Astronomy in Ancient Europe

Astronomy in Ancient Europe

Ancient peoples who inhabited Europe had advanced knowledge of the movements of the stars, mathematics, and geometry. They realized great constructions for the observational astronomy practice, they determined the solstices and equinoxes and could predict the eclipses.
The astronomers of the megalithic cultures had a really surprising knowledge of the movements of the stars and practical geometry. They show us that they possessed this great knowledge groups of large upright stones (megaliths, some of more than 25 tons in weight), arranged according to regular geometric patterns, found in many parts of the world.

Some of these circles of stones were erected in such a way as to mark the rising and setting of the Sun and the Moon at specific times of the year; they point especially to the eight extreme positions of the Moon in its changes of decline of the 21-day cycle that mediates between a full moon and the next.

Several of these observatories have been preserved to this day is the most famous those of Stonehenge in England and Carnac in France.

Stonehenge has been one of the most extensively studied. It was built in several phases between the years 2200 and 1600 BC Its use as an astronomical instrument allowed the megalithic man to make a quite precise calendar and predict celestial events such as lunar and solar eclipses.

Stonehenge was erected at 51 ° north latitude and it was taken into account the fact that the angle between the sunrise point at the summer solstice and the southernmost point of the Moon's exit is a right angle. The circle of stones, which was divided into 56 segments, could be used to determine the position of the Moon throughout the year. And also to find out the dates of the summer and winter solstices and to predict solar eclipses.

The circles of stones gave the megalithic man in Europe a fairly secure calendar, an essential requirement for his settlement in organized agricultural communities after the last glacial period, some 10,000 years BC But, although the primitive European learned to use the sky to regulate its life, continued worshiping the stars, considered as residence or even as a manifestation of powerful gods who controlled everything.

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