Night Sky - Stargazing before the Dawn of Time

Pre-Dawn Star Gazing
Framework of Time
Heaven on Earth
Planets, the wanderers
Catastrophe! Precession
It's Written in the Stars
About this site
Feedback Form
Beginning - Stars and our ancestors
People have been people for a long time. There was a time when people did not live in houses, there was a time when people did not use fire. These people were real people, much like us. Our human prehistoric ancestors lived under the open sky for many thousands of years.

The stars were much more obvious to these people than to those of us who live in cities with street lights. Street lights minimize even the impressive variations of the moon's monthly cycle.

Most of our ancestors, even very recent ones, saw the sky much more regularly and much more clearly than most of us do. Gazing into the bowl of heaven night after night, they couldn't help noticing the patterns and rhythms in the movement of celestial objects.

The twinkling stars sit in a fixed pattern. They all move slowly together across the sky. They rise slightly later each night, making a full cycle over the course of a year.

A few bright lights don't twinkle, and these cut across the star pattern in their wandering, each with their own rhythm and speed.

Our ancestors learned to use these patterns in several ways. Long before television, before movies and libraries, before almanacs and maps and historical records, the night sky was all of these things.

Return to Top ThreeWorldsWeb Unless otherwise noted, all text, image files, and coding on these pages are original work copyright 1999. For permission to reuse something write to the author The concepts and information expressed here are a piece of how the world works and our human heritage, so you are born with the right to make use of those in your own words, images, and format.