Since prehistory, our ancestors have employed the sky as a clock, calendar, and a means for navigation and surveying. Mesoamerican cultures developed sophisticated and systematic practices of astronomical observations and measurement. Evidence suggests that the native people of the American Southwest were influenced by these neighboring cultures and incorporated some of this knowledge into their own astronomical practices. This talk will discuss evidence of the astronomical traditions of the indigenous cultures of the Southwest, including the Ancestral Puebloans, as well as the subsequent Puebloan cultures and the Southern Athabaskans.
Dr. James (Jim) Wysong
Dr. James (Jim) Wysong is the Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and the School of Arts and Design at Santa Fe Community College, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Dr. Wysong was a geosciences professor for twenty-five years before taking an administrative appointment. He was first introduced to Archeoastronomy at the University of South Florida by the late Robert Fuson, Ph.D., one of the founders of the discipline. Later, he participated in field work in the Yucatan and Central America with the late Ralph Robert Robbins, Jr., Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Wysong is an experienced pilot, photographer, and lover of New Mexico’s natural and cultural history.