An interesting web site is at http://journalofcosmology.com/AncientAstronomy102.html ‘Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: The Role of Astronomy in Ancient culture’ and as yet I have not explored anything else at the site – but will when time allows. It has an interesting image of a Venus figurine cut out of limestone and dated between 30 and 25,000 years ago – holding what appears to be a large horn. The text takes this to be a representation of the Moon, which I can’t see – it could just as easily be a comet or some other kind of cosmic phenomenon. It also has a couple of images of Lascaux paintings – and reference to Michael Rappengluck. I was googling his name when I came across this site and will post something on the cave art in the future.
My eye was also caught by comments on Gobekli Tepe – the Hill in SE Anatolia currently being excavated by a joint German/Turkish team. A cluster of stone monuments were erected with large pillars with a T cross member, and dry stone walling, and has been dated back to 11,000 years ago – at the very beginning of the Holocene. It is a series of sanctuaries, in fact, built one after the other, even on top of each other, so the site could have been in use for a very long period of time – and dates may be revised in the future. However, at some point in time the site was deliberately backfilled and buried and this has created the conditions for preservation. Until the whole site is uncovered a full appraisal cannot be done but provisionally the various monuments appear to be ellipsoid in form – but there is no specifically favoured orientation of them. What is exciting about this site is that the T pillars are decorated – and this is where astronomical interpretations might be made as a crescent and star motif has been found. There are representations of animals that appear to be resemble representations of the constellations – such as Leo, Taurus, and Scorpio.
The article then moves onto megalithic monuments on the Iberian peninsular as well as Maori, Mayan and Egyptian astronomical alignments – including the Karnak Temple. Very good.