Sunday, September 19, 2010

Early Australian Astronomers


From cultural environment to the skies. To many the above constellation looks like Orion, however to the indigenous peoples of Australia it most certainly is an Emu.

And what brings this seemingly trite observation to today's post is Ray Norris' suggestion that Aborigines have understood the movement of the stars and planets far earlier than their counterparts at Stonehenge and Giza.

"We've established there is all this astronomy, what I don't know is how far back this goes," AFP quoted Norris as saying. "If it goes back 10,000 or 20,000 years, that makes (Aborigines) the world's first astronomers." -- Space.com

Norris, who is an astronomer for Australia's science agency explains the usefulness of information:

“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....” -- Redorbit.com


Conclusion: Fascinating research with widespread ramifications and usefulness. Even if the earlier of Norris' dates (10,000 years ago) is the correct one, that's a lot earlier than the paltry 3500 BC date of Stonehenge.

Space.com

Physorg.com


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