Measurement in navigation: conceiving distance and time in the Neolithic

Farr, Rosemary Helen (2010) Measurement in navigation: conceiving distance and time in the Neolithic In, Morley, Iain and Renfrew, Colin (eds.) The Archaeology of Measurement: Comprehending Heaven, Earth and Time in Ancient Societies. New York, US, Cambridge University Press pp. 19-27.


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The construction of formal measurement systems underlies the development of science and technology, economy and new ways of understanding and explaining the world. Human societies have developed such systems in different ways in different places and at different times, and recent archaeological investigations highlight the importance of these activities for fundamental aspects of human life. The construction of measurement systems constituted new means of recognizing and engaging with the material world, and their implications, and the motivations behind them, also extend beyond the material world. Measurement systems have provided the structure for addressing key concerns of cosmological belief systems, as well as the means for articulating relationships between human form, human action and the world- and new understanding of relationships between events in the terrestrial world and beyond.

"The Archaeology of Measurement" explores the archaeological evidence for the development of measuring activities in numerous ancient societies, as well as the implications of these discoveries for an understanding of their worlds and beliefs. Featuring contributions from a cast of internationally renowned scholars, it analyzes the relationships between measurement, economy, architecture, symbolism, time, cosmology, ritual and religion among prehistoric and early historic societies throughout the world.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9780521119900 (print)
9780521135887 (print)
Related URLs:
ePrint ID: 154727
Date :
Date Event
June 2010Accepted/In Press
Date Deposited: 26 May 2010 11:18
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 04:06
Further Information:Google Scholar

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