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

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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.

Archaeoastronomy helps to identify a ceremonial gathering place in pre-contact Hawai‘i

Ethnographic accounts indicate the existence in the Hawaiian Islands at the time of European contact of special places where people would gather during the Makahiki period, to offer tribute to the priests of the god Lono and for sports and other recreational activities. However, no such place had been positively identified to date. Now, through a combination of mapping, excavation, radiocarbon dating, archaeoastronomical analysis, and ethnography, a strong candidate has been identified in the uplands of western O‘ahu.

Pālehua is a rectangular walled enclosure, overlooking what were once extensive dryland farming areas. Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon samples indicates a probable date of construction around AD 1600, and the archaeoastronomical evidence shows that the long SSE wall was precisely aligned upon the rising position of the Pleiades at this time. It is well attested ethnographically that the acronychal rising of the Pleiades marked the beginning of the Makahiki season, a four-month period dedicated to Lono, the god associated with dryland agriculture. These things together, along with corroborating evidence such as the presence of branch coral—suggestive of ritual activity—strongly suggest that the Pālehua enclosure was indeed a Makahiki assembly place.

For more details see the full paper: “Ideology, ceremony and calendar in pre-contact Hawai‘i: astronomical alignment of a stone enclosure on O‘ahu suggests ceremonial use during the Makahiki season", by Timothy M. Gill, Patrick V. Kirch, Clive Ruggles and Alexander Baer, published in the September 2015 issue of Journal of the Polynesian Society. The paper can be downloaded from here.

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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