscape archaeologies

ARA10.1 Concepts of landscape and skyscape in archaeology

ARA10.2 From Physical to Social Landscapes and Skyscapes

ARA10.3 Relational Skyscapes

ARA11 Archaeoastronomical Heritage and Public Archaeoastronomy

ARA11.1 The concept of an archaeoastronomical heritage as a current cultural construct

ARA11.2 Astrotourism, Dark Sky initiatives, the rise of post-colonial approaches to native astronomies

ARA11.3 Relationship of archaeoastronomy with contemporary societies: the potential for shaping contemporary culture, of which archaeoastronomy (cultural astronomy) is also part.

ARA11.4 Public Archaeoastronomy: should archaeoastronomy be in the service of popular culture?

ARA11.5 Archaeoastronomy and alternative archaeoastronomies

Basics of western European archaeology

ARC1Archaeological specialisms used in site investigation

ARC1.1 Radiocarbon dates

ARC1.2 Pottery . types

ARC1.3 Bones humans and animal

ARC1.4 Petrological

ARC1.5 Geoarchaeological

ARC1.6 Soils

ARC1.7 Lithics

ARC1.8 Tools

ARC1.9 Archaeoastronomy


ARC2.1 To be completed …

ARC3Archaeological time-scales

ARC3.1 Palaeolithic

ARC3.2 Mesolithic

ARC3.3 Neolithic

ARC3.4 Bronze Age

ARC3.5 Iron Age

ARC3.6 Early Medieval

ARC4Dating techniques

ARC4.1 Radio-carbon dating


ARC4.3 Dendrochronology

ARC4.4 Calibration and calendar dates

ARC5Geophysical surveys


ARC5.2 Magnetometry

ARC5.3 Resistivity

ARC6Material culture and artefact types

ARC6.1 Flakes and blades

ARC6.2 Stone axes

ARC6.3 Grave goods

ARC7Domestic architecture in the prehistoric

ARC7.1 Rectangular house

ARC7.2 Roundhouse

ARC7.3 Entrance architecture and orientation

ARC8Burial mound typology

ARC8.1 Ireland

ARC8.1.1Court tomb

ARC8.1.2Portal tomb

ARC8.1.3Passage tomb

ARC8.1.4Wedge tomb

ARC8.2 Britain

ARC8.3 France

ARC8.4 Iberia

ARC9Importance and conventions used in distribution maps

ARC9.1 Cover examples from each region

ARC10Monument architectural elements

ARC10.1 Cairn . long and round

ARC10.2 Kerbing

ARC10.3 Entrances and other features

ARC10.4 Internal architecture

ARC11Landscape and monument siting

ARC11.1 Planimetric considerations

ARC11.2 Vertical evidence of archaeology in height

ARC12Horizon profiling

ARC12.1 Categorising the horizon in direction (azimuth) and range and how this can relate to monument’s role and meaning beyond the burial role

University of Basel, Switzerland

38344-01 - Vorlesung mit Übungen: Paläoastronomie 3 KP

(38344-01 - Lecture with exercises: Paleoastronomy 3 KP)

Language of instruction: German

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