The most recommended archaeoastronomy books

Who picked these books? Meet our 1 expert.

1 author created a book list connected to archaeoastronomy, and here are their favorite archaeoastronomy books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings: Astronomy and the Archaeology of Power

Giulio Magli Author Of Archaeoastronomy: Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones

From my list on archaeoastronomy.

Who am I?

I started my scientific career as an Astrophysicist. However, I have always been interested in Archaeology. This finally led me to conjugate the two passions when I started working in Archaeoastronomy, in 2003. Working in Archaeoastronomy first means having a direct experience of the sites (preferably, of every single stone, although in places like Giza they count in the millions…). So I have made fieldworks in Italy, Egypt, Cambodia, and, recently, on Chinese imperial necropolises. I currently teach Archaeoastronomy as a professor at the Politecnico of Milan. I have always been interested also in scientific communication on TV and social media, and my introductive Archaeoastronomy course is available for free on the Coursera platform.

Giulio's book list on archaeoastronomy

Giulio Magli Why did Giulio love this book?

Monumental architecture was thought up as an explicit manifestation of religious power, and for this reason, it was in uncountable many cases connected with the sky. The key to understanding Archaeoastronomy is therefore to understand the connections between astronomy, power, religion, and architecture. This is exactly the aim of this inspiring book, written by an outstanding astronomer and archaeoastronomer. The author describes from this viewpoint many fascinating places - from Giza in Egypt to Palenque in Mexico - using a narrative that is richly enhanced by more than 150 photographs and illustrations.

By E.C. Krupp,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skywatchers, Shamans & Kings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover the celestial myths and cosmic rituals of ancient priests and kings . . .
Drawing on intimate knowledge of the more than 1,300 ancient sites he has visited, E. C. Krupp, acclaimed writer and preeminent researcher, takes you to the world's essential sacred places and celestial shrines. Join him on a rich narrative journey to see where the rulers of old communed with the gods of the sky.
""Highly recommended to everyone interested in the culture of astronomy and those peoples who practiced it in their own ways.""-Sky & Telescope
""A lively account of the ways in which our…


Book cover of Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland

Giulio Magli Author Of Archaeoastronomy: Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones

From my list on archaeoastronomy.

Who am I?

I started my scientific career as an Astrophysicist. However, I have always been interested in Archaeology. This finally led me to conjugate the two passions when I started working in Archaeoastronomy, in 2003. Working in Archaeoastronomy first means having a direct experience of the sites (preferably, of every single stone, although in places like Giza they count in the millions…). So I have made fieldworks in Italy, Egypt, Cambodia, and, recently, on Chinese imperial necropolises. I currently teach Archaeoastronomy as a professor at the Politecnico of Milan. I have always been interested also in scientific communication on TV and social media, and my introductive Archaeoastronomy course is available for free on the Coursera platform.

Giulio's book list on archaeoastronomy

Giulio Magli Why did Giulio love this book?

Modern Archaeoastronomy was born with the pioneering (and controversial) studies of Gerald Hawkins at Stonehenge and Alexander Thom on the megalithic monuments in Britain and Brittany. This book – although a bit dated with respect to recent research on some sites – remains a milestone to settle the point on debated issues. The technical points are treated in boxes so that the book is readable by the general public. 

By Clive Ruggles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Astronomy in Prehistoric Britain and Ireland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do prehistoric stone monuments in Britain and Ireland incorporate deliberate astronomical alignments, and if so, what is their purpose and meaning? This work provides an account of megalithic astronomy debates and examines prehistoric man's concern with celestial bodies and events.


Book cover of The Cosmos in Ancient Greek Religious Experience: Sacred Space, Memory, and Cognition

Giulio Magli Author Of Archaeoastronomy: Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones

From my list on archaeoastronomy.

Who am I?

I started my scientific career as an Astrophysicist. However, I have always been interested in Archaeology. This finally led me to conjugate the two passions when I started working in Archaeoastronomy, in 2003. Working in Archaeoastronomy first means having a direct experience of the sites (preferably, of every single stone, although in places like Giza they count in the millions…). So I have made fieldworks in Italy, Egypt, Cambodia, and, recently, on Chinese imperial necropolises. I currently teach Archaeoastronomy as a professor at the Politecnico of Milan. I have always been interested also in scientific communication on TV and social media, and my introductive Archaeoastronomy course is available for free on the Coursera platform.

Giulio's book list on archaeoastronomy

Giulio Magli Why did Giulio love this book?

The last two books I suggest are of fresh press and testify to the modern approach to archaeoastronomy as a multi-disciplinary science. In this book, the aim is to approach Greek religion as a complex mix of rituals, cults, and architecture, identifying the connections with the sky and, more generally, with the “cosmos”. Relevant examples are discussed in detail. 

By Efrosyni Boutsikas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cosmos in Ancient Greek Religious Experience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, Efrosyni Boutsikas examines ancient Greek religious performances, intricately orchestrated displays comprising topography, architecture, space, cult, and myth. These various elements were unified in a way that integrated the body within cosmic space and made the sacred extraordinary. Boutsikas also explores how natural light or the night-sky may have assisted in intensifying the experience of these rituals, and how they may have determined ancient perceptions of the cosmos. The author's digital and virtual reconstructions of ancient skyscapes and religious structures during such occurrences unveil a deeper understanding of the importance of time and place in religious experience. Boutsikas…


Book cover of Skywatchers: Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico

Giulio Magli Author Of Archaeoastronomy: Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones

From my list on archaeoastronomy.

Who am I?

I started my scientific career as an Astrophysicist. However, I have always been interested in Archaeology. This finally led me to conjugate the two passions when I started working in Archaeoastronomy, in 2003. Working in Archaeoastronomy first means having a direct experience of the sites (preferably, of every single stone, although in places like Giza they count in the millions…). So I have made fieldworks in Italy, Egypt, Cambodia, and, recently, on Chinese imperial necropolises. I currently teach Archaeoastronomy as a professor at the Politecnico of Milan. I have always been interested also in scientific communication on TV and social media, and my introductive Archaeoastronomy course is available for free on the Coursera platform.

Giulio's book list on archaeoastronomy

Giulio Magli Why did Giulio love this book?

Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico, although a bit dated on some arguments, is a must-read book on the Archaeoastronomy of the Meso-American people. It includes a fascinating description of the role of astronomical alignments in places like Teotihuacan and the Aztec capital (modern Mexico City), as well as an in-depth exploration of Maya astronomy and of the Maya astronomically-driven architecture.

By Anthony F. Aveni,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Skywatchers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico helped establish the field of archaeoastronomy, and it remains the standard introduction to this subject. Combining basic astronomy with archaeological and ethnological data, it presented a readable and entertaining synthesis of all that was known of ancient astronomy in the western hemisphere as of 1980.

In this revised edition, Anthony Aveni draws on his own and others' discoveries of the past twenty years to bring the Skywatchers story up to the present. He offers new data and interpretations in many areas, including:

The study of Mesoamerican time and calendrical systems and their unprecedented continuity in contemporary…