Friday, March 21, 2014

Sanctified by the sun

The ancient Nabatean city of Petra was carved out of the cliffs of what is now Jordan. The enigmatic inhabitants were wealthy spice traders and, although not much is known about them, they were known to have worshiped the sun along with other deities. That has now been confirmed by archaeoastronomer Antonio Belmonte of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands. He led a team that conducted a statistical analysis after measuring the spatial orientations of large temples and tombs and compared their alignment with the position of the sun on the horizon. Their research shows that during equinoxes, solstices, and other astronomical events the sun creates effects of light and shadow around focal points like sacred podiums inside the monuments. E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, commented, "This demonstrates we are not looking at an ancient observatory, but at architecture that is in part activated and sanctified by the sky."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.