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Jun 22, Alex rated it really liked it Shelves: past , physical-science. Human society has long existed for the most part in two dimensions. For most of history, the sky and its celestial bodies have been thought of as impossibly beyond the human realm, and thus related to a higher, spiritual plane, variously defined across cultures. The concept of the "shaman" as intermediary between human and spirit worlds was often linked to the knowledge of the movements of these celestial bodies — knowledge that often found its use in prediction of, and even control over, calami Human society has long existed for the most part in two dimensions.
The concept of the "shaman" as intermediary between human and spirit worlds was often linked to the knowledge of the movements of these celestial bodies — knowledge that often found its use in prediction of, and even control over, calamity, death, and the afterlife. One would well expect this near-universal anxiety, in the form of some connection with the movements of the stars, to be represented among the great technical triumphs of civilization.
MYSTERIES AND DISCOVERIES OF ARCHAEOASTRONOMY
The first section of Mysteries and Discoveries hops around the world, from Europe to the Mediterranean to Asia to the Americas to the South Pacific, relating chapter by chapter the likely astronomical inspirations behind aspects of, mostly, the architectural artefacts of assorted cultures of antiquity. If you're worried about nebulous New-Agey ideas here, as I admittedly was on the lookout for — don't be. The author qualifies all his claims and beliefs with an appropriate level of research and theory. There were some glitches at times that made it obvious I was reading a translation the original was in Italian , but it was otherwise well written and engaging enough to keep my interest, for a relatively academic text.
I don't know how current or accepted the ideas Magli puts forth are the original text is 10 years old now , not being much acquainted with the state of the field; but as a layman to archaeoastronomy looking for my first "serious" read on the subject, this was a satisfying choice. Nuno rated it really liked it Apr 26, John Orman rated it liked it May 07, Niki Costantini rated it really liked it Mar 22, Chris Marchan rated it really liked it Feb 03, Sara Mangili rated it really liked it Nov 04, Saretta rated it really liked it May 10, Alicia marked it as to-read Sep 08, Suresh marked it as to-read Oct 05, Elena marked it as to-read Feb 19, The other alternative is to break away completely from what already existed, to arrange the new building in as original a way as possible.
In fact, at Giza it did not happen either of these two ways.
The designers did not choose to place the two buildings in line, even though they could have done so if they so wished. Aligning the pyramids on the same parallel would not have made sense, since it would involve moving steadily away from the Nile, with the preexisting pyramid plumb in the middle.
But placing. That, however, was not done, and not for any reasons relating to the morphology of the land—quite the opposite.
Indeed, the geography of the place, if anything, would clearly have deterred the designers from building Khufu's pyramid so close to the rocky ridge running across the northern part of the plateau. As it was, to build the causeway sloping downhill, they had to create hefty structures out of stone blocks, which allowed the monumental path to leapfrog over the abrupt edge of the plateau, more than 20 meters high.
Some of the blocks from this great endeavor can still be seen at the point where the Giza archaeological area ends, north west of the Great Pyramid, and the modern village of Naziet starts. The pyramid of Khafre, in turn, even though it is located in a much more amenable place, in that it is the highest on the western horizon making it seem taller than Khufu's, though in fact it is not , and the plateau stretches out more gently at the base, is not really situated in what would be the most natural position. The idea—sometimes put forward—that its location may be due to the necessity of having a free view in the north for orientation is easily seen to be unsound, since there was no need for a free horizon in the north to look at the sky in the zone of circumpolar stars; the maximal blocking-sight view of the first pyramid viewing from the parallel of the northern baseline of the second is nearly equal to the height of the pole.
The best place of all would actually have been a few dozen meters eastward, avoiding the rocky ridge behind the west side. Yet, to build the monument exactly where they wanted it, the planners needed to cut through the bedrock of this ridge to a length of several hundreds meters.
This huge gash is still visible today, running along the west side of the pyramid, and is one of the most spectacular engineering works ever carried out on the Giza plateau. New Book. Shipped from UK. Established seller since Seller Inventory IQ Delivered from our UK warehouse in 4 to 14 business days. Ships with Tracking Number! Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory n.
Magli, Giulio : Mysteries and discoveries of archaeoastronomy : from Giza to Easter Island
Items related to Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy: From Giulio Magli. Publisher: Copernicus , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title This book offers the first authoritative introduction to the fascinating science of Archaeoastronomy. About the Author : Giulio Magli is Full Professor at the Faculty of Civil Architecture of the Politecnico di Milano, where he teaches the first archaeoastronomy course to be established in an Italian university.
Mysteries and Discoveries of Archaeoastronomy: From Giza to Easter Island
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