SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Archaeoastronomy

Archaeoastronomy is the interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary study of how people in the past "have understood the phenomena in the sky, how they used these phenomena and what role the sky played in their cultures". Clive Ruggles argues it is misleading to consider archaeoastronomy to be the study of ancient astronomy, as modern astronomy is a scientific discipline, while archaeoastronomy considers symbolically rich cultural interpretations of phenomena in the sky by other cultures, it is twinned with ethnoastronomy, the anthropological study of skywatching in contemporary societies. Archaeoastronomy is closely associated with historical astronomy, the use of historical records of heavenly events to answer astronomical problems and the history of astronomy, which uses written records to evaluate past astronomical practice. Archaeoastronomy uses a variety of methods to uncover evidence of past practices including archaeology, astronomy and probability, history; because these methods are diverse and use data from such different sources, integrating them into a coherent argument has been a long-term difficulty for archaeoastronomers.

Archaeoastronomy fills complementary niches in landscape cognitive archaeology. Material evidence and its connection to the sky can reveal how a wider landscape can be integrated into beliefs about the cycles of nature, such as Mayan astronomy and its relationship with agriculture. Other examples which have brought together ideas of cognition and landscape include studies of the cosmic order embedded in the roads of settlements. Archaeoastronomy can be applied to all time periods; the meanings of the sky vary from culture to culture. It is the need to balance the social and scientific aspects of archaeoastronomy which led Clive Ruggles to describe it as: "... field with academic work of high quality at one end but uncontrolled speculation bordering on lunacy at the other". In his short history of'Astro-archaeology' John Michell argued that the status of research into ancient astronomy had improved over the past two centuries, going'from lunacy to heresy to interesting notion and to the gates of orthodoxy.'

Nearly two decades we can still ask the question: Is archaeoastronomy still waiting at the gates of orthodoxy or has it gotten inside the gates? Two hundred years before John Michell wrote the above, there were no archaeoastronomers and there were no professional archaeologists, but there were astronomers and antiquarians; some of their works are considered precursors of archaeoastronomy. Late in the nineteenth century astronomers such as Richard Proctor and Charles Piazzi Smyth investigated the astronomical orientations of the pyramids; the term archaeoastronomy was first used by Elizabeth Chesley Baity in 1973, but as a topic of study it may be much older, depending on how archaeoastronomy is defined. Clive Ruggles says that Heinrich Nissen, working in the mid-nineteenth century was arguably the first archaeoastronomer. Rolf Sinclair says that Norman Lockyer, working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, could be called the'father of archaeoastronomy'. Euan MacKie would place the origin later, stating: "...the genesis and modern flowering of archaeoastronomy must lie in the work of Alexander Thom in Britain between the 1930s and the 1970s".

In the 1960s the work of the engineer Alexander Thom and that of the astronomer Gerald Hawkins, who proposed that Stonehenge was a Neolithic computer, inspired new interest in the astronomical features of ancient sites. The claims of Hawkins were dismissed, but this was not the case for Alexander Thom's work, whose survey results of megalithic sites hypothesized widespread practice of accurate astronomy in the British Isles. Euan MacKie, recognizing that Thom's theories needed to be tested, excavated at the Kintraw standing stone site in Argyllshire in 1970 and 1971 to check whether the latter's prediction of an observation platform on the hill slope above the stone was correct. There was an artificial platform there and this apparent verification of Thom's long alignment hypothesis led him to check Thom's geometrical theories at the Cultoon stone circle in Islay with a positive result. MacKie published new prehistories of Britain. In contrast a re-evaluation of Thom's fieldwork by Clive Ruggles argued that Thom's claims of high accuracy astronomy were not supported by the evidence.

Thom's legacy remains strong, Edwin C. Krupp wrote in 1979, "Almost singlehandedly he has established the standards for archaeo-astronomical fieldwork and interpretation, his amazing results have stirred controversy during the last three decades." His influence endures and practice of statistical testing of data remains one of the methods of archaeoastronomy. The approach in the New World, where anthropologists began to consider more the role of astronomy in Amerindian civilizations, was markedly different, they had access to sources that the prehistory of Europe lacks such as ethnographies and the historical records of the early colonizers. Following the pioneering example of Anthony Aveni, this allowed New World archaeoastronomers to make claims for motives which in the Old World would have been mere speculation; the conc

Martin Harris (academic)

Sir Martin Best Harris, is a British academic and former University Vice-Chancellor. He was born at Ruabon, the son of William Best Harris, afterwards City Librarian of Plymouth, educated at Devonport High School for Boys in Plymouth, at Queens' College, Cambridge and at the School of Oriental and African Studies, he began his academic career at the University of Leicester in 1967, where he lectured in French Linguistics. He spent fifteen years at the University of Salford as a Senior Lecturer, Professor of Linguistics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. From 1984 to 1987 he was a member of the University Grants Committee, his first appointment as Vice-Chancellor was at the University of Essex in 1987, where he succeeded the founding Vice-Chancellor, Albert Sloman. His most prominent academic appointment was Vice-Chancellor of the Victoria University of Manchester from 1992 until its dissolution in the formation of the new University of Manchester in 2004. During his time in Manchester he at various times Chairman of both the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, of its Health Committee, a member of the Commission for Health Improvement and a member of the Department of HealthDepartment for Education and Skills Strategic Learning and Research Advisory Group: StLAR, Chair of the Clinical Academic Staff Advisory Group of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

Martin Harris' appointments since retirement from the University of Manchester include Deputy Chairmanship of the North West Development Agency 2002–2008, Director of Fair Access at the Office for Fair Access 2004–2012, Chancellor of the University of Salford between 2005 and 2009. He became President of Clare Hall, Cambridge in 2008 and stepped down in 2013. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex from 1987 to 1992. Vice-Chancellor of the Victoria University of Manchester from 1992 until 2004. Chairman of review of graduate education in England and Wales 1995-96. Chairman of the Clinical Standards Advisory Group 1996. Chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, now Universities UK, from 1997 until 1999. Founding Chair of the North West Universities Association 1999–2001. Chairman of a review of university careers services for the Department for Education and Skills 2000. Commissioner for Health Improvement 1999–2002. Honorary President of the National Postgraduate Committee 2001–2004 Deputy Chair of the North West Development Agency 2002–2008 Director of Fair Access at the Office for Fair Access 2004–2012 President of Clare Hall, Cambridge 2008–2013 Honorary Fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge.

Chairman of Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited. HM The Queen appointed Professor Harris Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1992 and Knight Bachelor in her New Year Honours List 2000 for services to higher education; the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama at the University of Manchester is named in his honour. Beckett, Francis "Powerful persuader: director of Offa Sir Martin Harris is certain he can achieve everything necessary for Offa's success—without using sanctions", AutLook. 2005, pp. 16–17 Sir Martin Harris installed as Chancellor of University of Salford at Salford.ac.uk Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama.

Michigan Avenue-Genessee Street Historic Residential District

The Michigan Avenue-Genessee Street Historic Residential District is a residential historic district, located along Michigan Ave between Clinton Street and the railroad tracks, along Genesee Street from Michigan Avenue to Shiawassee Street in Owosso, Michigan. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980; the Michigan Avenue-Genessee Street District was developed in the latter half of the nineteenth century, as new businesses were developed in Owosso and fine craftsmen moved to the city. The district was located near the newly-established factories, close to the booming commercial district, so both shopkeepers and craftsmen found the neighborhood a convenient place to live; as the neighborhood attracted a varied group of residents, the houses constructed embraced a range of sizes and styles. However, despite the heterogeneity of the buildings, they all exhibited fine craftsmanship; the quality of the houses ensured that the neighborhood lasted, well-cared-for, into the present day.

The streets of the Michigan Avenue-Genessee Street neighborhood are narrow and some sections display brick pavers. The neighborhood is residential, containing residences of a modest size but architecturally sophisticated; the district contains 32 properties. Although a few Greek Revival houses are in the district, most houses reflect styles, including Carpenter Gothic, Queen Anne and Georgian Revival styles; the significant houses in the neighborhood include: Eli Gregor Residence: This house built in about 1860, is the oldest remaining structure in the neighborhood. The older portion of the home is a two story, three bay Greek Revival structure covered in clapboard, it has a gable roof, porches on both the first and second floor. In the mid-1870s, Eli Gregory mayor of Owosso, added a 1-1/2 story French Second Empire section to the home. North-Rigley Residence: This house was first home to Granville North, part-owner of a furniture company. In about 1890, North sold it to president of the Estey Manufacturing Company.

The house is a L-shaped Queen Anne home covered in clapboard. Louis Hall Residence: Businessman and grocer Louis Hall built this family home in 1893, it is a mix of Queen Anne And Georgian Revival styles, with facade. It is covered with clapboard and tongue-in-groove siding; the front porch is supported by Ionic columns. Samuel Gardner Residence: This house is a modestly scaled but elaborately detailed Eastlake-style residence, constructed in about 1885, it has elaborate ornamentation in the gable ends. A series of skilled craftspeople and businesspeople lived in this house.