Archaeoastronomy in the New World American Primitive Astronomy


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First published in 1982, this volume summarises the proceedings of a conference which took place at the University of Oxford in September 1981. Held under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union and the International Union for the History and Philosophy of Science, the meeting reviewed the progress in the archaeoastronomy of the New World. American archaeoastronomy is growing healthily. Researchers from different disciplines, showing an interest in Native American astronomy, have been collaborating since the early 1970s. Research paths opened by astronomers, archaeologists, historians, anthropologists and ethnologists are converging. In this volume a number of these paths are explored and reviewed. The contents include a survey of progress in understanding Maya astronomy; astronomical and calendric practices of the Hopi and the Incas; and case studies of Bonampak (Mexico), Chaco Canyon, and Casa Rinconada.


Anthony F. Aveni


A. F. Aveni, S. C. McCluskey, R. T. Zuidema, G. Brotherston, F. G. Lounsbury, A. Sofaer, R. M. Sinclair, L. E. Doggett, V. D. Chamberlain, W. B. Murray, R. A. Williamson

Table of Contents

List of contributors
1. Introduction A. F. Aveni
2. Archaeoastronomy in the Maya region A. F. Aveni
3. Historical archaeoastronomy: the Hopi example S. C. McCluskey
4. The Sidereal Lunar Calendar of the Incas R. T. Zuidema
5. Astronomical norms in Mesoamerican rituals and time-reckoning G. Brotherston
6. Astronomical knowledge and its uses at Bonampak, Mexico F. G. Lounsbury
7. Lunar markings of Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon A. Sofaer, R. M. Sinclair and L. E. Doggett
8. The Skidi Pawnee earth lodge as an observatory V. D. Chamberlain
9. Caldendrical petroglyphs of Northern Mexico W. B. Murray
10. Casa Rinconada, twelfth-century Anasazi Kiva R. A. Williamson.


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