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Irish Astronomy - how far back are members interested to go?

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:idea:

Anyone else interested in the way ancient navigators travelled by the stars without sextants or magnet?

or (say)

the way monks once used astronomical figures in their art, as well as for timing the night hours.

or star-calendars as the basis for agriculture in the older world?

(Folk astronomy, as you see, is a passion I have).. Hope enough others share an interest

Diane
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
15 years 9 months ago #40193

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I'm by no means an expert on this kind of thing but I do find it very interesting.

Bart.
My Home Page - www.bartbusschots.ie
15 years 9 months ago #40197

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15 years 9 months ago #40203

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Diane,

You could do worse than check out Anthony Murphy's site www.mythicalireland.com/

His book is a fascinating read - Island of the Setting Sun -
In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers.
Anthony is a contributor to these boards , so I'm sure you'll probably have a contact from him soon.
Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos
15 years 9 months ago #40233

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Diane,

You could do worse than check out Anthony Murphy's site www.mythicalireland.com/

His book is a fascinating read - Island of the Setting Sun -
In Search of Ireland's Ancient Astronomers.
Anthony is a contributor to these boards , so I'm sure you'll probably have a contact from him soon.


I'll vouch for that its a great read, especially if you like Celtic mythology as well.

I'd imagine its a bit controversial in archeology circles.
15 years 9 months ago #40400

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Thanks for the links. Archaeoastronomy tends to stick with the megalithic and with the American/South American material these days.

I'd like to know more about whether/how much older Celtic knowledge of astronomy survived in medieval culture, and there I think the mythic ireland site will probably be the best source in future. Thanks again.

D.
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
15 years 9 months ago #40426

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I'd imagine its a bit controversial in archeology circles.


Oscar Wilde once said, "There's only one thing worse than being talked about. And that's not being talked about". In our case, the deafening silence thus far from the archaeological community could signal any number of things. Perhaps they're busy consulting their star charts?? :wink:

But seriously, we've had a lot of co-operation from the archaeological community. They've helped us enormously in our understanding of the past, and we'd like to think we're helping them also. I genuinely believe we have nothing to fear from each other. A number of archaeologists are friends of ours.

I believe the archaeological community is now, by and large, very progressive in its view towards ancient astronomy. I've heard numerous archaeologists discuss the idea of alignments at various sites. In most cases, archaeologists have no knowledge of the stars and the sky so they're starting from a point of disadvantage. Just like the start we had eight years ago when we embarked on this journey which culminated in Island of the Setting Sun. Back then, we knew little about archaeology.

Opinion is changing. Perhaps slowly, but it's changing nonetheless. It is clear that ancient societies all across the globe were adept astronomers. And why not? They lived under the stars, without the modern distractions.

We, on the other hand, spend most of our time indoors. And even if we venture out at night, we find our view of the cosmos obscured by artificial light. Most of us "modern" astronomers owe much of our knowledge to books. How much of our knowledge is derived from actual practical observation under the stars?

The ancients, on the other hand, learned by actual observation and passed on their knowledge, thereby enlarging it from generation to generation.

Just some thoughts!
15 years 9 months ago #40779

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We, on the other hand, spend most of our time indoors. And even if we venture out at night, we find our view of the cosmos obscured by artificial light. Most of us "modern" astronomers owe much of our knowledge to books. How much of our knowledge is derived from actual practical observation under the stars?


Very true. Observation is more the verification of what I've read. Time spent underdark skies are limited to weather, location, work pressures, etc. etc. I do however make the most of it when I am out.

How many of us keep a log? My guess is not too many. I know my own is very patchy.
Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos
15 years 9 months ago #40783

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I'd like to share some of the pictures I have gleaned from medieval monastic and textile works, - they seem to me to be based on folk-astronomy and monastic time-keeping stars' legends.

I do not have a web-page, and a 'glitch' of some sort prevents my accessing the fliker site. Stumped - any suggestions welcome.
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
15 years 9 months ago #41075

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I'd like to share some of the pictures I have gleaned from medieval monastic and textile works, - they seem to me to be based on folk-astronomy and monastic time-keeping stars' legends.

I do not have a web-page, and a 'glitch' of some sort prevents my accessing the fliker site. Stumped - any suggestions welcome.


The way you spelled "fliker" might be the problem ?

try www.flickr.com
Clear Skies,
John Murphy
Irish Astronomical Society
Check out My Photos
15 years 9 months ago #41091

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:lol:
Thanks, but that's not the problem
:lol:
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
15 years 8 months ago #42072

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Each of us is here on earth for a reason, and each of us has a special mission to carry out - Maria Shriver

15 years 8 months ago #42081

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This is really a response to ctr's signature 'quote'.
ctr -
I thought you might like this too. Its sort of related to your quote, paraphrasing something written by the French author St. Exupery:

"Don't ask God why you were born: it is less for God to explain that mystery than for you to justify it" :)
".. the Carthaginian captain Hamilar saw in Birttany about 600bc .. skin boats which were making (so he reported) the three hundred mile crossing to the holy island of Ierne (Eire)"
15 years 3 months ago #49935

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