Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

FEBRUARY MONTHLY MEETING

Recent Advances in Cultural Astronomy in the Broader Southwest by Ray F. Williamson, PhD

This meeting will be held at the Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.   

The study of cultural astronomy in the Southwest U.S. has had a mixed reception among SW archaeologists, especially archaeoastronomy, the element of the field that deals with archaeological remains. Over the past decade or so, the archaeology community has become more receptive to some of the results of cultural astronomy and a few archaeologists have begun to see it as a useful tool in the effort to understand the lives of the peoples who left us so many puzzling southwestern architectural structures. This talk reviews some of the more interesting and exciting recent research in cultural astronomy and its connections to modern archaeological research, especially the persistent questions of how and why the Ancient Puebloans left the northern Southwest and where the different groups ended up. It also examines the question of putative prehstoric lunar observations and their possible manifestations in archaeological remain. 

Ray A. Williamson is retired from Secure World Foundation, where he served as Executive Director between 2007 and 2012 and as Senior Advisor until 2014. Previously, he was Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs in the Space Policy Institute, The George Washington University. From 1979 to 1995, he served first as Senior Analyst and later as Senior Associate for the U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). Prior to employment with OTA. Dr. Williamson was Assistant Dean at St. Joan's College, Annapolis, MD. Dr. Williamson is a Board Member of the Society for Cultural Astronomy in the American Southwest and Willowtail.org, an organization promoting the development of the arts in the Four Corners region. He is the author or editor of ten books on space policy, historic preservation, and the astronomical knowledge and ritual of the American Indian. is books include: Living the Sky: The Cosmos of the American Indian; They Dance in the Sky (with Jean Guard Monroe); and Cowboys and Cave Dwellers (with Fred. M. Blackburn).

Dr. Williamson received his BA in physics from the John Hopkins University and his PhD in astronomy from the University of Maryland..

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