-“Wonders of Archaeoastronomical World” written by Srishti Sharma, edited by Muskan Agarwal
Earth has forever been enclosed by the shell we call the sky. So, when humans looked up to this ever-present bubble that is always overhead, we began to wonder about it. We observed this dark cape cloaking the Earth each passing day and noticed some patterns and similarities overtime. We studied the movement of the ball of fire called the Sun and noticed the changes it brought. We observed how the sky changed as the weather grew colder, then warmer, then colder again. And based on these observations of the sky, we made some structures – concrete mementos upon the land we lived on – which entwined the skies to our lives, cultures, legends and myths, and even sciences. Archaeoastronomy is the science that probes into this relation established since antiquity.
Here are the top 5 archaeoastronomical sites all round the world:
1. Angkor Wat:
Situated in Cambodia, Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument and temple complex in the world. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this temple was built by King Suryavarman II or Khmer in the early 12th century. Today, the temple is admired not only for its grandeur but also because of the cosmological themes encoded in its architecture. During the summer solstice, the sun is aligned between Angkor Wat and a nearby mountaintop shrine. At the summer equinox, the rising sun, observed from the southwestern corner of Angkor Thom (another nearby shrine), appears through the eastern gates of Angkor Wat. Six months later, during the winter solstice, the setting sun is positioned directly overhead Angkor Wat, as observed from Pre Rup (6 km northwest of Angkor Wat).