Anderson Lecturer At Denison Speaks On 'Skywatchers Of Ancient Mexico'
Date of Event: March 7, 2002
Posted: February 25, 2002
GRANVILLE - Denison University's Anderson Lecture Series presents archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni to discuss "Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico." Set for 8 p.m. on Thursday (March 7) in Swasey Chapel, this convocation is free and open to the public.
Aveni, considered one of the founders of archaeoastronomy, will talk about the remarkable astronomy of the ancient Mayan rulers of Central America and their particular interest with the planet Venus. "We will dwell mainly on the evidence that suggests Maya priest-astronomers carefully watched the planet Venus," Aveni says, "clocking its motion to an accuracy of better than two hours in five centuries -all without the advantage of a technology like our own. What drove them to such precision?"
Aveni is the Russell B. Colgate Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology at Colgate University where he has taught since 1963. Named as a National Professor of the Year in 1982 by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (the highest national award for teaching), Aveni also was featured in Rolling Stone magazine's 1991 list of the 10 best university professors in the country. He received the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching from Colgate in 1997 and the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society Distinguished Teaching award in 1990. He earned his doctorate from the University of Arizona and has taught courses on astronomy, archaeoastronomy, cultural anthropology and the history of science at The University of South Florida, University of Colorado, University of Padua, Italy and Colgate University.
Aveni has edited or authored two dozen books on ancient astronomy and his most recent books include:Empires of Time; Conversing with the Planets; Ancient Astronomers; Behind the Crystal Ball: Magic, Science and Religion from Antiquity through the New Age; Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Ancient Cultures;andBetween the Lines, which chronicles his 10-year research program on the mystery of the ground drawings of Nazca, Peru. He has more than 200 research publications including three cover articles in Science magazine and key works in American Scientist, The Sciences and American Antiquity. Aveni also will be featured on the Ohio Historical Society's Fort Ancient Symposium on March 9 and 10 discussing the claims made for Hopewell astronomy, while putting it into the worldwide context of ancient cultures which incorporated the movements of heavenly bodies into their religion and religious architecture.
The Anderson Lecture Series is part of a program for science education at Denison created by J. Reid and Polly Anderson in 1986. The endowment, which exceeds $1 million, also supports the Anderson Science Scholarships and the Anderson Summer Research awards. The late Reid Anderson, a 1938 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Denison, was founder and former chief executive of Verbatim Corporation. He served on Denison's Board of Trustees from 1983 to 1987. Denison Professor Philip E. Stukus, biology, is director of the Anderson Program.
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