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The Materiality of the Sky

Proceedings of the 22nd Annual SEAC Conference, 2014

Edited by Fabio Silva, Kim Malville, Tore Lomsdalen, and Frank Ventura
ISBN: 978-1907767-09-8
£25.46 - £37.98
12 Sept 2016
Paperback, ebook; 362 pages

From the earliest times, human beings have been driven by the basic needs to procure food and water, shelter and defence, and communication with other members of the group. The skyscape was different from these, as it was beyond the reach of people and could not be manipulated. Yet, the innate imagination of human beings could not be unmoved by the sun and the moon, which dominate the day and night and apparently move in a well-ordered fashion, and the stars, which provide a splendid canopy on clear dark nights. Although celestial objects could not be handled and exploited in a tangible manner, people’s creativity sought to understand them, to find some use for them in relation to one’s needs and activities and to generate ideas about their nature and their meaning for humanity. In addition, concepts, patterns, myths and other creations of this intangible culture could be transformed into material culture, including iconography, calendars, structural orientations and other human creations. These manifestations constitute the materiality of the sky and bear witness to human beings’ interest in the sky. The chapters in this volume illustrate the variety of research activity generated in this field of study across a broad spectrum of ages, cultures, and geographical regions.

Conference, SEAC, Scholarship
Malta, Fabio Silva, Kim Malville, Tore Lomsdalen, Frank Ventura

About the Editors

Fabio Silva is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeological Modelling at Bournemouth University and co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology. His primary research interest is how societies have perceived and conceived their world(s) and used that to time and adjust social, productive and magico-religious behaviours. This steered him to focus his research along two distinct yet complementary strands: archaeological modelling and skyscape archaeology.

Professor J. McKim Malville is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado. Malville is Adjunct Professor of Astronomy in the Center for Astronmoy of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. He is also a tutor at the Sophia Center for the Study for Cosmology in Culture, Lampeter at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK.

Tore Lomsdalen began the Cultural Astronomy and Astrology MA programme in 2008 and graduated in 2013. His MA dissertation, Sky and Purpose in Prehistoric Malta: the Sun, Moon and the Stars the Temples of Mnajdra, was recently published by the Sophia Centre Press. Since then Heritage Malta have bought 300 copies which are now for sale at bookshops at all their archaeological sites. Tore also lectures on archaeoastronomy and cosmology at conferences and universities, and has recently been accepted to start a PhD in ‘Cosmologies of Prehistoric Malta’ at the University of Malta.