Our ancestors relied on the skies as their principal means of telling the time, of navigation, and of knowing when to start planting crops. Some 3000 years ago, the Egyptians were able to establish a calendar of 365 days based on the track of the star Sirius. This track also coincided with the annual flooding of the Nile River. The Babylonians and the Assyrians also invented similar calendars to aid them when to sow and reap crops. Astronomy also influenced the architecture of our ancestors. Three structures are worth mentioning. In 3000 BCE, the pyramids of Giza in Egypt were constructed in such a way that each side faced north, south, east, or west of a compass to within a tenth of a degree. In addition, the three pyramids represent the belt stars of the constellation Orion.
Constructors in 3000 BCE, Stonehenge in England was thought to have been an observatory used to predict the motion of eclipses of the Sun and the moon. It was constructed so that in summer solstice, the sun rises above one of the main stones. The windows at the top and the sides of the pyramid at the Mayan site in Palenque, Mexico were so arranged such that the rooms they lead to are illuminated by the rising sun. It was said that during equinoxes, the illumination of the sun on the stars and the base stepped pyramid creates the illusion of a crawling serpent, symbolizing a god closely related to planet Venus in Mayan mythology.
Humans, in an effort to understand the universe, had come up with several models. Before the invention of the telescope, they had to rely on their senses for a picture of the universe with much philosophical and religious symbolism.