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Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power

Overview

Discover the celestial myths and cosmic rituals of ancient priests and kings . . .
Drawing on intimate knowledge of the more than 1,300 ancient sites he has visited, E. C. Krupp, acclaimed writer and preeminent researcher, takes you to the world's essential sacred places and celestial shrines. Join him on a rich narrative journey to see where the rulers of old communed with the gods of the sky.
"Highly ...

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Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power

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Overview

Discover the celestial myths and cosmic rituals of ancient priests and kings . . .
Drawing on intimate knowledge of the more than 1,300 ancient sites he has visited, E. C. Krupp, acclaimed writer and preeminent researcher, takes you to the world's essential sacred places and celestial shrines. Join him on a rich narrative journey to see where the rulers of old communed with the gods of the sky.
"Highly recommended to everyone interested in the culture of astronomy and those peoples who practiced it in their own ways."-Sky & Telescope
"A lively account of the ways in which our ancestors conceived of and used the heavens."-New Scientist
"There can be no doubt that this imaginative and readable work by a widely read and widely traveled author will strike a chord in the minds of a great many modern readers."-Isis
"The fact that the book is written by an expert in his field comes through on every page, as does his enthusiasm for the subject."-Astronomy Now
"Krupp's indispensable volume is fascinating, well-illustrated, and covers much territory."-Parabola

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Krupp's indispensable volume is fascinating, well-illustrated, and covers much territory. . . . His keen understanding of myth and archetypal themes in popular culture shines through in these pages."-Parabola

"It requires rare skill to impart so much information in so vivid a manner."-Modern Astronomer

Krupp's indispensable volume is fascinating, well-illustrated, and covers much territory. . . . His keen understanding of myth and archetypal themes in popular culture shines through in these pages.-Parabola

"It requires rare skill to impart so much information in so vivid a manner."-Modern Astronomer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471329756
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/12/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 9.25 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

E. C. KRUPP, Ph.D., is an astronomer and the director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. The award-winning author of In Search of Ancient Astronomies, Echoes of the Ancient Skies and Beyond the Blue Horizon, Dr. Krupp writes the popular "Rambling Through the Night Skies" column for Sky & Telescope magazine. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Fingerprints of Cosmic Power.

The Center of the World.

Plugging In to Cosmic Power.

Centers of Creation.

Mother Earth.

Agents of Renewal.

Shamans, Chiefs, and Sacred Kings.

Celestial Empires.

Enlightened Self-Interest and Ulterior Motives.

It Pays to Advertise.

Upward Mobility.

Bibliography.

Illustration Credits.

Index.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2003

    The Next Horizon

    Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power - A cross-cultural comparative analysis of the evolving relationship between cosmovision and state power from the ancient world until the present. A cross-cultural comparative analysis assembled out of archaeological sites the author has visited, Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings uses an entertaining anecdotal writing style to teach a few basics of astronomy without being didactic. Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings have shaped civilization from the very beginning, and their story paints a provocative portrait of humanity. The sky our ancient ancestors saw has influenced the establishment and alignment of monuments and whole cities, authorized wars, sanctified empires, and solidified society. Ancient astronomers were responsible for knowledge so valuable their services have been commissioned by Emperors & Kings in every epoch of history and on every continent of the earth. Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings¿ focus is primarily on the world of the ancients however, parallels between ancient and contemporary cultures are emphasized throughout. Modern society is in mourning over the loss of wholeness that 'The Center of the World' had once given us, `what ¿cosmovisions¿ can guide us across this wilderness of contemporary affairs?¿ Secularization was meant to temper influence and limit power yet, news headlines tell us of theocratic agendas still accountable for political unrest the world over. Even thousands of years later, increased globalization and current events demonstrate that we continue to confront issues raised by power from the skies. Skywatchers ¿ Ideological reactions to the sky are from perceptions made through a physiological and earth-bound frame of reference. Shamans ¿ Human cultures evolve ideological explanations of the physical universe to create social cohesion. & Kings ¿ Power from the sky authorizes social control. Contemporary people are haunted as deeply by their myth-bound minds as the ideologies of the ancients were haunted by their earth-bound view of the sky. Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings investigates the cultural evolution of societies from the end of the last Ice Age, through the end of the Second World War, ultimately arriving at the global conflicts of today. Edwin Krupp¿s intimate knowledge of more than 1,700 ancient sites worldwide, guides a journey of discovery leading from our most ancient ancestors to our future selves. An eclectic romp through history with all its ideological forces laid bare, Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings is history shown through the lens of archaeoastronomy, but it may as well be a biography of humanity¿s confrontation with consciousness where, the sky plays the recurring main character. From the Venus warfare of the ancient Maya, to the fate of modern political states, Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings is a thorough and rational interdisciplinary analysis, with an optimistic message for our future.

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