Session: #338

Theme & Session Format

Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans and landscapes
Session format:
Round table (only list of confirmed discussants(session co-organizers)

Title & Content

SEAC 27: Archaeology and Cultural Astronomy, Bridging the Gap between Trench and Sky
All human societies live under a sky that may have been incorporated into their understanding of the world around them. In a sense, if we define ‘astronomy’ as the impulse to look up into the sky for whatever purpose, then we can see that every society has had such impulse. Frequently these observations have been variously materialised in mobiliary and parietal art or in monuments. These suggest a fruitful intersection between cultural astronomy and archaeology is possible. But a long series of misunderstandings have kept archaeology and archaeoastronomy apart for a long time.
For mutual progress our two disciplines need to understand why and how this separation occurred and whether it is possible to map out a route out of the impasse. In our view cultural astronomy has made a significant progress in recent decades and now includes different methodological and theoretical trends. An example of this would be the recent proposal for a new ‘skyscape archaeology’.
The opportunity to celebrate the 27th annual meeting of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC) together with the 25th annual meeting of the European Archaeologists Association (EAA) is a key moment for engaging in a fruitful dialogue between the two disciplines to bridge the gap still existing. Some of the research questions that could be addressed are:
- Is Cultural Astronomy giving answers for questions not (yet) posed by Archaeology?
- Are we (cultural astronomers and archaeologists) asking the same questions?
- Is arqueoastronomy an archaeometry or can it provide something else than data?
- Should the sky be a relevant concept for archaeology?
Two members of each society will lead the debate trying to set the view of the other field from the back sight of their own, finally opening the floor for comments and discussion from the general audience.
Cultural Astronomy, Archaeological debate, Archaeoastronomy, Skyscape archaeology
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
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Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:
The European Society for Astronomy in Culture, SEAC


Main organiser:
Antonio César González-García (Spain) 1
Felipe Criado Boado (Spain) 2
1. European Society for Astronomy in Culture (SEAC)
2. European Association of Archaeologists