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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Did astronomy feature in the world-picture of Neolithic peoples? Archaeoastronomers seek to answer this question by measuring the orientations of passage graves and other monuments from the period, and seeing whether these orientations fall into patterns that represent customs that the builders felt constrained to follow. Occasionally we find that graves simply faced downhill or towards a geographical feature, but in many cases we can be sure that there was a custom that was astronomically motivated because it was observed over a wide area. Often the custom appears to have required graves to face the rising (or setting) of either the sun or the moon, or these bodies when they were ascending (or descending).

Keywords: Orientations, sun, moon, sunrise, moonrise, passage graves, archaeoastronomy

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