February 18, 2011

Jericho's tower had astronomical relevance

Astronomy was clearly important in the lives of the ancients, it seems. It was at least the case in early Neolithic Jericho, whose seemingly classless society built a stonewall dominated by which was probably the tallest building back then: a tower at least 8.25 m tall (left).

Interestingly it has been discovered now that the tower is aligned with the summer solstice in a way that, when the Sun sets that evening, the shadows of the nearby hill envelop first the tower and then the whole town.

Roy Liran and Ray Barkai, Casting a shadow on Neolithic Jericho. Antiquity, 2011. Freely accesible. 


  1. Maju i like your blog, I found your name most interesting as its also a name used in South-India. Your not Indian but basque.

  2. Maju is an alternative name of the Basque traditional dragon-god Sugaar. I used this other nickname first but in English it gets confused with "sugar" (when its Basque meaning has to do with snakes and fire), so I took that of Maju, of unknown etymology but maybe related to Maypole fertility festivals.

    Anyhow, is not the Dravidian name Manju, with an N? I say because a reader and blogger from that area calls himself Manju or Manjunath.

  3. Possibly not, but there is a Manju and also Maju variant further down south.

  4. Possibly not, but there is a Manju and also Maju variant further down south.

    Could you please help me with a reference for 'maju'(noun) in Dravidian languages?


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