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Basic Information

Archaeoastronomy is the study of how ancient peoples understood the skies. Some ancient cultures had surprisingly sophisticated understandings of the movements of planets and stars… and most had some really creative myths or rituals related to things they observed overhead.

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Game and Story Use

  • Archaeoastronomical Sites are interesting locations for scenes.
    • In the modern era, they're a place where PCs might not be so casual about collateral damage, which can add some interesting tension. A fight scene at Stonehenge (or its ilk) will result in some players pulling their punches to protect cultural monuments, while others might glory in the destruction they could cause.
    • In games with magic and the supernatural, such locations might have powerful auras or significance.
      • An archaeoastronomical site might be important for astronomy or astrology, without having any mystic significance of its own. Maybe Stonehenge is where it first becomes obvious that the stars are right, or astrology only works if you take your readings from the place where it was first invented.
  • Archaeoastronomy might be an interesting specialty for a PC or NPC archaeologist. If your tomb raiding party already has an egyptologist and a bullwhip-wielding adventurer archaeologist, this provides yet another way to differentiate your character from the others.
  • Ancient Astronauts are an entertaining explanation for why so many ancient cultures were always watching the skies.
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