Skip to comments.Australian Aborigines 'world's first astronomers'
Posted on 09/18/2010 1:58:35 PM PDT by Fred Nerks
SYDNEY (AFP) An Australian study has uncovered signs that the country's ancient Aborigines may have been the world's first stargazers, pre-dating Stonehenge and Egypt's pyramids by thousands of years.
Professor Ray Norris said widespread and detailed knowledge of the stars had been passed down through the generations by Aborigines, whose history dates back tens of millennia, in traditional songs and stories.
"We know there's lots of stories about the sky: songs, legends, myths," said Norris, an astronomer for Australia's science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO).
"We wondered how much further does it go than that. It turns out also people used the sky for navigation, time-keeping, to mark out the seasons, so it's very practical.
"People were nomadic so when Pleiades (the Seven Sisters star cluster) was up they would move to where the nuts and berries are. Another sign and it would be time to move to the rivers to fish for barramundi, and so on."
Norris, who has studied Aboriginal culture and historical accounts by white settlers, and made several trips to Arnhem Land in Australia's remote Outback, said his research also revealed more detailed astronomical thought.
"Clearly some thinker in the past has been sitting down in the bush, watching an eclipse and trying to figure out how it works," he said, giving one example.
"Those thoughts are then encoded in the songs and ceremonies. If you take a lunar eclipse, the story in Arnhem Land is it's the Sun Woman and Moon Man making love, and when they make love the body of one covers the other."
Norris is now searching for evidence that would put a date on Aboriginal astronomy, such as a rock-carving of a meteor strike or comet.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
...but this is a symbol found all over the world.
This is going to make NASA’s new job a lot tougher. They are supposed to teach that it was the muzzies.
Oh.. you said "berries"...
What a load. When Europeans first arrived in Australia the aborigones had virtually no technology to show for their thousands of years of residence there. Crap houses (or none), crap boats (or none), spears and digeridoos. That was it.
Well, they better keep quiet about this, because Obama will get mad at them for not giving the credit to the muslims.
The Emu in the Sky lines up with a rock carving in Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park.
The Wurdi Youang stone arrangement in Victoria was built by the Wathaurung people before European settlement, but all records of its use have now disappeared. This egg-shaped ring of stones, about 50m in diameter, has its major axis almost exactly East-West. At its Western end, at the highest point of the circle, are three prominent waist-high stones. Morieson (2003) pointed out that some outlying stones to the West of the circle, as viewed from these three stones, seem to indicate the setting positions of the Sun at the equinoxes and solstices. Norris et al (2008) have confirmed these alignments and have shown that the straight sides of the circle also indicate the solstices.
However, a sceptic might still raise some doubts. First, the outliers are only accurate to a few degrees - could these alignments have occurred by chance? Second, although the stones of the circle are large and immovable, the outliers are small and could have been moved. Third, besides the outliers indicating the solstices and equinox, there is an additional outlier whose significance is unclear. While these doubts may seem contrived, they have to be answered, and the best way to do so would be to find another site with similar astronomical alignments. Other stone arrangements in Victoria also indicate the cardinal points, from which we may conclude that the local Aboriginal people knew these directions with some precision, presumably by observing celestial bodies. But are there other sites which point to the position of the solstices? The search continues.
Well, I have news for these people, all primitive tribes, and some not so primitive civilizations, back in the day, were star gazers. They had to be, they found their way around using the stars and they spent hours outdoors, both daylight and nighttime, and became quite familiar with the stars. I would say the earliest star gazers would be the earliest INTELLIGENT tribes who populated the earth. That would, of course, include, but not limit it to them exclusively, the Australian Aborigines
Human beings are well designed to be nomadic.
somewhat off topic, but I love this photo...bushman wildlife tracker, Kalahari Desert.
Indigenous Australians are regarded as our world's earliest primitive astronomers
Mr Curnow, who lives in the South Australian capital, Adelaide, teaches people "Australian starlore" in a seminar at the city's planetarium.
Australia's best-known constellation is the Southern Cross, or crux, and it appears on the national flag. As Mr Curnow's sketch shows, the Ngarrindjeri tribe saw a sting ray and the so-called "pointer stars" were two sharks in pursuit.
STINGRAY DREAMING? OTHERS SEE THE MADONNA ON A SLICE OF TOAST.
Importantly, Earth’s axial tilt works in about a 42,000 year cycle, and we are on the declining side of the cycle, at about 23.4°.
The Earth’s axial tilt varies in this cycle between 22.1° and 24.5°. While this doesn’t seem like much, 10,000 years ago, it would have meant less glaciation at the poles, and considerable difference in the seasons.
On the ground, a simple solar observatory just needs four points. The point of observation, two markers to indicate the solstices, and one in the middle to indicate the equinox. It can be pointed to either the sunrise or the sunset.
10,000 years ago, the solstice points would have been much further spaced.
The Milankovitch theory
The Wurdi Youang stone arrangement in Victoria was built by the Wathaurung people before European settlement, but all records of its use have now disappeared.Gosh, that's impossible, everyone knows that the aborigines have preserved an oral tradition for tens of thousands of years. /sarc
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How many prehistoric structures or engravings have we seen all over the world with astronomic implications? To say the Aborigines are the "first" is a stretch on this evidence.
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