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Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2011 (English)In: MEDITERR ARCHAEOL ARCHAEOM, ISSN 1108-9628, Vol. 11, no 1, 59-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

From the early results of our archaeoastronomical investigations at the peak sanctuaries on Petsophas and Mt Juktas, we inferred that the Minoans had a lunisolar calendar that began at a particular phase of the moon on or following the autumn equinox. We used classical archaeoastronomical methods: a digital theodolite with observations of the sun to determine the orientations of the coordinate system, measuring the orientations of foundations to celestial bodies, and determining the positions of celestial bodies at the appropriate times in the past using our own programs. In our later investigation of the palace at Knossos, we found further evidence including the impressive use of a reflection in the central palace sanctuary to determine the beginning of the Minoan year and for knowing when to intercalate a lunar (synodic) month in the lunisolar calendar. The reflection occurred at the precise moment of sunrise at the equinoxes and also during the eleven days before the spring equinox and after the autumn equinox. We also discovered that the non-integral length of the solar year would have been revealed by the unique shift of the reflection during a series of four years. Later results at three other Minoan sites underscored the probability that the Minoans had a solar calendar and twelve solar months.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 11, no 1, 59-68 p.
Keyword [en]
Archaeoastronomy, double axe, Minoan astronomy, lunisolar year, Orion, solar year
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155917ISI: 000291713200007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-155917DiVA: diva2:429636
Available from: 2011-07-05 Created: 2011-07-04 Last updated: 2012-10-11Bibliographically approved

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