Why Did Ancient People Study The Stars?


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Samuel Chiltern Profile
Samuel Chiltern answered
Whilst it's hard to comment on every ancient culture, it's easy to see why the ancients were fascinated by the stars.

It's harder for many of us to appreciate the beauty of the night sky in the modern world, however, due both to light pollution, and the many distractions in our lives.

But if you haven't already done so, just spend a night looking up at the sky on a clear night, and you will soon see for yourself why it inspired such wonder in every ancient culture.
Using the Stars to Predict Seasons

In ancient civilisations, people observed the night sky and began to detect patterns in the star formations, and the routine changes in their relative position in the sky. They realised that these patterns were linked to the changing of the seasons.

The annual flooding of the river Nile in Egypt is one of the most vivid examples of environmental prediction using stars - as, whenever the bright star Sirius rose in the sky, the Egyptians knew that the flood was imminent.

The Stars and Mythology
Many ancient civilizations tied the night sky into their belief systems, often due to the predictable nature of the night sky. This led them to believe that some kind of deity was responsible for orchestrating events, and that dramatic occurrences like solar eclipses were signs that the gods were unhappy.

The Ancient Greeks are good examples of this phenomenon: They created many myths based around the constellations and stars, and quite a few constellations still bear the names given to them by the Ancient Greeks.
Atul Chhotray Profile
Atul Chhotray answered
Ancient people studied the stars because they attributed religious significance to them. They associated various rituals and practices with certain configuration of stars.
Kody Profile
Kody answered
The ancient Phonecians studied the stars as way of navigating and not getting lost. Other than that, it is in an attempt to better understand our universe.

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