sci.astro.archaeo: Proposed Newsgroup/Mailing List

wagers at wagers at
Thu Sep 28 14:02:23 UTC 1995

*This is not a call for discussion or votes.* This query will be posted to
selected other mailing lists and newsgroups. Please forgive the
inconvenience if you receive it more than once.

I am in the planning stages of a proposal to create a mailing list
(oldstar) and/or newsgroup (sci.astro.archaeo) dedicated to the discussion
of archaeoastronomy -- the study of ancient astronomy and its impact upon
culture, philosophy, religion, and science. Please e-mail me at
wagers at if you:

        1. Would be interested in such a mailing list or newsgroup (which?),
        2. Have suggestions of any kind regarding the advisibility or
feasability, e.g.,
                conflicts or overlaps with existing lists or groups.
        3. Would like to help in the planning stages,
        4. Would like to see the topic broadened to include all ancient

Thank you for your comments,

(proposal follows)

                              Preliminary Proposal for sci.astro.archaeo

Archaeoastronomy is an unusual discipline in that it is both scientific and
scholarly. While its concerns overlap those of astronomy, archaeoastronomy
is seldom concerned with particle physics or grand unified theories -
except as they might relate to ancient astronomy (theoretical cosmology)
and astrology (the ancient applied science of the calendar).
Archaeoastronomy is devoted to discovering and understanding ancient
astronomical observations and theories and their manifestations in ancient

The field has gained momentum over the past ten years to the point where
researchers are in the field all over the world. The primary cultures
currently under active  investigation include: the Aztec, Mayan, and other
American Indian, the Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Chinese, Hebraic, and
early Christian cultures.

Among a diverse group of individuals, sci.astro.archaeo will facilitate the
secular discussion of interdisciplinary and intercultural topics related to
archaeoastronomy, which include anthropology, architecture, natural
philosophy (science), ancient cultures, ancient philosophies, ancient
religions, and the archaeology of ancient sites with an eye toward
astronomical alignments. Archaeoastronomy is a plexus where all these
disciplines intersect; yet its primary focus is of little interest in the
mainstreams of the other disciplines with the possible exception of

Amateurs are welcome both because amateurs sometimes contribute to this
field - as they do in astronomy - and because interested high school and
college and graduate students will enjoy exposure to a high level of
scholarship in a young field. However, the discourse in sci.astro.archaeo
assumes a familiarity with one or more fields, such as archaeology, history
of art or literature, philosophy, religion, or science, or  bearing upon
the subjects discussed. This is not a forum for propounding non-scientific
theories of human culture, e.g alien or divine intervention.

 I propose the creation of a separate, unmoderated newsgroup -
sci.astro.archaeo - to address the communication needs of
archaeoastronomers, colleagues, students, and devotees (many of whom are
amateurs, as in astronomy). sci.astro.archaeo will serve the following

        1.  electronic conference services - a way for people to discuss
new developments in the field; to debate alternate approaches to
interpretation; to plan and arrange academic conferences, seminars, and
publications; to discuss public initiatives affecting the field; and to
solicit assistance and advice from their peers;
        2.  electronic notification services - post job, conference,
specialized computer hardware and software and other technical equipment,
and publication announcements;
        3.  electronic publication services - exchange data (text, numbers,
graphics), facilitate the use of computers and networks to produce
articles, papers, bibliographies, books, etc.

Will wagers at


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