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Lecture – Sighting the sun and moon at Calanais by Prof Clive Ruggles

June 17 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Photo of moon over Calanais standing stones

The connection between monuments such as Stonehenge and Newgrange and the sun is well known, but what about the moon? We are currently approaching a major lunar standstill, an event occurring every 18-19 years around which time the moon can be seen exceptionally far to the north and south. Was this known to our prehistoric forebears and was it marked and celebrated, along with the sun and the seasons, at monuments such as Calanais? This talk will describe some of the challenges in exploring these questions both at Calanais and other Neolithic monuments around Scotland and what we can conclude with reasonable confidence about the cultural significance of the sun and moon to those who built and used them.

Photo of Professor Clive Ruggles

Professor Clive Ruggles

Professor Clive Ruggles is a world-famous, highly distinguished archaeoastronomer and Emeritus Professor of Archaeoastronomy at the School of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Leicester. He has many decades’ experience in documenting and discussing the astronomical orientations of monuments, not only in Britain and Ireland but also in Hawai’i and  Peru (https://web.cliveruggles.com/?view=article&id=68:about-me&catid=2). He combines astronomy with ethnography to make sense of ancient people’s perception of the heavens within their cosmology. His many publications include Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland  (Yale University Press, 1999) and his brand new Stonehenge: sighting the sun (Clive Ruggles and Amanda Chadburn, Historic England, 2024: https://web.cliveruggles.com/publications/latest-publications/new-book-on-stonehenge).

This is a joint lecture event hosted by the Society of Antiqiuaries of Scotland and the Urras nan Tursachan (The Standing Stones Trust).

Click here to register to attend this event.

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