The World's Oldest Astronomy

A look at ancient Aboriginal astronomy designed for survival

Astronomy is thought to have originated mainly in the northern hemisphere in civilizations such as Mesopotamia and ancient Greece. However, this widely held theory is now being overturned. In fact, the indigenous people of the Australian continent claim to be the oldest astronomers in the world. About 5,000 years ago, Aborigines, who had no written language, accurately measured the orbit of the sun with gigantic rocks, learned the positions of constellations, and memorized travel routes for trade. These so-called star maps correspond with the main roads of today.
This episode delves into Aboriginal astronomy, which was developed to survive a harsh environment noted for its extremely arid areas, infertile soil, and a lack of plants suitable for agriculture.