Are you interested in new Newsgroup?

Will Wagers (
28 Sep 1995 13:48:39 GMT

*This is not a call for discussion or votes.* This query will
be posted to selected other mailing lists and newsgroups.
Please forgive the inconvenience if you receive it more than

I am in the planning stages of a proposal to create a mailing
list (oldstar) and/or newsgroup (sci.astro.archaeo) dedicated
to the discussion of archaeoastronomy -- the study of ancient
astronomy and its impact upon culture, philosophy, religion,
and science. Please e-mail me at if you:

1. Would be interested in such a mailing list or
newsgroup (which?),
2. Have suggestions of any kind regarding the
advisibility or feasability, e.g.,
conflicts or overlaps with existing lists or
3. Would like to help in the planning stages,
4. Would like to see the topic broadened to include
all ancient sciences,

Thank you for your comments,

(proposal follows)

Preliminary Proposal for

Archaeoastronomy is an unusual discipline in that it is both
scientific and scholarly. While its concerns overlap those of
astronomy, archaeoastronomy is seldom concerned with particle
physics or grand unified theories - except as they might
relate to ancient astronomy (theoretical cosmology) and
astrology (the ancient applied science of the calendar).
Archaeoastronomy is devoted to discovering and understanding
ancient astronomical observations and theories and their
manifestations in ancient culture.

The field has gained momentum over the past ten years to the
point where researchers are in the field all over the world.
The primary cultures currently under active investigation
include: the Aztec, Mayan, and other American Indian, the
Egyptian, Greek, Babylonian, Chinese, Hebraic, and early
Christian cultures.

Among a diverse group of individuals, sci.astro.archaeo will
facilitate the secular discussion of interdisciplinary and
intercultural topics related to archaeoastronomy, which
include anthropology, architecture, natural philosophy
(science), ancient cultures, ancient philosophies, ancient
religions, and the archaeology of ancient sites with an eye
toward astronomical alignments. Archaeoastronomy is a plexus
where all these disciplines intersect; yet its primary focus
is of little interest in the mainstreams of the other
disciplines with the possible exception of archaeology.

Amateurs are welcome both because amateurs sometimes
contribute to this field - as they do in astronomy - and
because interested high school and college and graduate
students will enjoy exposure to a high level of scholarship in
a young field. However, the discourse in sci.astro.archaeo
assumes a familiarity with one or more fields, such as
archaeology, history of art or literature, philosophy,
religion, or science, or bearing upon the subjects discussed.
This is not a forum for propounding non-scientific theories of
human culture, e.g alien or divine intervention.

I propose the creation of a separate, unmoderated newsgroup -
sci.astro.archaeo - to address the communication needs of
archaeoastronomers, colleagues, students, and devotees (many
of whom are amateurs, as in astronomy). sci.astro.archaeo will
serve the following functions:

1. electronic conference services - a way for people
to discuss new developments in the field; to debate alternate
approaches to interpretation; to plan and arrange academic
conferences, seminars, and publications; to discuss public
initiatives affecting the field; and to solicit assistance and
advice from their peers;
2. electronic notification services - post job,
conference, specialized computer hardware and software and
other technical equipment, and publication announcements;
3. electronic publication services - exchange data
(text, numbers, graphics), facilitate the use of computers and
networks to produce articles, papers, bibliographies, books,