Journal of Skyscape Archaeology, Vol 4, No 1 (2018)

A New Look at Old Temples: Augusta Raurica and its Skyscape in the First and Second Centuries AD

Melanie Sticker-Jantscheff
Issued Date: 3 Aug 2018


Among the most interesting features of the provincial Roman veteran colony of Augusta Raurica (present-day Switzerland) are its sanctuaries, which were constructed during a period of profound cultural transformation. The current study examines the temples within their surrounding landscape and skyscape, to explore the possibility that their locations and orientations may bear testimony to the cosmological beliefs of the colony's inhabitants. The findings suggest that alignments with the star cluster of the Pleiades and the constellation Orion constituted a connective element between earth and sky and were used by the Gallo-Roman elites to reconcile agricultural work and seasonal festivities with new socio-political and religious requirements.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsa.34976


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