Back

Archaeoastronomy and Solar Clocks

  • Free

  • online
  • Online |
  • Anytime
  • Certificate

The course deals with the study of two disciplines that are only apparently distant from them. The first, the youngest for scientific codification, which took place only in the nineteenth century, was called "Archaeoastronomy", or the science that studies the astronomical alignments of some particular buildings of the past and their meaning. Today there is a growing importance of this discipline since architects, archaeologists and astronomers realized that archeo-astronomy provides an often new and unexpected key to the form and function of many monuments of the past. After a preparatory part of introduction to astronomy, in particular to the geometric models used for the study of its phenomena related to the two disciplines covered by the course, such as the apparent movement of the Sun and the stars, some examples are dealt with as case studies. In particular, the course offers three innovative and unpublished researches on the megalithic stone circle of Callanish in Scotland, on the rock church of San Nicola di Myra in the vicinity of the Apulian city of Mottola and on the Mayan astronomical observatory of Cichen Itza, since 1988 heritage of the UNSECO humanity.

The second part of the course is dedicated to gnomonics, that is the science for the construction of sundials, which is based on the same geometric processes analyzed for the apparent motion of the Sun. The course illustrates the functioning of a wide range of different types of clocks. solar and provides the knowledge indispensable to be able to read the measurement of time again thanks to these sophisticated artistic and, at the same time scientific, tools of the past. Also described are some monumental sundials of the city of Naples, both built in the seventeenth century by eminent scholars working in those times in the flourishing cultural climate of the Bourbon court, the first located in the Certosa di San Martino and the second in the Grand Hall of the Museum. National Archaeological_MANN.

This course combines two independent subjects whose distance from each other is only apparent. The first, archeoastronomy, was scientifically codified in the XIXth century and it is the study of the astronomical alignments of some peculiar buildings  from the past along with their meaning. This discipline has been gaining more and more attention since architects, archeologists and astronomy scholars realized that archeoastronomy permits to have a new and unexpected perspective on the shape and functions of many monuments. After a preparatory introduction to astronomy and to the geometrical models used to study the phenomena connected to these two disciplines such as the apparent motion of the sun and the stars, the students will be presented with three innovative and unpublished researches on the circle of megalithic stones in Callanish (Scotland), on Saint Nicholas from Myra rock church near Mottola (Apulia) and on the Mayanastronomical observatory of Cichen Itza (Unesco World Heritage Site since 1988).The second part of this course is dedicated to gnomonics, ie the study of the sundials construction which is based on the same geometrical processes analyzedin the apparent motion of the sun. This MOOC will then show how several types of

sundials work so as to enable the students to read the time through these sophisticated artistic and scientific tools from the past. Moreover, the users will also be introduced to two monumental sundials in Naples that were built in the XVIIth century by the eminent scholars that were then active in the thriving court of the Bourbons: the Charterhouse of Saint Martin's sundial and the one kept in the Great Hall of the National Archaelogical Museum (MANN).

Program Benefits

  • The astronomical alignments of particular buildings of the past and their meaning
  • The mechanisms and geometric models for measuring time and the appearance of luminous phenomena
  •  The construction of sundials.

In this course you will learn:

  • the astronomic alignments of peculiar buildings from the past and their meaning;
  • the mechanisms and the geometrical models for the measurement of time and the appearance of luminous phenomena;
  • sundials construction.

Faculty

Alessandra Pagliano
Professore associato

*Program faculty is subject to change

Upcoming

ll corso di Genetica presenta una descrizione storica delle scoperte chiave condotte nel secolo scorso che hanno portato ai moderni concetti di gene e di genoma, con particolare enfasi sul metodo scientifico. La parte ...
  • Free
  • Online
  • Certificate
La povertà è una condizione sociale che interessa tutte le società, anche quelle industrializzate dove si fonda su confronti intertemporali tra differenti gruppi sociali. Questo corso analizza sia l'atteggiamento ...
  • Free
  • Online
  • Certificate
II corso si prefigge di offrire una panoramica sulle tecnologie di trattamento automatico del linguaggio sia scritto che parlato con particolare attenzione alle tecnologie per il dialogo uomo-macchina.Vengono ...
  • Free
  • Online
  • Certificate