Archaeoastronomy Part II

  • Jonathan Powell
Part of the The Patrick Moore Practical Astronomy Series book series (PATRICKMOORE)


The great stone circles across Europe define an era in astronomy. These huge monuments, many of which survive into the present, were built to help predict astronomical phenomena. Beginning around 3000 BCE, people across Britain and Western Europe began accumulating these giant stones known as megaliths, placing them in specific shapes and special orientations. The stones, along with others not just in Britain and Western Europe but also in North America and India, suggest that the marking of time was central to these early communities, who were developing increasingly sophisticated ways to measure the months and seasons. It can be assumed that these early constructions primarily served religious and ceremonial functions, with many attuned to the solstices for that reason.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan Powell
    • 1
  1. 1.Ebbw ValeUK

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