Swallow Hall, a 19th Century Gothic Building,
home of the Department of Anthropology

Gavan Lecture "To the Moon: Archaeological Discoveries in Ancient North America"

Date: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 7:00pm

On Sunday, August 20th, the Department of Anthropology will be hosting a lecture which will take place in The Conservation Auditorium (111 Anheuser-Busch - Natural Resources building.)

Dr. Pauketat will discuss how the cycles of the sun and moon were instrumental in the rise of Chacoan (New Mexico) and Cahokian (Midwest) civilizations in 9th-through 13th-century North America. The proof begins with the layout of ancient archaeological sites: stone walls at Chaco Canyon and thatched-roof temples at Cahokia line up with significant astronomical events including the solstices, equinox, and obscure moon rises and moon sets that happen over a person’s lifetime. Archaeological proofs extend into the daily lives and ritual practices of ancient farmers, especially as seen at the Emerald site near Cahokia. Here, Cahokians sacrificed young human beings in conjunction with important full moons. New discoveries at Emerald and Cahokia, along with those at the Puebloan shrine complex of Chimney Rock, show how the moon shaped the character and tempo of human history.

Reception to follow in the courtyard of the Anheuser-Busch - Natural Resources building.

Made possible by the James A. & Margaret S. Gavan Endowment