mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Astronomy 130: Archaeoastronomy

Maintained by LG

Astro 130 is an introductory level course with no prerequisites. In contrast to ASTR 110, the emphasis will be on naked-eye astronomy, views of the cosmos in different cultural settings, and the methods of reconstructing and deducing the way astronomy was practiced by combining modern scientific techniques with fragmentary historical records and evidence.

While illustrating the logical process of the scientific investigation of astronomical phenomena, this course will also consider astronomy in a cultural context. We will begin with simple cultural astronomies with oral traditions, starting with some cultures which still practice these astronomies, and then move to archaeoastronomy where we have archaeological remains (and how these have been interpreted), and finally move to cultures with complex astronomies, such as the Mayans, where there were written records.

This course may be of interest to students with interests in the visible night sky and constellations, the historical and cultural context of astronomy, ancient technology, and archaeology/anthropology.