Learn about the “Skywatchers of the Ancient Americas” with John Janusek, associate professor of anthropology, on Wednesday, April 5, at 3 pm in room 202 of the Wond’ry. In anticipation of the August 2017 solar eclipse, various ongoing activities and date-specific events related to the solar eclipse will be held across Vanderbilt’s campus.
Janusek’s presentation will compare the science of astronomy and skywatching in several civilizations across the Precolumbian Americas. He will compare cultures in the South American Andes with Middle American Maya and North American Mississippian cultures, examining how these cultures developed highly precise techniques for tracking the recurring movement of the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and the periodic occurrence of solar eclipses. Janusek will further demonstrate how such celestial movements and occurrences were central to the political and ritual power of these civilizations.