Regarding use of astronomy automation such as Stellarium, Sky Chart, etc in archaeology or anthropology, at least two main cautions should apply: relevance, and epoch;
 Relevance. Is the data astronomical? Very few artworks, building sites, artefacts, rituals, myths or divination sets were or are intended as star maps. Even most calendars do not arise directly or exclusively from constellations.
For example, Babylonian hour decans re-express some other cultural media, but largely archetype. Which constellations also express. Most correspondences between media are due to their common origin, subconscious expression of archetypal structure.
To borrow and example from Plato, there are three kings of chairs; A, B, C. Chairs B and C are two examples of different styles of chair, implying that there are also chairs D, E, F, etc. Chair A is type Chair, an ‘idea’ (not implying that people invented it, rather that it awaited its need, purpose and ‘makers’), it does not exist physically and could not be studied directly, except in various expressions. Some stylists borrow elements from one another. Most crafters try to make their chairs look as different as possible. Differences do not imply independent ‘discovery’ or ‘development’. Materials develop along a technology curve; wood, skin, bronze, iron, titanium, plastics, etc. But the core content of culture, and archetype, does not change or develop. Thus we have to distinguish between two aspects of culture; meaning, core content or semiotics sustained by archetype and camouflaged by ‘citations’ or borrowings; and material, driven by population density and technology.
Resemblances between calendric, astronomical, artistic, architectural, craftic, ritualist, mythic, epic or divinatory sets, do not imply that one derives from the other, but that all subconsciously express the main features of archetype; usually sixteen types in the periphery; always in the same spatial sequence (usually scrambles in the narrative sequence); in spatial media such as artworks and building sites, the eyes or focal points of type characters always form an axial grid; and certain junctures near the centre of the group express cosmological polar features. Conscious intent is incapable of making this imprint, or tupos in Greek, that I label mindprint in art or stoneprint in building sites.
Another example, Egyptian ‘astronomical’ ceilings (Neugebauer and Parker 1969) are useless as star maps, but good ‘myth maps’.
Astronomical data examples where astronomy software is helpful; Chankilo earthwork and horizon markers in Peru. A few Japanese tomb ceilings.
 Epoch. Is the data within a time-frame where astronomical assumptions of the rate of change of obliquity, precession, and proper motion apply? Current software assume the Stockwell Curve or Newcombe Curve and cycle, based on a set of assumptions, retained and slightly tweaked by recent data. See Dodwell’s criticism of these assumptions, cited in my post on Gobekli, on [stoneprintjournal.blog] (the graph showing how known obliquity data diverges from the Newcomb curve, is about eighteen screens or clicks into the article). Some astronomers assume that obliquity is independent of precession rate.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12-Aug-19 14:09 by Edmond.