A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Paul Saffo
Date: 2018 Jan 18, 07:15 -0800
Mark, beware! This question of archaeoastronomical alignments is an utterly beguiling and fascinating topic and one can easily sink without a trace in it! ;-)
The classic reference is :"Tuckerman's Tables" published long ago by the American Philosophical Society (Bryant Tuckerman: "Planetary, LUnar and Solar Positions" Vol 1 covers 601 bc to AD 1 and Vol 2 covers AD 2 to 1649. And there are several supplements to it that have beern published over the years, not to mention countless academic articles discussing its accuracy. I believe it is long out of print, but am ceertain there are plenty of copies available on ABEbooks. It unfortunately doesn't reach back to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom.
There is also a rich archaeoastronomy literature. Notable experts to look up are Anthony Aveni, Ed Krupp and John Carlson. Carlson established the Journal of Archaeoastronomy at University of Maryland, and it might also still be published.
The biggest problem with archaeoastronomical alignments is that there are so many potential alignments that absent supporting cultural evidence for an alignment, it is hard to sort out spurious from purposeful alignments. New York's "Manhattanhenge" is a good reminder of this -- and it is great sport to look for alignments in modern construction! Insert Feynman's quote here!
By the way, I am involved in a small project which while it doesn't have an actual alignment, does include a device that will track polar precession for the next 10,000 years. See: http://longnow.org/clock/