Last fall, CLS professor Steven Gullberg attended a conference of the Société Européenne Pour L’Astronomie Dans La Culture (SEAC) at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Bath, United Kingdom, where he presented a paper about “The Cosmology of the Incan Underworld.”

Gullberg is a member of the International Astronomical Union and is prominent within the field of archaeoastronomy, an interdisciplinary area that incorporates astronomy, archaeology and anthropology and focuses on the understanding of the astronomy of ancient cultures and how it was used within those societies.

His primary research interests lie with the astronomy of the Incas in the Peruvian Andes mountains, that of the Babylonians in Mesopotamia and that of early American cultures in New Mexico and Colorado.

The conference in Bath gathered researchers from around the world performing studies on six continents. Gullberg’s paper addressed his field research of many Inca caves that isolated numerous instances of the intentional light and shadow effects within them. The Incas used the sun for determining when to plant and harvest and when religious festivals should occur. Certain caves as well have finely carved altars that are illuminated by the sun at specific times of the year.

Many topics were presented and discussed, and Gullberg was asked to become a member of SEAC’s educational committee. Learn more about Steve Gullberg at cls.ou.edu.

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