Clive Ruggles


… is the study of beliefs and practices relating to the sky in the past, especially in prehistory, and the uses to which people's know- ledge of the skies was put.


Professional bodies

Free software tools

Basic declination calculator


by Andrew Smith

See the Tools page for more info


Springer Handbook (2014):


Ocarina Books publishes and distributes books relating to archaeo- and ethnoastronomy



This list of my books and selected papers and articles contains links and downloadable copies where available.

Two new astronomical World Heritage Sites

Two very different places linked to astronomy have been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the 2019 World Heritage Committee in Azerbaijan. Jodrell Bank Observatory in the UK is the first 20th-century astronomical observatory to become a World Heritage Site, while Risco Caído and the sacred mountains of Gran Canaria is a “cultural landscape” highlighting cultural astronomy operating in a rich historical and social context.

For more information on the two sites see the Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy and for more information on the context of the two successful nominations see the article “Beyond Jodrell Bank: astronomical heritage”.

The picture shows the front covers of the nomination dossiers for the two new World Heritage Sites.

Gran Canaria meeting brings together two UNESCO initiatives

An international expert meeting took place in Gran Canaria, Spain, in May 2018 which brought together the Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative and UNESCO’s thematic initiative on Heritage of Religious Interest. The aim was to identify and reinforce the close linkages that exist across human cultures between religious/sacred traditions and celestial knowledge, and the clear connections between sacred sites and the skyscape.

The meeting issued a set of recommendations (available in English and Spanish) aimed at recognising, respecting and helping to preserve such sites, including through the World Heritage process.

Second Thematic Study now available in paperback

A limited paperback edition of the second ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Study on astronomical heritage has been published on 30 November 2017, following the e-book version which was published back in June.

This joint publication by ICOMOS and Ocarina Books follows on from the first ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Study published in 2010. It explores what might constitute “outstanding universal significance” in relation to astronomy, and discusses broad issues that could arise in the assessment of a variety of types of cultural and natural sites relating to astronomy.

Case studies range from prehistoric sites to modern observatories, and deal with traditional practices such as using star observations for water management through to technological developments for space exploration. There is particular emphasis on the recognition and preservation of the value of dark skies at both cultural and natural sites and landscapes.

For more details and to purchase a copy see the Ocarina Books website. Alternatively you can download an e-book copy directly using the link on the left.

Astronomical heritage

Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy

Read more on the UNESCO–IAU Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy and about astronomical heritage in general

Free downloads

ICOMOS–IAU Thematic Studies on Astronomical Heritage

No. 1 (2010): See here for more information or click here to download a copy directly (46 Mb)

No. 2 (2017): See here for more information or click here to download a copy (19 Mb)


Astronomical World Heritage


Download a copy of an article published in A&G (Aug 2019 issue)

Stonehenge and Ancient Astronomy


Download a copy of the Royal Astronomical Society’s factsheet

Alice Ruggles Trust

If you are looking for things related to Alice and/or information about stalking, please visit the Alice Ruggles Trust website