Chichen Itza
Gebel Berkal

World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Astronomy and Astrology

Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, nebulae, star clusters and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth. Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world.

The connection belongs to Human Activity connections.

Connected Sites

  • Ahwar of Southern Iraq: Bit Resh in Uruk
  • Ancient Thebes: Tomb at Deir el-Bahari: astronomical ceiling containing the oldest version of an Egyptian celestial diagram ever discovered Link
  • Brú na Bóinne: A large phallic stone was found in the outskirts of the Great Mound in Knowth. One of the theories suggests that it was used to follow the movements of Venus
  • Cahokia Mounds: Woodhenge Link
  • Caral-Supe : Especially at Chupacigarro
  • Caves and Ice Age Art: Geisenklösterle Link
  • Chaco Culture: Pueblo Bonito - layout and astronomical petroglyphs
  • Chichen-Itza: El Caracol
  • Dengfeng: Observatory
  • El Fuerte de Samaipata
  • El Tajin
  • Gebel Barkal: Orientation of the temples and pyramids, celestial diagram  Link
  • Gyeongju: Cheomseongdae observatory Link
  • Jantar Mantar: It is a collection of astronomical instruments
  • Kaesong: The monuments inscribed also include an astronomical and meteorological observatory
  • Koguryo Tombs: There are examples of Goguryeo tombs in which constellations were drawn on tomb ceiling murals. "The wall paintings document the history, religious beliefs, and customs of the contemporary people, as well as science and culture. They show costumes, arms, musical instruments, dance, astronomy, etc." - AB Document
  • Machu Picchu: observatory Link
  • Maritime Greenwich
  • Mount Etna: "The nominated property includes very little infrastructure: ........ and an observatory. Funding has been secured for a complete overhaul of the observatory which is scheduled to start in 2013" IUCN eval
  • Nasca Lines
  • Palenque: astronomical observatory
  • Pienza: Piccolomini Palace: Allesandro Piccolomini was a 16th century scholar and astronomer, who wrote The treatises Sfera del mondo e Delle stelle fisse (The sphere of the world and The fixed stars) (1540), in which he adhered to Ptolemaic theories.
  • Potsdam: Babelsberg Observatory
  • Poverty Point: The archaeologist Professor William Haag, who excavated at the site during the 1970s, interpreted this post as having astronomical significance in being aligned to the solstices. (wiki)
  • Pyramids (Memphis): The three main Giza pyramids are orientated to the cardinal directions with extraordinary precision. For such huge monuments, this could only have been achieved by astronomical observation Link
  • Qhapaq Ñan: Observatory at Machu Picchu, Lunar calendar at Ingapirca
  • Quirigua
  • Quseir Amra: Has a very early Zodiac painted on the ceiling of the dome
  • Rapa Nui: Ahu Huri A Urenga: This site near the town of Hanga Roa has a single statue that looks toward the spot where the sun rises on the day of the winter solstice
  • Rome: Pantheon: "The monument acts like a giant sundial with a dark interior" Link
  • Samarkand: Ulugh Beg's observatory Link
  • Selimiye Mosque: The Muvakkithane (clock house) is located in the northeast corner room ... From here the Muvakkit (timekeepers) prepared the annual calendar and the Ramadan timetable. They also gave basic astronomy lessons when required. (AB)
  • St. Petersburg: Pulkovo Observatory (Struve was its first director)
  • Stonehenge: "icon of ancient astronomy" Link
  • Strasbourg: Cathedral: sundials, zodiac Link
  • Struve Geodetic Arc: Tartu Observatory
  • Teide National Park: Teide Observatory
  • Tiwanaku
  • Torun
  • Uxmal
  • Vatican City: The Vatican Observatory is one of the oldest astronomical institutes in the world. In fact, three early observatories were founded by the Papacy: the Observatory of the Roman College (1774-1878), the Observatory of the Capitol (1827-1870), and the Specula Vaticana (1789-1821).
  • Vienna: Urania Link
  • Vézère Valley: A number of the Lascaux pictures have a possible astronomical significance Link
  • Walled City of Baku: The Maiden Tower possibly served as an astronomical observatory
  • Xochicalco
  • Yin Xu: Oracle bone inscriptions reveal that the Shang could already record solar and lunar eclipses and star configurations accurately. They also gained a comparatively early understanding of supernova and other astronomical phenomena. (nom file)


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Astronomy and Astrology?

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A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source