课程信息
Archaeoastronomy is the “science of stars and stones”. It is an interdisciplinary science in between architecture, archaeology, and astronomy. It studies the relationships between the ancient monuments and the sky, in order to gain a better understanding of the ideas of the architects of the past and of their religious and symbolic world. The course provides the first complete, easy introduction to this fascinating discipline. During the course, many spectacular ancient sites of archaeology – such as Stonehenge in England, Giza and Karnak in Egypt, Chichen Itzá in the Yucatan, Macchu Picchu in Peru and the Pantheon in Rome – will be visited and the fascinating events occurring there in special days of the year (such as solstices, equinoxes, or the day of the foundation of Rome) will be shown and explained. The course also provides the necessary background on Astronomy with the naked eye and a general introduction to the role of Astronomy in religion and in the management of power among ancient cultures.
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Beginner Level

初级

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English

字幕:English, Spanish
Globe

100% 在线课程

立即开始,按照自己的计划学习。
Beginner Level

初级

Comment Dots

English

字幕:English, Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Week 1

In this week we shall learn the basic tools which are needed for studying Archaeoastronomy. Essentially, this means learning Astronomy with the naked eye, since the ancients did not have telescopes, and becoming acquainted with a simple instrument - the magnetic compass - and amazing softwares: virtual globes and digital planetariums....
Reading
5 videos (Total 25 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
The celestial coordinates and the apparent motion of the Sun6m
The constellations and the apparent motion of the stars6m
Precession and the reconstruction of ancient skies4m
Sightseeing with an archaeoastronomer's eye4m
Reading1 readings
Supplementary Course Text5m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Astronomy with the naked eye: how the ancients saw the sky15m

2

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Week 2

The core of the course: understanding how astronomy, religion, and the management of power were connected in ancient cultures, and the way in which these connections are reflected in architecture and landscape since the Neolithic. At the end of the week we shall thus visit the places where Archaeoastronomy was born: Stonehenge and Newgrange....
Reading
4 videos (Total 24 min), 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Archaeoastronomy in action: hierophanies and sacred landscapes6m
The places where Archaeoastronomy was born: Stonehenge6m
The places where Archaeoastronomy was born: Newgrange4m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Astronomy, power and architecture15m

3

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Week 3

An archaeoastronomical tour in a wonderful land: Egypt of the Pharaohs. We shall visit Khufu's (Cheops) Great Pyramid and assist to the spectacular hierophany which occurs every year at Giza at the summer solstice. Then, we shall move to the huge temple of Karnak at the winter solstice, to finally encounter the "heretic" king Akhenaten and the astronomy-related project of his new capital....
Reading
5 videos (Total 30 min), 1 quiz
Video5 videos
The Great Pyramid and the stars6m
The horizon of Khufu7m
Karnak, Abu Simbel and the Egyptian calendar6m
The Amarna heresy and the horizon of the Aten5m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Ancient Egypt15m

4

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Week 4

An introduction to pre-Columbian Archaeoastronomy, with key topics such as the Maya Calendar, the role of astronomy in Maya architecture, and the sacred space of the Incas at Cusco and Macchu Picchu....
Reading
4 videos (Total 28 min), 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Chichen Itza and the Serpent Equinox7m
The Inca pillars of the Sun6m
Macchu Picchu4m
Quiz1 practice exercises
The Pre-Columbian world15m

5

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Week 5

A fascinating travel in Greek and Roman Italy, in search of astronomy in the project of some of the masterpieces of the classical age, from the Greek temples of Sicily to the Pantheon in Rome....
Reading
3 videos (Total 19 min), 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Aosta and Augustus' power from the stars6m
Astronomy and empire at the Pantheon in Rome6m
Quiz1 practice exercises
The Classical world15m

6

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Astronomy insights

Archaeoastronomy is not only "speaking about the Sun and the other stars". Interest in the cumbersome, apparent motion of the Moon and in the alternating behaviour of Venus as morning star/evening star is also present in ancient architecture, for instance in the Americas. This section provides the tools needed to investigate in such cases, as well as insights on the physical effects affecting measures in Archaeoastronomy....
Reading
1 video (Total 6 min), 18 readings, 1 quiz
Reading18 readings
Lunar phases10m
The eclipses10m
The change in the rising and setting points of the Moon10m
The Moon in Archaeoastronomy10m
Bibliography10m
The planets visible with the naked eye10m
The Motion of Venus10m
Venus in Archaeoastronomy10m
Bibliography10m
The Earth's atmosphere10m
Extincion and Thom's law10m
Refraction and parallax10m
Visual alignments10m
The horizon formula10m
Graphical tools10m
Handling archaeoastronomical data10m
The use of Probability in Archaeoastronomy10m
Bibliography10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Astronomy insight15m
4.4
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started a new career after completing these courses
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got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By DENov 10th 2017

It was a very interesting course, and had addressed the subject matter in an organized manner. It was challenging at times, but maintained my interest throughout the course.

By SCAug 14th 2017

awesome course, I had a wonderful time and learnt a lot also the material is very good and is of high quality. The course is well designed and it fulfilled all my needs.

Instructor

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Giulio Magli

Full Professor

About Politecnico di Milano

Politecnico di Milano is a scientific-technological University, which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers. From 2014 Politecnico di Milano started the release of several MOOCs, developed by the service for digital learning METID (Methods and Innovative Technologies for Learning), giving everybody the chance to enhance personal skills....

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