AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: THE SOLSTICE CHRONICLES: ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE AND THE GEOMETRY OF LIGHT IN VICEREGAL NEW SPAIN AND MEXICO, 1521-1834
Author: RUBEN MENDOZA (California State University-Monterey Bay)   
Date/Time: Thu., 9:15 AM
Co-Author(s): RUBEN MENDOZA (California State University-Monterey Bay) 
Abstract: While a vast literature now exists with respect to the pre-Hispanic contribution to archaeoastronomy in the Americas, little to no recognition of the Spanish Colonial and or Hispanicized Indian contribution to astronomy and solar geometry has yet to see the light of day. As such, this paper will review recent findings from over a decade of exploration and discovery centered on the astronomically and or liturgically significant solar geometry of Colonial era (AD 1521-1822) Hispanic and Mexican (AD 1822-1834) Catholic mission churches, cathedrals, and presidio chapels from throughout California, the Southwest, and Mesoamerica. To date, the Mission Solstice Survey has documented the identification and discovery of astronomically and liturgically significant solar geometry of thirteen of twenty-one California missions and related sites, fourteen of twenty-one New Mexico churches, three Texas sanctuaries, and one Arizona mission site. Related phenomenon has been documented within the missions and churches of northern Sonora Mexico, the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro, the state of Puebla and the Valley of Mexico, and has in turn inspired similar studies in other areas of the US Southwest, Mesoamerica, and Peru. Given preliminary findings from within a select few of the over 100,000 Colonial era churches constructed in the Americas, the author contends that fully one third to one half of those sites constructed during the three-hundred year span in question were in effect planned and constructed with heliocentric, and or heliometric calendrical and or solar Eucharistic, considerations as key to their initial planning, syncretic and millenarian elaboration, and architectonic layout.

Program Number: 2-0060
Session Title: HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE NEW WORLD: POWER, DIASPORA, ARCHITECTURE, AND CIRCULATION
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Organizer(s): ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM COMMITTEE (AAA) 
Chair(s): ROBBIE ETHRIDGE (University of Mississippi)  
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