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Mary Sullivan Blomberg (1934-2020) was born in Savannah, Georgia. She attended St Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland where she studied astronomy, using Ptolemy's Almagest as textbook This was the beginning of her enduring interest in ancient astronomy. She received a BA in art history from the University of Rochester, New York, in 1962 and a PhD, also in art history, from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, in 1983. Her speciality at that time was Corinthian Vases of the Archaic Period. While associate professor in the Department of Ancient Culture and Society at Uppsala University, she had the good fortune to meet Göran Henriksson, an astronomer at the University also interesting in ancient astronomy. Together, in 1992, they decided to try and discover if the Minoans had a developed knowledge of astronomy. That was the beginning of the Uppsala University archaeoastromical project. Peter Blomberg joined the project to study the small objects found at the peak sanctuaries. Our hyothesis was that they could have had an astronomical function, as we suspected from our reading of Aratos.
Göran Henriksson was born in Oskarshamn, Sweden. In 1965 he began his studies in mathematics, physics, theoretical physics and
astronomy at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. In 1983 he received a PhD in astronomy at the Astronomical Observatory, Uppsala University.
The title of his thesis was A study of the peculiar Cepheid HR7308. It was based on optical observations from Sweden, Norway, France and
ESO in Chile and observations in ultraviolet with the IUE space telescope.
He was also interested in archaeoastronomy and developed a new computer program for precise calculations of the positions of the sun, moon and other celestial objects, useful during more than six millennia back in time. In his first studies in archaeoastronomy he investigated the Neolithic grooves on Gotland, the passage graves in Västergötland, the Bronze Age rock-carvings in Sweden and the sacrificial Iron Age calendar in Old Uppsala. In 1992 he was fortunate to meet Mary Blomberg, current Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Uppsala, and they started an archaeoastronomical project concerning Minoan Astronomy on Crete.
Since 2004, Henriksson has combined his knowledge in archaeoastronomy and ancient history with his interest in modern cosmology. His calculations of ancient solar eclipses back to 3653 BCE made it possible to accurately calibrate the lunar secular acceleration in longitude and to verify for the first time Einstein’s precession of the geodesic in the earth-moon system. It became even possible to identify an extra lunar secular acceleration that fits very well with a modified theory of gravity with a massive graviton. This new theory can explain the acceleration of the universe without the strange so-called dark energy.
Peter E. Blomberg was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He received a M.Sc. in 1963 from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and worked with R&D in Swedish industry from 1963 to 2000. He studied art history and ancient culture and society at Stockholm University 1975-1990. He received a PhD from Uppsala University from the Department of Ancient Culture and Society in 1996 on Corinthian art and iconography. He studies the iconography of the small finds from the Minoan sites included in the Uppsala University archaeoastronomical project.
The Uppsala group at work on Petsophas.
The background of the website is the night sky above Crete at the autumn equinox. Photo by Göran Henriksson.