Springer, Dordrecht


260 Pages

ISBN 978-1-4020-6638-2

Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings

African cultural astronomy

current archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy research in Africa

Edited by

Jarita C. Holbrook, Johnson Urama, Rodney Thebe Medupe

Astronomy is the science of studying the sky using telescopes and light collectors such as photographic plates or CCD detectors. However, people have always studied the sky and continue to study the sky without the aid of instruments this is the realm of cultural astronomy. This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of Africans. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa. The volume includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestialbodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars. Authors include astronomers Kim Malville, Johnson Urama, and Thebe Medupe; archaeologist Felix Chami, and geographer Michael Bonine, and many new authors. As an emerging subfield of cultural astronomy, African cultural astronomy researchers are focused on training students specifically for doing research in Africa. The first part of the volume contains lessons and exercises to help the beginning student of African cultural astronomy. Included are exercises in archaeoastronomy, cultural anthropology, and naked-eye astronomy penned by authors who use these regularly use these methods for their research. This collection of lessons and research papers provides a foundation for the cultural astronomy researcher interested in doing work in Africa.

Publication details

Full citation:

Holbrook, J. C. , Urama, J. , Thebe Medupe, R. (eds) (2008). African cultural astronomy: current archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy research in Africa, Springer, Dordrecht.

Table of Contents

Chasing the shadow of the moon

Holbrook Jarita C.


Open Access Link
The astronomical gnomon

McKim Malville J.


Open Access Link
Naked-eye astronomy for cultural astronomers

Holbrook Jarita C.; Baleisis Audra


Open Access Link

Holbrook Shawna


Open Access Link
Integrating African cultural astronomy into~the~classroom

Buxner Sanlyn; Holbrook Shawna


Open Access Link
Teaching cultural astronomy

Campion Nick


Open Access Link
Astronomy of Nabta playa

McKim Malville J.


Open Access Link
Romans, astronomy and the Qibla

Bonine M. E.


Open Access Link
The Timbuktu astronomy project

Thebe Medupe Rodney; Warner Brian; Jeppie Shamil; Sanogo Salikou; Maiga Mohammed; Maiga Ahmed; Dembele Mamadou; Diakite Drissa; Tembely Laya; Kanoute Mamadou; Traore Sibiri; Sodio Bernard; Hawkes Sharron


Open Access Link
Astronomy and culture in Nigeria

Urama Johnson


Open Access Link

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