Cultural Astronomy Archaeoastronomy Ethnoastronomy History of Astronomy ARCHAEOASTRONOMY: a research field based on the ‘astronomical’ analysis of monuments and archaeological finds of the past; it offers new material for archaeological, anthropological and ethnological studies. The observation of the sky had a fundamental impact on the history of mankind, on the life and on the thought. PROBLEMS • The unity of knowledge • Need of a method for studying the past • Archaeoastronomy: an interdisciplinary field • Archaeoastronomy as a science • Semantics (archaeoastronomy vs. astroarchaeology) History of Astronomy Astronomy in Milan 1762 Enlightenment in Italy - Main period: from 1750 to 1780 - Milan: C. Beccaria, P. Verri, A. Verri, G. Parini, P. Frisi - Naples: A. Genovesi, F. Galiani, G. Filangeri - F. Algarotti, P. Neri, P. Giannone, A. Zanon, G. Gozzi, A. Radicati, V. Alfieri, C. Goldoni 1763 Mathematics, Geometry, Optics, Astronomy, Geodesy, Engineering, Hydraulics, Poetry, Diplomat 1711-1725: Ragusa (Dubrovnik) 1725 -1756: Rome 1756 - 1758: Lucca, Wien, Rome 1759 - 1763: France (Paris), London, Holland, Germany, Venice, Turkey, Poland, Venice, Rome J.D. Barrow (2007), New Theories of Everything 1773 – Boscovich leaves the Observatory B. Oriani, F. Reggio, A. de Cesaris F. Carlini G.V. Schiaparelli G. Celoria Edizione Nazionale delle Opere e della Corrispondenza di R.G. Boscovich National Edition of the Works and Correspondence of R.G. Boscovich http://www.edizionenazionaleboscovich.it/ 1762 : beginning of the astronomical research in Brera 1763 : P. Verri, Meditazioni sulla felicità [Reflections on happiness] 1763 : G. Parini, Il Mattino (Il Giorno) [The Morning (The Day)] 1763 : Boscovich appointed at Pavia University (mathematics) 1764 : C. Beccaria, Dei delitti e delle pene [On Crimes and Punishement] 1764 : Project of Brera Observatory 1765 : G. Parini, Il Mezzogiorno (Il Giorno) [The Midday (The Day)] 1765 : building of the Observatory 1764 -1766 : Il Caffè (P. Verri et al.) [magazine “The Coffee House”] Schedule/planning 2010 – G.V. Schiaparelli, 100th anniv. (Schiaparelli and his legacy, G. Trinchieri & A. Manara eds., Mem. SAIt 82, 2011) 2011 – R.G. Boscovich, 300th anniv. (Ruggiero Boscovich-uomo di scienza e di cultura, 18 may 2011) 2012 – Beginning of the professional astronomical research in Milan (250th anniv.); 50th anniv. of the first cosmic X-ray observation (international meeting; exhibitions) 2013 – Beginning of the meteorological observations in Brera, 250th anniv. (international meeting on climate; collab. with UniMi) 2014 – The Brera Observatory (project), 250th anniv. (meeting in collaboration with the Biblioteca Ambrosiana) 2015 – The foundation of the Brera Observatory, 250th anniv. (EXPO 2015; Astronomy and climate) Astronomy and Climate for the past 3 Myr • Milankovitch astronomical cycles Hypotheses on the mass extinctions in the past 3 Gyr Flood basalt events Massive release of methane (clathtrates) Massive emission of hydrogen sulfide from seas Sea-level falls Significant global cooling Significant global warming Anoxic events in the seas Oceanic overturn (thermo-haline circulation) Impacts of celestial bodies Interstellar clouds Oscillations on the galactic plane Nearby Supernova or Gamma Ray Burst Companion star (Nemesis) etc…… The understanding of the history of the Earth, of the evolution of the life on Earth, of the mankind, of the human thought and of civilization cannot leave out the effects of astronomical/cosmic phenomena, since they triggered, are triggering and will trigger the most important changes in such an history.