African Cultural Astronomy: Current Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy research in Africa by Jarita HolbrookAfrican Cultural Astronomy: Current Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy research in Africa by Jarita Holbrook

African Cultural Astronomy: Current Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy research in Africa

EditorJarita Holbrook, R. Thebe Medupe, Johnson O. Urama

Paperback | November 25, 2010

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Astronomy is the science of studying the sky using telescopes and light collectors such as photographic plates or CCD detectors. However, people have always studied the sky and continue to study the sky without the aid of instruments this is the realm of cultural astronomy. This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of Africans. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa. The volume includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars. Authors include astronomers Kim Malville, Johnson Urama, and Thebe Medupe; archaeologist Felix Chami, and geographer Michael Bonine, and many new authors. As an emerging subfield of cultural astronomy, African cultural astronomy researchers are focused on training students specifically for doing research in Africa. The first part of the volume contains lessons and exercises to help the beginning student of African cultural astronomy. Included are exercises in archaeoastronomy, cultural anthropology, and naked-eye astronomy penned by authors who use these regularly use these methods for their research. This collection of lessons and research papers provides a foundation for the cultural astronomy researcher interested in doing work in Africa.
Title:African Cultural Astronomy: Current Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy research in AfricaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:268 pages, 9.25 × 6.1 × 0 inPublished:November 25, 2010Publisher:Springer NetherlandsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:9048176875

ISBN - 13:9789048176878

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Table of Contents

Glossary of TermsIntroduction by Keith SnedegarThe History of African Cultural Astronomy Research by Jarita HolbrookNew Section: The PrimerAfrican GeographyAfrican HistoryAfrican Literature - Damian OpataAfrican Folklore -African Arts and Material CultureArchaeoastronomy - Kim Malville [The alignment of buildings and structures to celestial bodies]Astronomy - [Naked - Eye Astronomy]Celestial Mechanics - Johnson Urama - [ Solar system motions including the Sun, moon, and planets apparent motions]Cultural Anthropology Methods - New Section: Current ResearchThe Borana and Mursi Calendars - Clive Ruggles, University of Leicester, United KingdomNamoratunga: Archaeoastronomical Site - Laurance Doyle, the SETI Institute, USA (This paper uses some of the findings from Ruggles' paper to draw conclusions about the relationship between local calendars and this archaeological site.)The Astronomy of Nabta Playa - Kim Malville, University of Colorado (This paper is a report on astronomy alignments at archaeological sites.)Evidence for Ancient African Beliefs in Celestial Bodies- Felix Chami, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Looks at archaeological evidence - Swahili people who are Muslim - Islamic theme.)The Qibla and Urban Morphology: Alignments in Muslim North Africa - Michael Bonine, University of Arizona (This paper looks at astronomical alignments of mosques - the Islamic theme.)The Timbuktu Science Project - Thebe Medupe, University of Cape Coast, South Africa (This paper focuses on the Islamic scientific writings in the Timbuktu collections.)Astronomy and Culture of Nigeria - Johnson Urama, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Begins the Nigerian theme.)The Relationship between Human Destiny and the Cosmic Forces: A Study of the Igbo World View - Barth Chukwesi, University of Nigeria, NsukkaAstronomy and Divination among the Igbo of Nigeria - Damian Opata, University of Nigeria, NsukkaThe Making of Cosmic Africa- Anne Rogers, Independent Filmmaker, Cape Town, South Africa (This film covered archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy sites all over Africa.).IndexBios of Authors

Editorial Reviews

From the reviews:"The 17 readable, stimulating papers deal with multiple topics: simple principles of looking at the heavens and what a person can get out of it as an anthropologist and a general observer . and finally how cultural astronomy is expressed today in African cultures. . Clearly a book for universities, this volume will also find interested readers in eclectic libraries, and amateur astronomers will be especially attracted by the contents. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries." (R. B. Clay, Choice, Vol. 46 (07), March, 2009)