Within naked eye/visual/astronomy related environment
What was perceivable (and a little more in case we don't know what they perceived) by Neolithic people?

Cosmology in this handbook/website is about how people perceive the world (so not the strict scientific idea around how the universe started/evolved). Two aspects of cosmology are important:

  1. How do people experience/perceive the world/universe: religions/worldviews/etc. This has no relation if this perception can be explained scientifically.
  2. If scientific models can support/explain the cosmological ideas that people developed.
This handbook is more about the second aspects.

The level of detail:

Basic essential understanding subjects

Duffett-Smith [1990] gives astronomical code (too much detail), but his introductions to each routine might be at the correct level. Ruggles' [1999] boxes give ideas what he sees important. Also follow the methodology of Schaeffer.

Assuming present-scientific models  (which makes a past celestial picture) are accurate enough to determine the past sky, its past celestial picture hopefully can be used understand how the views, earlier-scientific models, non-scientific models, cosmology, and myths was done. Of course the present day model is still not 100% correct, but hopefully its past celestial picture is correct enough to still show the past sky and thus understand how this past sky was modelled in the former models.

Difference between methodological and ontological materialism. And in this handbook methodological materialism is used with regard to non-present-scientific models.

Basic subjects are:

Type of tools

There are different tools:

  1. tools that might have been used by Neolithic people.
  2. tools in antiquity,
  3. instruments of present day (say cheap/poorman’s tools) and
  4. present/modern tools (say expensive scientific tools).
At this moment I would prefer to see the priority from 1 to 5. And also more detail for Tool1 than for Tool5.

The configuration under study

  1. inter and intra building
  2. backsight/foresight:
    1. in sky: observational astronomy (real/virtual)
    2. on land: geographical (real/virtual)
    3. sky/land combination: reappearing/window/etc
  3. in archaeology: artefacts, art depiction
  4. calendars
  5. measurement tools: compass, altimeter, ruler, etc.
  6. cheap enough tools to determine configuration: workflow
  7. other tools: GIS, theodolite, electronic distance meter (EDM),

Configuration's relation with the real world

  1. observation location
  2. directed to horizon/main mountain (representing god/etc.)
  3. directed to certain celestial events: Moon&Sun (set/rise/transit/zenith/crossover/equinox/standstills/eclipses), planet (types/rise/set/heliacal), stars (rise/set/heliacal/types/phases)
  4. plant/animal migration
  5. limits of human perceptions/size/etc.
  6. difference in perception value and scientific values (for isntance: distance; color; size; sound level; etc. perception value are not one to one to the scientific value): Moon illusion and perceived sound levels depending on frequency are examples
  7. cheap enough tools to determine aims: apps, spreadsheet, workflow, ephemeris, land/sky charts, horizon profile
  8. other tools: astrolab/antikythera/photometry

Test methodologies

  1. statistics
  2. comparing and error evaluation, incl dating archaeology
  3. pitfalls, risks
  4. tool to test: apps, spreadsheet, workflow,

Modern theory behind all the above

How deep to go. Don't know yet. But it should be enough to have a grasp of the principles

  1. main theories directly need to make above work/understand (e.g. harmonic sum)
  2. theories indirectly need to make above work/understand
  3. statistical theories
  4. supporting/fundamental theories for the main theories
  5. scientific methodologies
  6. myths/sagas/'old theories'

Code/mechanics behind the tools

Hand or machine driven procedures? I would think using modern tools.
How deep to go. Don't know yet. But it should be enough to have a grasp of the principles

  1. mechanism of horizon profiles/etc.
  2. making programming lines for calculator/computer/etc.

Possible (spiritual) meaning/reason (past theory)

  1. perceived, predicting
  2. periodical events (calendrical): season, planting, eclipses
  3. veneration
  4. gods, spirits, etc.
  5. creation theories

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Last major content related changes: Nov. 12, 2012