there’s a professor of archaeoastronomy! cool!
Clive Ruggles and Frank Prendergast who’s an Irish archaeoastronomer.
Here’s the reading list from Ruggles’ homepage — looks good but weighty — and expensive!
So all of a sudden archaeologists are looking at cosmic calendars of ancient peoples — very Hamlet’s Mill! (Though it’s not on the reading list.)
They reckon that lots of stone circles AREN’T connected with the stars. Probably with lines on the landscape, innit.
But they do mention that archaeologists didn’t take alignments seriously until Thom in the 60s — bang on — and that there was (effectively) a paradigmatic struggle.
Oooh — apparently Brunel liked to build his tunnels so they were aligned with sunrise on his birthday!
3000bc on you get almost all sites oriented in particular directions relating to movements of the skies — but different from place to place.
Apparently clusters of burial tombs were more important than being “just cemetaries”. Exactly what they don’t explain.
But they admit that there MAY HAVE BEEN equinoctial alignments — which immediately means massively sophisticated science beyond
Apparently passage tombs were aligned with summer solstice, but stone rows with the moon.
But aligning sites with stars is too difficult — or rather too easy to tell you much.
All from a BBC Radio 4 programme, might still be archived.