Keynote Lectures in Skyscape Archaeology

When:
Tuesday 12 May, 2020, Time 4 pm BST

Tuesday 19 May, 2020, Time 4 pm BST

Tuesday 26 May, 2020, Time 4 pm BST

Tuesday 9 Jun, 2020, Time 4 pm BST

Where: Online via Zoom

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How to join the Zoom Seminar Room



An Online Event!

Sophia Centre Online Seminar




Skyscape Archaeology is a new way of exploring the relationship between people, land and sky, moving beyond the old discipline of Archaeoastronomy. It has been developed by teaching and research within the Sophia Centre, and by the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology. For an introduction read Fabio Silva’s blog post here. These lectures showcase some of the best work being done in the area from staff, students and graduates of the Sophia Centre in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. We are proud to welcome Professor Kim Malville, one of the most distinguished scholars in the field, together with three of our graduates, Anne Estaroth, Liz Henty and Tore Lomsdalen, all of whom are working in, or have recently finished PhDs, and Nicholas Campion, Programme Director of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology.

All profit from these lectures will go to support student scholarships, research and publication.

Cost of each lecture is £10 while attending all four lectures is only £30

Attendance at the online seminars is free to all UWTSD students. Students who wish to attend one or more of the lectures, should email Dr. Frances Clynes at f.clynes@uwtsd.ac.uk, using their UWTSD email, and state which lectures they wish to attend.

4.00 PM BST, TUESDAY 12th MAY

Kim Malville

University of Boulder, Colorado and Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Entangling the Cosmos: The Astronomy of the Ancestral Pueblos
I. The Great Houses of Chaco Canyon: Palaces, Temples, and Living Beings

Chaco Canyon contains the most monumental Pre-Columbian structures in the Americas north of Mexico. Great Houses, such as Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl, with over 600 rooms remain persistent puzzles. They were not apartment houses. Were they palaces for powerful elites who obtained hegemony over outlying communities; were they temples that were empty most of the year but filled during periodic pilgrimage events, or were they living beings that needed to be fed with offerings and ritual in Great Kivas? Competing theories involving palaces or empty ceremonial centers will be analyzed.

Nick Campion

Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Building Baghdad

The foundation of Baghdad may be the most important historically attested astrological foundation of a city. The city was founded in July 762 at a moment chosen by the Caliph’s astrologers so that it harmonized with the planetary positions at the time. I will look at how objects, including buildings and cities, can have different functions. A single building, for example, might exist to provide shelter, offer an aesthetic experience, or channel cosmic energy. A city can simultaneously be a place in which to live, love and work, and a means of

To attend the keynote lecture on 12 May, please register and pay by clicking the button below, Make Payment. Cost is £10.

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4.00 PM BST TUESDAY 19TH MAY

Kim Malville

University of Boulder, Colorado and Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

The Astronomy of the Ancestral Pueblos
II. The Cliff Dwellings of Mesa Verde: Powers of the Sun and Moon

One of the most enigmatic structures of Mesa Verde is the so-called the Sun Temple, the largest exclusively ceremonial structure of the Ancestral Pueblo. In the early 13th century, when most of the population moved down from the mesa top to the protection of cave enclosures, the Sun Temple was built. It initially consisted of double tower kivas, which may have represented the Twin War Gods of the Pueblos. The Sun Temple together with features of Cliff Palace appear to mark both June solstice and major lunar standstills though a combination of alignments and pictographs. Eventually 14-foot-high walls, containing no obvious entry, were built to protect the interior from dangerous forces. Due to a prolonged drought, residents of the mesa totally abandoned the place by 1300 CE.

Anna Estaroth

Department of Archaeology, University of the Highlands and Islands

Clava cairns: Holes in the Fabric of Time and Space

This presentation explores the connections between the Bronze Age Clava Cairns of northern Scotland, the otherworldly creatures known as the Sìth and the Scottish landscape. In particular, it focuses on Sìthean legends of timelessness, the role of the Sun and Moon and how we experience time. I will consider the geography, archaeology and skyscape of the cairns, and talk about, my research methodology, which encompasses scientific methods, phenomenology and the archaeology of wonder and re-enchantment. Lastly, I will discuss some of my findings.

To attend the keynote lecture on 19 May, please register and pay by clicking the button below, Make Payment. Cost is £10.

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4.00 PM BST TUESDAY 26TH MAY

Nick Campion

Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Calendar Buildings

This talk will look at the mysterious phenomenon of calendar buildings, in which buildings are designed with numbers of doors, windows or rooms to reflect he the numbers of the calendar. These can be seven for the days of the week, twelve for the months in the year, twenty-four for the hours in a day or fifty two for the weeks in a year. Recent examples in England include the Grand Hotel in Scarborough, which was opened in 1863, and Avon Tyrrel house, a substantial private residence in southern England, which was completed in 1891. One of the greatest examples is Schloss Eggenberg, the great Baroque palace constructed in Austria in the late 1660s.There appears to be no written account of this tradition, although we may suspect it has Hermetic origins, in which case the buildings can be interpreted as giant talismans, designed to maintain a harmonious life for their inhabitants.

Tore Lomsdalen

Department of Classics and Archaeology, University of Malta

Investigating Cosmology in Late Neolithic Malta

For my PhD at the University of Valetta, I am investigating the massive prehistoric megalithic monuments constructed in the Maltese Temple Period (3,600 BCE - 2,500 BCE). Many people have associated these temples with goddess worship. I am hoping to gain insights into the cosmology of the mysterious people who built the temples, through landscape and skyscape archaeology, exploring the relationships between people and sky. I will talk a bit about my methodology, which is based on field surveys, documentation of field observations and GIS. I am writing up my final dissertation and will talk about a few of my preliminary results.

To attend the keynote lecture on 26 May, please register and pay by clicking the button below, Make Payment Cost is £10.

Registration is now closed.




4.00 PM BST TUESDAY 9TH JUNE

Lionel Sims

University of East London

Through the dark vale: interpreting the Stonehenge
Palisade through inter-disciplinary convergence.

The Stonehenge Palisade was a Late Neolithic / Early Bronze Age 2 km linear timber fence that ran alongside Stonehenge and its final Avenue approach. Within its middle section was a 300–400 m gap. Four archaeology models of the Palisade, all of which include horizon viewing, are evaluated and revised against the presently known properties of this structure, and elements of each retained after critique are integrated into an emergent interdisciplinary model by using skyscape archaeology. This new model suggests that the Palisades design of interrupted obscuration and the agency of skyscape knowledge in a planar stationary geocentric earth cosmology together indicate a ritual purpose of the Stonehenge monument complex, which was to simulate a journey through the underworld.

Liz Henty

Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Skyscape Archaeology, Now and in the Future

In the academic year 2014-2015, the Sophia Centre MA module in archaeoastronomy was revisioned as ‘Skyscapes, Cosmology and Archaeology’ and this change coincided with the time when Dr Fabio Silva and I co-founded the Journal of Skyscape Archaeology. Having spent six years researching the history of archaeoastronomy, it is clear that the development of skyscape archaeology is a departure from what has gone before. The next questions to consider are what the position of archaeoastronomy is today and how it may progress in the future. This talk will look at recent developments in the field and how these have played out at academic conferences and within the wider literature. It will also ask whether archaeoastronomy is a discipline in its own right or whether it is better placed as a subdiscipline in archaeology. This necessitates a brief look at archaeologists’ attitudes, including the extent to which they are currently including the sky in their research projects. With this evidence in mind I will explore some predictions about archaeoastronomy’s future.

To attend the keynote lecture on 9 June, please register and pay by clicking the button below, Make Payment Cost is £10.

Registration is now closed



To attend all four keynote lectures, please register and pay by clicking the button below, Make Payment. Cost is £30

Registration for all 4 lectures is now closed.



About

The Key Concept lectures are part of the Sophia Centre's public outreach programme and draw on material in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's programme in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. The programme is distance-learning and online and offers flexible options for study: take one or two modules as an Occasional Student, three modules for a Certificate, six modules for a Diploma and write a 15,000 word dissertation to gain the full MA. For further information e mail the Programme Director, Dr Nicholas Campion.




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