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There's a pretty strong overlap between these two aspects of Cultural astronomy, so I'd say let it stand. If enough ethnoastronomical material is added that it deserves a separate article, that might be the time to split them. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 23:44, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Astronomy itself is a science, and has nothing to do with cultural interpretations. There was some confusing wording in the introduction that I've tried to fix. The sentences cited the 2005 Ruggles work, which did not contain the implication that astronomy is subject to cultural interpretation. While the methods of measuring stellar and planetary movement and the interpretation of the results may have changed over the centuries, the universe still acts the same regardless of your culture. --RabidDeity (talk) 21:24, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Astronomy, as a science, isn't to be confused with nature. Although the universe hasn't changed, human interpretations of it -- which is what astronomies are -- have changed in different times and cultures. I'll go back to Ruggles's book to see what he has to say about this. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 00:50, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Ruggles, as an astronomer turned archaeologist, says quite clearly (2005, p. 22) that "what different groups of people perceive as important in the sky, and what significance they ascribe to it, is highly culture-dependent." Although his examples are largely prehistoric and ethnographic, he does not exclude modern astronomy from that description. Elswewhere (1999, p. 155) he does distinguish the approaches between "the external, 'objective' view of the world underlying modern astronomy [and] the internalized, contextually rich nature of most non-Western world views." Non-western cultures' symbolic understandings of phenomena in the sky were "their science, and by striving to understand symbolic associations in the material record aspects of it may begin to be revealed to us."
I think your recent change needs some polishing to reflect this nuanced archaeoastronomical point of view. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 01:13, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Very good points. Modern astronomy strives to be scientifically objective, but as with any human work likely isn't without bias. Most markedly, the distinction between astronomy and astrology is very much a recent one. In the interests of keeping this as clear to uninformed readers as possible (yet restraining from cultural judgments) I'd like to maintain a distinction between objective, empirical observations (the science of astronomy) and the distribution of and interpretation of those observations-- the human factor, the cultural significance of astronomy, the field of archaeoastronomy upon which Ruggles seems to place emphasis. In this light, could you suggest improvements to the introduction to make it more polished? --RabidDeity (talk) 08:47, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Trying to draw a distinction between science and non-science is a difficult problem. Your suggested distinction in which astronomy is observations and the distribution and interpretation of those observations is something else seems to miss the distinction that Ruggles, and most archaeoastronomers, make. Two examples:
We know that the Hopi made precise solar observations, but they did it in a religious context, were those observations astronomy? I once didn't think so, but now I'm convinced that they are.
We know Kepler interpreted Tycho Brahe's observations, certainly those interpretations were astronomy.
Can we come up with a better distinction or -- as I would favor (McCluskey 2005) -- do all the archaeoastronomical examples in this article reflect the different ways that different peoples do astronomy. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 19:17, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
It's much clearer now. I just wanted to avoid falling into the trap of the definition being not distinguished enough from astronomy or historical astronomy, which is a distinction that appears to have been argued to death here already. Good job, and thanks. --RabidDeity (talk) 01:33, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
This page has 'notes', which you can use to find where in the page the note is, and 'references' which give the full reference to the note. But the references do not necessarily tie in with the notes. e.g. Bpenprase is trying to add a citation to the list of references which is not referenced from the text. It is only observant editors which are stopping this. And 'Sir Jocelyn Stephens' has only the ref given in notes, there isn't a full ref in 'references'.
Why aren't we simply using a standard list of numbered references? I suggest collapsing 'notes' and 'refs' into one section 'refs'. Comments? Aarghdvaark (talk) 15:38, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
The editors chose to use Wikipedia's short footnotes format as an outgrowth of an earlier featured article review. The general policy is not to change an article's formats from an accepted form unless there is a reason to do so. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 21:36, 1 December 2010 (UTC)
Personally I feel there is very good reason to do so. In this instance, because there are so many references, in some cases large numbers to the same author, the format has become clumsy and very difficult for the user. G4OEP — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 08:02, 24 June 2015 (UTC)
Doug, Despite the many controversies surrounding the Fajada Butte Sun Dagger, it is the best studied example of a class of such sites that are found throughout the Southwestern US. I think we should retain the image as representative of that kind of site.
BTW, calling Sofaer an artist suggests that she doesn't know the astronomy. Most people who do archaeoastronomy have training in other fields; Sofaer studied art. She is a strong advocate for "her site" and I think some of her claims are wrong, but she does know what she's talking about. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 20:14, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Ok. We need to somehow make it clear in this article that it's disputed. Dougweller (talk) 20:41, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I just compared the changes to the article, and I find that recent edits by Bheldthor make strong claims that "its explicit light markings that record all of the key events of both the solar and lunar cycles: summer solstice, winter solstice, equinox, and the major and minor lunar standstills." The section probably can be improved by reverting those recent edits. It will probably still need further work, however. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 21:33, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I believe there should be a section dedicated to Karahunj (Zorats Karer) since its most widely accepted theory is that it was used as an astronomical site. There should be more reason to be on this page than Stonehenge. Arzashkun (talk) 10:08, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
It seems uncontroversial that the site represents an example of an archaeoastronomical site. However a reference in one book and a show on the history channel do not necessarily a major example make. I'd say the best course of action here would be to balance WP:DUE and WP:BOLD in other words, if you want to add information on Zorats Karer please do so, but if it seems to have an undue amount of attention keep in mind that it might be shortened on you. Simonm223 (talk) 14:45, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
Please note that this is the primary article concerning archaeoastronomy, and only discusses major sites of archaeoastronomical interest, limiting its treatment to a few well-attested and extensively studied sites. Ruggles (Ancient Astronomy, p. 65) describes Carahunge cautiously as having "been interpreted as an Armenian Stonehenge", and does not strongly endorse the site.
In this article and its links this name (Senenmut) is spelled with or without the second 'n'. In the Metropolitan Museum page (a scan of the ceiling) it is Senenmut. email@example.com — Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 23:22, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
It's Senenmut in that article, and it's Senemut in Astronomical ceiling of Senemut Tomb, not just in its title, but in deliberate override of text in a wikilink to the Senenmut article. What's up? The Senenmut article lists two alternate spellings, but not this one. The prime Google lists automatically assume you're looking for Senenmut if you type Senemut, but I presume there's a better way to settle what is the scholarly norm. I just don't have that expertise. Evensteven (talk) 23:43, 10 September 2014 (UTC)
The Library of Congress Authorities page gives Senenmut as the primary heading and Senmut and Sn.n.mwt as alternates. As always, it gives some sources for each.
On a second point, the discussion of Senenmut's tomb seems tangential to archaeoastronomy and would seem to fit better in history of astronomy, where there already is a figure showing the star chart from Senenmut's tomb. --SteveMcCluskey (talk) 16:32, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointers. Your second point seems right to me, for what that's worth. In two days I haven't been able to get the LoCA link to work, but starting a new search at the website certainly produces a primary entry for Senenmut. No corresponding hit for Senemut. So I suppose I ought to pose the question: is there a reason why the article "Astronomical ceiling of Senemut Tomb" should not be moved to "Astronomical ceiling of Senenmut Tomb"? Of course, its contents would require name changing throughout also. Evensteven (talk) 20:20, 7 October 2014 (UTC)