LINKS: Ancient Astronomers

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Science  03 Nov 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5493, pp. 895
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5493.895c

Archaeoastronomers study ancient archaeological sites and try to understand how they may have been used to interpret the heavens in extinct cultures. But many claims made on the Web about alleged archaeoastronomy sites don't quite stand up to scientific scrutiny, believes John Carlson of the University of Maryland, College Park, director of the independent Center for Archaeoastronomy. So several years ago Carlson and a graduate student set up their own Web page, to provide a more reliable source of information and “debunk nonsense,” he says.

Today, the page serves as a clearinghouse for archaeoastronomy on the Web, linking both experts and novices to relevant journals, photographs of archaeological sites, and news of the archaeoastronomy community. This image shows El Caracol in Chichén Itzá, a Mayan site in southeastern Mexico that some archaeologists think may have been built in alignment with the planet Venus for religious purposes, or as an erstwhile observatory.

www.wam.umd.edu/∼tlaloc/archastro/index.html

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