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Lunar Standstills or Lunistices, Reality or Myth?

Issue: Vol 5 No. 2 (2019)

Journal: Journal of Skyscape Archaeology

Subject Areas:

DOI: 10.1558/jsa.39036


There is an intense debate in cultural astronomy on the importance of lunar standstills in prehistory or antiquity, and even on whether this elusive and difficult-to-understand phenomenon actually was then recognised. In the present paper, we seek to address those who advocate no longer using the terms "lunar standstill" or the related "lunistice". We begin by clarifying what the concept actually involves, before highlighting some case studies where proposed orientations to lunar standstills have explanatory value and a strong likelihood, connected to the lunar nature of the deities worshipped at particular sites. Finally, we present some relevant ancient texts that indicate awareness of lunar extremes.

Author: A. César González-García, Juan A. Belmonte

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