A Sky Dome Visualisation for Identification of Astronomical Orientations

Georg Zotti, Meister Eduard Gröller
A Sky Dome Visualisation for Identification of Astronomical Orientations
In Proceedings IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, pages 9-16. October 2005.
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Abstract

It has long been known that ancient temples were frequently oriented along the cardinal directions or to certain points along the horizon where Sun or Moon rise or set on special days of the year. In the last decades, archaeologists have found evidence of even older building structures buried in the soil, with doorways that also appear to have distinct orientations.

This paper presents a novel diagram combining archaeological maps with a folded-apart, flattened view of the whole sky, showing the local horizon and the daily paths of sun, moon and brighter stars. By use of this diagram, interesting groupings of astronomical orientation directions, e.g. to certain sunrise and sunset points could be identified, which were evidently used to mark certain days of the year. Orientations to a few significant stars very likely indicated the beginning of the agricultural year in the middle neolithic period.

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BibTeX

@inproceedings{Zotti-2005-vis,
  title =      "A Sky Dome Visualisation for Identification of Astronomical
               Orientations",
  author =     "Georg Zotti and Meister Eduard Gr\"{o}ller",
  year =       "2005",
  abstract =   "  It has long been known that ancient temples were
               frequently oriented along the cardinal directions or to
               certain points along the horizon where Sun or Moon rise or
               set on special days of the year.  In the last decades,
               archaeologists have found evidence of even older building
               structures buried in the soil, with doorways that also  
               appear to have distinct orientations.    This paper presents
               a novel diagram combining archaeological maps with a
               folded-apart, flattened view of the whole sky, showing the
               local horizon and the daily paths of sun, moon and brighter
               stars. By use of this diagram, interesting groupings of
               astronomical   orientation directions, e.g. to certain
               sunrise and sunset points   could be identified, which were
               evidently used to mark certain days   of the year.
               Orientations to a few significant stars very likely  
               indicated the beginning of the agricultural year in the
               middle   neolithic period.",
  month =      oct,
  booktitle =  "Proceedings IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization",
  editor =     "John Stasko and Matt Ward",
  isbn =       "0-7803-9464-X",
  location =   "Minneapolis",
  publisher =  "IEEE",
  pages =      "9--16",
  keywords =   "data mining, Astronomy, Archaeology",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2005/Zotti-2005-vis/",
}