Archaeoastronomy in the Old World by D. C. Heggie

By D. C. Heggie

This quantity summarises the lawsuits of a convention which happened on the college of Oxford in September 1981. Held less than the auspices of the foreign Astronomical Union and the overseas Union for the historical past and Philosophy of technology, the assembly reviewed study in previous international Archaeoastronomy. The writer bought the ultimate typescript for creation in March 1982. The papers during this booklet are serious about laying off mild on a arguable element of eu prehistory, specifically that of north-west Europe: used to be astronomy practised right here within the overdue Neolithic and bronze a while, and if this is the case, what was once its objective? those questions are of noticeable curiosity to prehistorians, yet clean curiosity in them has been motivated principally by means of these whose specialist heritage is within the natural and technologies, whereas they elevate technical concerns that have aroused the curiosity of statisticians and astronomers.

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Between structures This type of rather more oblique relationship is a constant feature of the excavation of stone circles and is one that makes the working out of any sequence rather more subjective, even on excavated sites. Can the Achnacreebeag sequence be extrapolated to the unexcavated chambered tomb of Greadal Fhinn, situated near the tip of the Ardnamurchan peninsula in Argyll, where very similar structural remains survive? Only excavation will tell; sadly, however, this site is still included as a stone circle on many distribution maps, probably because of its description as such on early Ordnance Survey maps, but there is no doubt that it is a passage-grave within a round cairn (Henshall 1972, 358-60).

3 ) , for example, where beside a monolith there was a cairn of stones, which covered a cist containing a burial associated with a beaker vessel (Russell and Poole 1964). The excavators describe, however, that the upcast soil from the pit dug for the cist partly overlay the soil filling of the socket of the upright, and thus the stone is the earlier feature; the absence of any silting or weathering layer suggested that there was only a short interval between the two operations. Fig. 4. Maol Mor, Dervaig, Mull, Argyll: standing stones.

Until recent times it was only in remarkable cases that it was possible to be sure of the date of the removal or destruction of a stone, as for example the 'Barber's Stone1 at Avebury, felled about AD 1320-5 accidentally trapping an unfortunate barber-surgeon beneath it, or Odin's Stone in Orkney broken up amid local consternation in December 1814. Excavations of standing stones include that at Try, Gulval, in Cornwall (Fig. 3 ) , for example, where beside a monolith there was a cairn of stones, which covered a cist containing a burial associated with a beaker vessel (Russell and Poole 1964).

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