Conference on Archaeoastronomy of the American Southwest

“Charting a Formal Methodology for Cultural Astronomy Research”

June 6 – 8, 2014

Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration
Marston Exploration Theater, Tempe, Arizona

The School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, in Tempe Campus, will host the 2014 conference and pre-conference workshop.   The new headquarters for this School includes the Marston Exploration Theater: a Definiti-SkySkan facility with incomparable visualization technologies sure to unravel the most mind-bending of astronomic orientations.   

Conference Schedule - Download Here

June 6, 2014

Pre-Conference Workshop -- 9:00 am to 5:00 pm  
Click HERE for an outline of the Workshop.

Fundamental to the identification of astronomically important prehistoric sites is the underlying understanding of movement, motions and observational positions of celestial objects any time and any place in the archaic past.  The science attached to this body of knowledge is astrometry – the branch of astronomy that deals with the measurement of the position and motion of celestial bodies.

Today, resources abound to help archaeoastronomers predict (and retrodict) the motions of celestial objects. It is our intent to deliver a daylong meaningful, educational, preconference opportunity to explore the basic formulas, the common pitfalls and the wealth of computer-based resources that are available to the contemporary cultural astronomy researcher.

Workshop Session I  - Practical Astrometric Terms and Tools for Archaeoastronomy
  • Direct Sight Observation, e.g., horizon events
  • Projection Systems, e.g., light/shadow effects
  • Representational Phenomenon, e.g., cultural symbols and oral traditions

Workshop Session II  - Review and Evaluation of Astronomy Software for Precession Analysis

Various software packages, both free and for-fee, will be examined in the laboratory

Post-Workshop Reception -- 6:00 pm

June 7, 2014

Presentation of Papers - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

The theme of the third Conference on Archaeoastronomy of the American Southwest is Charting a Formal Methodology for Cultural Astronomy Research.  Contributed Papers discuss the results of fieldwork or lab research. Papers can include site descriptions, but they should consist of a compilation of information, newly formulated ideas, conclusions, or overview (no more than 20 minutes). Papers will be incorporated into the Proceedings publication following the conference. Posters can be either descriptive or comparative. They are set up as a display with illustrations and text that describes and discusses the topic and/or the results of the research. Poster presenters may submit a written paper for consideration after the conference for inclusion in the Proceedings publication.

Award Dinner   6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The initial Carol W. Ambruster Award and  SCAAS Distinguished Service Award is being made to GB Cornucopia for notable service to Chaco Culture National Historical Park and research in cultural astronomy.
GB has been a major figure on the National Park Service staff of Chaco Canyon for more than two decades, known for his skill in explaining astronomy and archaeoastronomy. Because of the excellence of his public presentations about astronomy, he can quite rightly be called the "Carl Sagan of Chaco." Researchers in archaeoastronomy in the Canyon have benefited enormously by his advice, guidance, and support in the field.

Dinner Speakers  7:30 - 9:00 pm

Prominent local archaeologist Dr. Todd W. Bostwick will give his presentation Interpreting the Nazca Lines: Enigmatic Images of the Peruvian Desert.
Dr. Bostwick is the former Director of the Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, retired Archaeologist for the City of Phoenix, and is now actively working with PaleoWest Archaeology and the Verde Valley Archaeology Center.

Chaco Canyon Park Ranger GB Cornucopia will give his presentation
The Koan of Rock Art

June 8, 2014

Tours – Heard Museum - Phoenix, AZ

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