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.

Chankillo is inscribed on the World Heritage List

The prehistoric solar observatory and ceremonial centre at Chankillo in Peru, including its famous thirteen towers, was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the 44th session of the World Heritage Committee held in July 2021.

Chankillo’s extraordinary and quite unique monumental solar calendrical device has been recognised as World Heritage just 14 years after Ivan Ghezzi’s and my article “Chankillo: A 2300-Year-Old Solar Observatory in Coastal Peru” was first published in Science (315 (2007), 1239–1243).

According to UNESCO, Chankillo solar observatory is “an outstanding example of ancient landscape timekeeping, a practice of ancient civilizations worldwide, which used visible natural or cultural features. Incorporated in the Thirteen Towers, it permitted the time of year to be accurately determined not just on one date but throughout the seasonal year. Unlike architectural alignments upon a single astronomical target found at many ancient sites around the world, the line of towers spans the entire annual solar rising and setting arcs as viewed, respectively, from two distinct observing points, one of which is still clearly visible above ground. The astronomical facilities at Chankillo represent a masterpiece of human creative genius.”

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.

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

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