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Monuments, religion and astronomy - General

I assume this is going to play a big part in the game? Even we just assume that megalith circles were instruments to measure the cycles of the year and when to harvest based on when particular stars rising it was such a basic part of human lifestyle for so long.

I hope there will be a choice in terms of religions and what your villagers believe in, it’ll all be guess work of course but still nice to pick your peoples ideas of the afterlife and what natural cycles mean to them.

Rather a broad topic and no real suggestion, just a hope for the future.

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I think it would be an interesting feature. Let’s say that we choose for our villagers to believe in human sacrifice to please the gods. Such that capturing and beheading neighboring tribes, criminals, etc in a temple would grant a happiness bonus to your population. This would drive you to be at war with other tribes more frequently and thus accumulate more military knowledge (basing this off of what the devs said about tech being knowledge) in order to keep your citizens happy.

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Does anyone know when the first cities where built using a celestial grid?
Were all monoliths celestially oriented or did that practice begin later?

So I seriously want a gameplay mechanic that let’s us align our monoliths and buildings on a celestial grid. I will literally spend hours if that’s what it takes to properly capture the light/shadow of the sunrises/sunsets of the solstices. Time-lapses were made for this sort of thing! Maybe it could be an unlocked technology that shows an additional grid/compass when placing structures? It could also provide more prestige and bonuses for your city than having crooked monoliths? Please let this be a thing!

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@nuLoon One of the oldest complex temples in Europe are the megalithic temples of Malta : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megalithic_Temples_of_Malta
The time period is 5000 to 25000 BC, after that date the people who built the temples disappear (still a mystery) and the next use the temples as a cemetary.

The interesting thing is that there is severals holes in the temples wall and the sunlight only come through during equinox and solstice day (different holes for each). Moreover there is small dot on some stone wall and the main theory is that they represent a sky map (each dot is a star).

I really hope that this temples will be buildable in AC (there are on a cliff about the sea so we need the indigogo coastal cities goal :yum:)

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The entire site may be that old, however it sounds like the temple is only from 3,600 BCE, hence Bronze Age. Use of Göbekli Tepe also appears to be of indeterminate ritualistic importance, not astronomical.

Are there any other Neolithic examples of individual stone placement or entire city layouts that are based on astronomy?? I’m really curious to know when this construction technology came into vogue.

@nuLoon Indeed this temple in particular is from 3600 BC, unfortunality the older one are not in good shape…
The technology itself start around 4000BC : (one of the picture I take in the matla museum last May)

The archeologist made the bronze age start in 2500 BC in Malta (after the collapse of the temples builder). They only use stone tools to build this temples :open_mouth:

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this… this needs to happen.

Take a look at this on Gobekli : http://maajournal.com/Issues/2017/Vol17-1/Sweatman%20and%20Tsikritsis%2017(1).pdf

I’m also currently enrolled on a Coursera Archeoastronomy course if you want to see more on the field, its not terribly indepth but it gives you a start.

I really think it would be beautiful to have a good starscape.
It would help remind people what we have lost.

Our ancient ancestors were avid astronomers in their own right. With no understanding of science and a world full of terrifying and unexplained phenomenon, the regular and predictable nature of the stars, planets, Moon and Sun provided a mechanism for predicting changes throughout the year, as well as a means of explaining events via the addition of religion. Evidence of the vast importance of the sky to our ancestors can be found carved and painted into the artifacts and ruins of nearly every major prehistoric site yet discovered. So significant was the sky that entire religions and large structures were created around these celestial movements, such as the great Pyramids and Stonehenge.

Interestingly, the stars themselves have also shifted in position over the millennia. The stars appear to move overhead rising on one side of the horizon, passing overhead, and setting on the other end of the horizon. This celestial rotation is the result of the Earth rotating. Like any rotating sphere, there is an axis drawn straight through the middle. Observing the stars for many hours will lead the observer to realize that the stars apparently rotate around these axial points. While the southern hemisphere requires complex observation to determine the actual axial point, as there as not a significant star at that location, the northern hemisphere benefits from a star which rests nearly directly on top of the axial point, the Polestar. The name of the current Polestar is, Polaris.

Over thousands of years, slight variations in the rotation of the Earth result in the axial points shifting in the sky. This axial shift follows a circular path through the sky over a period of approximately 25,770 years. As a result, the star Polaris would have been significantly less of interest to our ancient ancestors. For example, during the early Neolithic period of Europe (c. 5500BCE) the location of the axial point within the northern hemisphere was located on the edge of the Draco Constellation, near the star Edasich, and nearly on top of the double star, HIP 73436A. It is for this reason that scientists must consider the actual configuration of the stars in our past to understand why our ancestors marked their tools and stellar reference points the way they did, different from how they would appear in our current sky.

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Or to think of it the other way around, your actions affect the religon / desired monuments etc. as much as the other way around

So if you are constantly at war, tribe will refuse to worship a peaceful god, or even some fallout from the un-alignment

https://forum.ancient-cities.com/t/in-game-time-in-ac/2327/19?u=castrelspirit

Thought I’d just leave this here.

Impossible not to think about the Brú na Bóinne complex in Ireland on this topic.

It’s basically a late Neolithic complex consituted by mounds like these. Those mounds are actually tumuli, tombs (passage tombs precisely, you can go inside the mound to honor the person buried there).


Some of the stones that support the mounds are carved.

The Newgrange tumulus is the most impressive one of them, because of its size and the math behind it. Even if it has been rebuilt, all the stones used to form the wall around this mound are not from around the site, so tons of white and black rocks have been imported.
Like the temple @louis.mervoyer talked about, the position of the passage inside the tomb is so precise a beam of light goes through the mound to light the “tomb” inside during the winter solstice.

In my opinion, tombs and tumuli are a must for AC. This would be “the easy part” : implement the possibility to bury important people ; to carve, transport and build up big stones ; to raise mounds.
The “hard part” would be to reflect the thought and the underlying knowledge (especially in astronomy) behind those constructions.

Maybe some kind of yearly ritual/festival where all the tribe would gather to see the light phenomenon and honor their ancestors ? I’m sure it would be a strong image to see all of your tribe gather around and do some kind of big ritual.
Any more ideas ? :slight_smile:
EDIT : any more ideas especially concerning the way to obtain the architectural and/or astronomy knowledge to build all these things we’ve talked about ? I’m pretty dried up on this :confused:

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Think, it was primarily a means to define “time”. Weather and temperature independent cycles for agriculture. It was possible to estimate roughly what nature was about to do next, to determine the migration of the herds for hunting, to estimate the closeness of winter, etc.
The fine tuning happened to the sun and the moon.
Their nights of observations they might have impressed comets and shooting stars powerful …:wink:
Perhaps, it was this systematic order, which inspired to the idea of a creator or at least to a manager / mechanic of this system?
Ah, and not to forget, it has certainly taken thousands of years to understand this “system” and make it usable. Such a valuable document had to be documented, preserved for the coming generations. What is closer than to honor his ancestors with, and for this.
Each generation will have experimented with it. This knowledge was too complex to pass it verbally or with a cave painting. And it had to be durable, weatherproof, earthquake-proof, and safe from flooding. At the same time well visible and the pride of this achievement documented.
It was “powerful knowledge” and just as we are puzzling today, all uninitiated at that time did. Illuminati the 1. :wink:

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I’ve found the official site on megaliths of the Morbihan (Bretagne, France): http://www.culture.gouv.fr/fr/arcnat/megalithes/en/index_en.html
It’s very interesting because it compartmentalizes very well different things to know about the megaliths: the graved rocks, the statuary, the iconography and symbology of the art… and much more!
It’s condensed and very interesting. It should give away more bases on what to reflect to imagine Neolithic religion.

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Actually Göbekli Tepe has the oldest structure that is perfectly aligned to true north - south. Meaning they used astronomy, not magnetic north.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nk3xdMkwMsE Right around 6:30 mark, Graham Hancock speaks about a temple on the site.

An interesting site, this! The video too … then agian, it’s Graham Hancock :slight_smile:

Just for reference, I came across the Fourknocks passage tomb (3000 BCE - 2500 BCE) in Ireland, near the Brú na Bóinne complex. It is kind quite original its chamber is bigger than any other Atlantic neolithic passage tomb (ever?):


Guillaume ROBIN, 2010 (modified).

The size of the chamber is possible because it was never covered with stone or dirt. The big post-hole (which I added to the plan) found in the chamber suggests the monument was rather covered with a wooden roof or an animal-skin roof.


Fourknocks passage tomb today

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