Wednesday 22 Feb, 2023, Time 4 pm GMT
Wednesday 22 Mar, 2023, Time 4 pm GMT
Wednesday  5 Apr, 2023, Time 4 pm BST
Wednesday  26 Apr, 2023, Time 4 pm BST
Wednesday 24 May, 2023, Time 4 pm BST
Wednesday 14 Jun, 2023, Time 4 pm BST

Where: Online via Zoom

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Programme Schedule

Wednesday, February 22nd 2023. 4.00 pm GMT

Camilla Power: Lunarchy: the original economics of time.


The evolution of women’s reproductive cycles and the lunar calendars shared by world religions give evidence for a deep time human lunar ecology. The question of the earliest human economy cannot be solved without a focus on women, the moon and menstruation. African hunter-gatherer cosmology takes the lunar cycle as the normative timeframe for ritual, sex and economic activities. The shared sources of this cosmology carry us back to earliest human symbolic culture, the very origins of art and ritual itself, over 100,000 years ago.


Camilla Power is Honorary Research Fellow in the Dept of Anthropology, UCL, and was for many years Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at University of East London. Her research focuses on the emergence of symbolism in early Homo sapiens, African hunter-gatherer gender ritual, cosmetics and rock art, with fieldwork on Hadzabe women’s ritual culture. She is currently writing The Revolutionary Sex, on women’s role in human evolution. She lectures for the Radical Anthropology Group.

Wednesday, March 22nd 2023. 4.00 pm GMT

Annette S. Lee: Skyscapes and Soundscapes – Decolonizing Sacred Spaces One Bit at a Time.


Just as the Indigenous star maps, "Ojibwe Giizhiig Anung Masinaaigan" (A. Lee et al. 2012) and "D(L)akota Makoċe Wiċaŋḣpi Wowapi" (A. Lee et al. 2012) have challenged viewers to consider non-Western sky epistemologies, new work and community-based practices invite participants to revitalize their relationship with sound through an Indigenous lens. In this way both sound and sky are a human heritage experience that have been largely inundated by machines since the Industrial Revolution. Projects like "Native Skywatchers: Ocean Voices – Sea and Stars" and "Native Skywatchers: Light, Sound, and Space", work to reconnect Indigenous youth with sky, earth, and water as we strive to create transformative experiences at the intersection of art, science, and culture.


Annette S. Lee is an astrophysicist, artist and the Director of the Native Skywatchers research and programming initiative. She has over three decades of experience in education as a teacher, university instructor, teacher educator, program administrator, professional visual artist, researcher, and science communicator. Her passion is working at the intersection of art, science, and culture. Annette’s work as a visual artist spans four decades. Receiving an MFA (Yale School of Art, 2000) with a focus on painting and a thesis show entitled "Star Medicine", the work has since grown into the digital arts and social practice, including: museum exhibits, digital storytelling, art in the built environment. Annette has also co-curated an exhibit for Canada’s Museum of Science and Technology-Ingenium (Ottawa, Canada), called “One Sky-Many Astronomies”. Current work includes community-based digital story work, motion media, large scale projection, performance, animation, and sound art. Annette S. Lee, Ph.D., M.F.A, is an award-winning science communicator and civic engagement leader. She is mixed-race Native American of Lakota, Chinese, and Irish ancestry grounded in working relationships with Indigenous communities worldwide especially Ojibwe and D(L)akota people on Turtle Island (North America) and Mni Sota Makoce (Minnesota).

Wednesday, April 5th 2023. 4.00 pm BST

Alejandro Martín López: An Anthropology of the skies: South American perspectives on Cultural Astronomy.


Cultural astronomy in South America, during the last twenty years, has been an academic area of great activity and results. From an ethnoastronomical work among indigenous peoples in deep dialogue with anthropology and social sciences in general, a solid approach to the socially constructed character of the human experience of the sky has been formed. This has also allowed the approach of academic astronomy itself, as a human enterprise, with a socio-anthropological perspective. It is a point of view that recovers the political dimension of the knowledge production and reinserts it into the whole of human activity. In this seminar we will seek to address some central axes of our understanding of indigenous astronomies and discuss how these perspectives allow us to "provincialize" all astronomies.


Dr. Alejandro Martín López currently works at the Sección Etnología, Instituto de Ciencias Antropológicas, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, as researcher of CONICET (National Scientific and Technical Research Council), and member of the research group Equipo de Antropología de la Religión (EAR). He is astronomer and PhD in social anthropology. Since 1998, his research is focus on ethnoastronomy and anthropology of religion among South American indigenous groups, especially Moqoit People from the Chaco region in Argentina, and their relationship with the meteoric dispersion field of Campo del Cielo. He is specially interested in the links between world views, cosmologies, body and person conceptions, socio-religious change, missionary processes, political relations, territory and cultural conflicts. He also works on the approach to western academic astronomy from the perspective of cultural astronomy and the impact of this on the understanding of astronomical heritage, astronomy education and public communication of astronomy. López teaches cultural astronomy, symbolic anthropology and history of mathematics. He was president (2013-2017 and 2017-2021) of the Sociedad Interamericana de Astronomía en la Cultura (SIAC).

Wednesday, April 26th 2023. 4.00 pm BST

Antti Lahelma: Swans and Stars: Cosmological Myths in the Neolithic Petroglyphs of Lake Onega, North-western Russia.


The Lake Onega petroglyphs in Karelia, north-western Russia, stand out from the majority of hunter-gatherer rock art in Northern Europe in that the most common motifs depicted are not elk but birds, in most cases identifiable as swans. Migratory birds such as swans and ducks have played a crucial role in the myths and cosmological notions of the local Finno-Ugric peoples, for whom their arrival in the spring signified new life, while birds leaving to the south in the autumn symbolized death and the coming of lean months of the winter. The Milky Way was conceptualized as flock of migratory birds, each star in it also representing a soul of a deceased person, and the entire world was believed to have been borne out of a water-bird’s egg. This talk considers possible representations of cosmological notions related to migratory birds in Karelian Neolithic rock art, and also some possible reflections of these northern myths in the Greco-Roman world.


Antti Lahelma is a senior lecturer in archaeology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. His core expertise lies in the study of prehistoric identity, cultural production and worldview, particularly in the northern circumpolar area. He is the author, together with Prof. Vesa-Pekka Herva, of the book "Northern Archaeology and Cosmology: a Relational View" (Routledge, 2020).

Wednesday, May 24th 2023. 4.00 pm BST

Duane Hamacher: When Stars Fall: Apocalyptic Experiences of Meteorite Impacts in History and Culture


Humans have experienced destructive events throughout history that have caused widespread death and destruction, which have influenced cultural traditions, directed social and political systems, and driven scientific research. Among these, the impact of meteorites with the Earth stands as one of the most potentially destructive, but least researched, areas of natural hazards. These cataclysmic events serve as the foundation of ideas about the apocalypse, from Aboriginal traditions of meteorite impacts to the Biblical end of the world, to widely publicised modern events that were recorded on camera and viewed across news outlets around the world. The destructive experience and aftermath of meteoritic events, as well as lessons about causation, meaning, and survival, can teach us about the human condition, adaptation to cataclysmic events, and inform us about preventative practices that could circumvent an impending apocalypse.


Duane Hamacher - Fellow in Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies, University of Heidelberg (Germany) and Associate Professor of Cultural Astronomy, University of Melbourne (Australia).

Wednesday, June 14th 2023. 4.00 pm BST

Alan Ereira: Knowing outer and inner space: how the Kogi of Colombia inhabit the world.


When Richard Ellis, a very distinguished astronomer, was offered the chance to discuss the skyscape with a Kogi savant, he seized it. Here were people whose understanding of the heavens owed nothing to the telescopes which have shaped Richard’s perspective, and which he himself has shaped. The Kogi inhabited a pre-modern world in which, we suppose, all perception came from their unaided senses and so must have assumed the universe revealed itself without concealment or equivocation. We are all children of Galileo, knowing that reality is hidden from our senses. They are not. So he showed them an image from the Hubble telescope, showing what the naked eye cannot see. The Kogi’s description of what it showed was startling, and is the starting point of this talk. Their understanding of the skyscape is not easily distinguished from landscape and seascape. The entire apparent cosmos is described as a trace of the ideas in the transcendental consciousness (‘Aluna’) that emerged from what preceded time and space (‘Se’). So, they connect with and explore the dimensions of outer and inner space through thought, a process in which some of their savants are trained for up to 18 years in darkness. Can we learn to see what they see? They are now trying to teach non-indigenous people. It is a challenge which can re-shape how we manage the natural world, very necessary at this time of crisis.


Alan Ereira is a Professor of Practice at the University of Wales, Trinity St. David, and the Chair of the Tairona Heritage Trust, which magnifies the voice of the Kogi people of Colombia. He has spent many years as a producer of history documentaries and educational broadcasts, mostly for BBC radio and television. His broadcasting awards include the bi-annual Japan Prize for ‘The Battle of the Somme’ and the Royal Television Society award for best documentary series {‘Armada’). He has published numerous articles and six books, mostly on British history, and has been given the Green Book Award for “The Heart of the World”, his book on the experience of working with the Kogi.

Each Zoom session will consist of two 45 minute lectures, each followed by questions from the audience and the schedule is as follows:

Each lecture will last for approximately two hours. All sessions will be recorded and you will have access to the recordings for a month afterwards (useful if you can't join live).

The cost is £10 per session or £50 for all six.

For booking, please click here.

Please join us for a great chance to find out about skyscape archaeology worldwide.

With our best wishes

Liz Henty

Journal of Skyscape Archaeology

Nick Campion

Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

The Journal of Skyscape Archaeology is the only academic journal in the world to explore the relationship between archaeolgical sites and the sky, stars and planets, including archaeoastronomy. The journal’s advisory board includes senior academics and researchers from across the field.

The Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture is a research and teaching centre at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. It examines the relationships between cosmology and culture through history, anthropology philosophy and archaeology. and teaches the Master’s degrees in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology and Ecology and Spirituality.

Welcome to the public outreach page of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, with information about studying with the University, as well as links to related conferences, classes, publications and events. To go straight to the Sophia Centre's University page please go here.

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