sci.astro.archaeo: Proposed Newsgroup/Mailing List

Asko H S Parpola aparpola at
Fri Sep 29 05:29:02 UTC 1995

Dear Will,
	Thank you for your proposal - I for one am interested in 
subscribing to your proposed mailing list and/or newsgroup, though I cannot 
make practical suggestions on  how you should proceed. I have been working 
for the past 30 years on problems posed by the script and religion 
of the Indus Civilization, and I see astronomy as having a very important 
role at this early stage of Indian culture. For a summary of my 
findings, with a separate chapter on the astronomical and astrological 
background (and a stellar map, bibliography, etc.), see my recent book, 
"Deciphering the Indus Script", Cambridge University Press, 1994, xxii + 374 pp.
	Yours, Asko

On Thu, 28 Sep 1995, Will Wagers wrote:

> *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
> sciences,
> Thank you for your comments,
> Will
> (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
> culture.
> 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
> archaeology.
> 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
> functions:
>         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


Asko Parpola  (E-mail Asko.Parpola at Helsinki.Fi)
Department of Asian and African Studies, Univ. of Helsinki


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