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The Astronomy of the Australian Aborigines


Haynes, RD, The Astronomy of the Australian Aborigines, The Astronomy Quarterly, 7 pp. 193-217. ISSN 0364-9229 (1990) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 1990 Pergamon Press plc

DOI: doi:10.1016/0364-9229(90)90002-I


In histories of astronomy, it is customary to contrast the advances of modern, that is post-Renaissance, science with the maze of astrology which preceded it. With the benefit of hindsight we can now see a continuing tradition from the earliest records of Babylonia through the Greek and Roman legends to the alchemical pursuits of the Middle Ages. This tradition, which relied on the initiation of a few into an essentially secret knowledge, was disrupted by the rapid rise and success of scientific method. With the advent of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Newton, recognizable modem astronomy begins and the earlier beliefs are relegated to the realm of myth and fantasy, mere isolated stories divorced from the culture of which they were part. It is impossible for us to know what our hunter-gatherer European ancestors thought when they looked up at the northern stars some 15,000 years ago for we cannot any longer recapture their world view.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:astonomy, Aboriginal, Australia, history
Research Division:Indigenous Studies
Research Group:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, language and history
Research Field:Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Haynes, RD (Dr Roslynn Haynes)
ID Code:121725
Year Published:1990
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-10-12
Last Modified:2017-11-23

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