This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of Africans. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa and it includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars. Authors include astronomers Kim Malville, Johnson Urama, and Thebe Medupe; archaeologist Felix Chami, and geographer Michael Bonine, and many new authors. As an emerging subfield of cultural astronomy, African cultural astronomy researchers are focused on training students specifically for doing research in Africa. The first part of the volume contains lessons and exercises to help the beginning student of African cultural astronomy. Included are exercises in archaeoastronomy, cultural anthropology, and naked-eye astronomy penned by authors who use these regularly use these methods for their research. This collection of lessons and research papers provides a foundation for the cultural astronomy researcher interested in doing work in Africa.
Glossary of Terms Introduction by Keith Snedegar The History of African Cultural Astronomy Research by Jarita Holbrook New Section: The Primer African Geography African History African Literature - Damian Opata African Folklore - African Arts and Material Culture Archaeoastronomy - Kim Malville [The alignment of buildings and structures to celestial bodies] Astronomy - [Naked - Eye Astronomy] Celestial Mechanics - Johnson Urama - [ Solar system motions including the Sun, moon, and planets apparent motions] Cultural Anthropology Methods - New Section: Current Research The Borana and Mursi Calendars - Clive Ruggles, University of Leicester, United Kingdom Namoratunga: Archaeoastronomical Site - Laurance Doyle, the SETI Institute, USA (This paper uses some of the findings from Ruggles' paper to draw conclusions about the relationship between local calendars and this archaeological site.) The Astronomy of Nabta Playa - Kim Malville, University of Colorado (This paper is a report on astronomy alignments at archaeological sites.) Evidence for Ancient African Beliefs in Celestial Bodies- Felix Chami, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (Looks at archaeological evidence - Swahili people who are Muslim - Islamic theme.) The Qibla and Urban Morphology: Alignments in Muslim North Africa - Michael Bonine, University of Arizona (This paper looks at astronomical alignments of mosques - the Islamic theme.) The Timbuktu Science Project - Thebe Medupe, University of Cape Coast, South Africa (This paper focuses on the Islamic scientific writings in theTimbuktu collections.) Astronomy and Culture of Nigeria - Johnson Urama, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (Begins the Nigerian theme.) The Relationship between Human Destiny and the Cosmic Forces: A Study of the Igbo World View - Barth Chukwesi, University of Nigeria, Nsukka Astronomy and Divination among the Igbo of Nigeria - Damian Opata, University of Nigeria, Nsukka The Making of Cosmic Africa- Anne Rogers, Independent Filmmaker, Cape Town, South Africa (This film covered archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy sites all over Africa.). Index Bios of Authors
From the reviews:
"The 17 readable, stimulating papers deal with multiple topics: simple principles of looking at the heavens and what a person can get out of it as an anthropologist and a general observer ... and finally how cultural astronomy is expressed today in African cultures. ... Clearly a book for universities, this volume will also find interested readers in eclectic libraries, and amateur astronomers will be especially attracted by the contents. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries." (R. B. Clay, Choice, Vol. 46 (07), March, 2009)
This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of the African continent. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa and it includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars.
There are no other books that deal solely with African Cultural Astronomy
Brings together the latest research on Africal Cultural Astronomy