Book Chapter

Australian aboriginal astronomy - an overview

RP Norris, DW Hamacher

Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy | Published : 2015

Abstract

The traditional cultures of Aboriginal Australians include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition, ceremony, and art. This astronomical component includes a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky, and this knowledge was used for practical purposes such as constructing calendars. There is also evidence that traditional Aboriginal Australians made careful records and measurements of cyclical phenomena, paid careful attention to unexpected phenomena such as eclipses and meteorite impacts, and could determine the cardinal points to an accuracy of a few degrees.

University of Melbourne Researchers

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