Decoding Astronomy in Art and Architecture - Marion Dolan

Decoding Astronomy in Art and Architecture

For centuries, our ancestors carefully observed the movements of the heavens and wove that astronomical knowledge into their city planning, architecture, mythology, paintings, sculpture, and poetry. This book uncovers the hidden messages and advanced science encoded within these sacred spaces, showing how the rhythmic motions of the night sky played a central role across many different cultures. Les mer
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For centuries, our ancestors carefully observed the movements of the heavens and wove that astronomical knowledge into their city planning, architecture, mythology, paintings, sculpture, and poetry. This book uncovers the hidden messages and advanced science encoded within these sacred spaces, showing how the rhythmic motions of the night sky played a central role across many different cultures.

Our astronomical tour transports readers through time and space, from prehistoric megaliths to Renaissance paintings, Greco-Roman temples to Inca architecture. Along the way, you will investigate unexpected findings at Lascaux, Delphi, Petra, Angkor Wat, Borobudur, and many more archaeological sites both famous and little known. Through these vivid examples, you will come to appreciate the masterful ways that astronomical knowledge was incorporated into each society's religion and mythology, then translated into their physical surroundings.

The latest archaeoastronomical studies and discoveries are recounted through a poetic and nontechnical narrative, revealing how many longstanding beliefs about our ancestors are being overturned. Through this celestial journey, readers of all backgrounds will learn the basics about this exciting field and share in the wonders of cultural astronomy.
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Utgitt:
Forlag: Springer Nature Switzerland AG
Innbinding: Paperback
Språk: Engelsk
Sider: 343
ISBN: 9783030765101
Format: 24 x 17 cm
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«“I enjoyed reading this book. I revelled in the ancient art, I was amazed by many of the old buildings, I was pleased to see the extensive lists of references to the hard work of archaeologists and archaeoastronomers. But I was left wondering whether the town planners, the artists, or the architects … knew much about astronomy. … The reader needs convincing before trying to decode something that might not even be present.” (David W. Hughes, The Observatory, June, 2022)

“This book is certainly the most accessible survey of worldwide archaeo-astronomy that has been published of late. It is enhanced by scores of photographs, all in colour … . Dolan has done a tremendous service to the oft-maligned and misunderstood study of archaeoastronomy. And with its broad remit in both time and space, this will remain for many years a valuable planet-wide survey of sites from the prehistoric to the Renaissance.” (Clifford Cunningham, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage, VOl. 24 (4), 2021)»

Glossary of Terminology

Chapter 1

Introduction

Overview, Intentions and Limitations of the Book Content

Basics of Archaeoastronomy

Universal Cosmic Symbols, Cosmic Man, World Tree,

Cave Art

Lascaux Cave: Taurus Painting and Symbolism of Markings

Prehistoric Monumental Architecture

Standing Stones, Sun Temples and Megalithic Sites, Malta, Gobekli Tepe, British Isles,

Cosmological Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt

Pyramids and Temple Orientations and Alignments, Constellation Images, Astronomical Ceilings, Sky Myths

Cosmological Artwork of Mesopotamia

Bas-relief carvings of Planetary Gods, Sumerian Clay Tablets

Chapter 2

Cosmological Art and Architecture of Southeast Asia

Hinduism: Symbolism of Hindu Temples, Cosmic Myths, Dancing Shiva Statues, Temple of Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Buddhism: Pillars of Ashoka, Symbolism of Buddhist Stupas, The Great Stupa at Sanchi, India, the Ajanta Caves, Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar, Boudhanath Stupa, Nepal, Temple of Borobudur, Java,

Cosmological Art and Architecture of China

Cosmic Temples of Old Beijing, Temple of Heaven, The Forbidden City, The Mandate of Heaven and Celestial Order, Astronomical Alignments and Rituals, Oldest Star Map Found at Dunhuang Caves, Star Map from Song Dynasty

Chapter 3

Cosmological Art and Architecture in Classical and Hellenistic Greece

Astronomical Orientations, Greek Temples, Greek Theaters, Stellar Myths

Cosmological Orientations at Petra

The Great Temple, Mortuary Temples

Cosmological Art and Architecture in Ancient Rome

Artworks of Augustus, Villa of Hadrian, Pantheon, Ocular Light and Shadow, Horologium, Zodiac Mosaics, Astronomical Symbolism of the Cult of Mithras

Chapter 4

Cosmological Art and Architecture in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Medieval: Paintings of Giotto, Arena Chapel, Astronomical Manuscripts, Alignment of Churches, Zodiac of Chartres Cathedral, Cosmological Diagrams,

Renaissance: Astronomical Ceilings, Sistine Chapel, Solar Symbology, Children of Mercury, Venus and Mars, Art of Astronomical Manuscripts, The Sun in the Church

Early Modern Art and Architecture

Chapter 5

Cosmological Art and Architecture of Mesoamerica

Teotihuacan: Alignment of Temples and Pyramids of the Sun, Moon and Quetzalcoatl,

Cosmic Design of the City

Tenochtitlan: Pyramid Alignments, Solar Gods

Cosmological Art and Architecture of Ancient Maya

Alignments of Maya Temples, Buildings and Pyramids, Fresco Paintings of Bonambak, Chichen Itza Caracol, Star Gods, Tomb Art of Lord Pakal, Art and Symbology of the Stars

Chapter 6

Cosmological Art and Architecture of South America

Alignments of Incan Temples, Machu Picchu Observatory, Cosmology of Corichanca Temple, Inca Celestial Bodies, Solar observatories

Cosmological Architecture of North America

Chaco Canyon, Kivas, Cahokia, Serpent Mound

Chapter 7

Apotheosis: Becoming A Star

Egyptian Pharaoh to Roman Emperor to George Washington to Louis Napoleon Bonaparte

Roden Crater Project

Sun-light, Solar and Celestial Viewing Site, Flagstaff, AZ
Dr. Dolan received her BS, MFA and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in medieval manuscripts, minoring in medieval architecture and history of astronomy. She taught at the University of Pittsburgh and Carlow University for many years. Now an independent scholar, she continues her research on the transmission of astronomical knowledge and lectures on art history at the NSU Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she also serves as a docent. Archaeoastronomy has been a lifelong area of study; she has taught the subject many times, including aboard a ship during a cruise around the world as faculty member for Semester at Sea based at the University of Virginia, where she was able to observe firsthand and to teach students at many historic sites.
Dr. Dolan has studied astronomical manuscripts in the libraries of Europe, specializing in the surviving Aratea manuscripts. Her research was published in the book Astronomical Knowledge Transmission Through Illustrated Aratea Manuscripts (Springer, 2017).