(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A double-volume encyclopaedia on how astronomy influenced Oman's rich maritime history and agriculture was launched at the Royal Court Affairs on Wednesday under the patronage of Dr Khalid Salim al Saidi, secretary general of the State Council
The encyclopaedia also elaborates on the effect of planets and stars on human behaviour.
The first volume profiles Oman's progress in agriculture while the second one is about the country's rich maritime history
The books explain the traditional Omani method of finding Qibla and prayer timings, the use of astronomy in daily activities, and explore the importance of constellations, lunar months and the four seasons.
The reference books have been published by the Sultan Qaboos Higher Center for Culture and Science (SQHCCS).
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Salim al Harthy, the author of the encyclopaedia said, ''I studied ancient Omani astronomy and compared it with Arabian astronomy to understand agriculture, sea-based activities, and social and religious practices. It helped create a detailed work that is linked to traditional Omani, Arab and foreign practices.''
Habib Mohammed al Riyami, secretary general of SQHCCS and general supervisor of the encyclopaedia said, ''The idea to compile this book came about after the sultanate was hit by Cyclone Gonu in 2007.
''Our officials started visiting different parts of the country “ from Dhofar to Musandam “ to understand the link between astronomy and changing weather patterns.
''During these tours, we collected some information but realised that this needed to be studied using a scientific approach. Harthy played a key role in compiling this information, which resulted in the publication of this double-volume encyclopaedia.''
Riyami said that some might question why they used astronomy to know the country's progress in agriculture and other areas. ''We cannot forget our past as it's the foundation of this progress.''
Harthy also consulted several astronomy experts to understand its importance in Omani culture