Winter Solstice Sun at noon over Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon, 12/21/2011
From Nineveh to Chaco – Calendars Through Time will be a stimulating forum, and lively collaboration, between scientists, artists, and interpretive scholars. Presenters will explore how disparate cultures across the globe have quantified time to serve their social and cultural needs.
Societies have organized time in a myriad of ways. People have coped within diverse manners with the cyclical, but unequal periods, of the sun, moon, and planets, and their calendars provide unique glimpses into the past.
Time keeping systems have changed through time. Calendars control not only our world view but also our cultural identity. How people agree to set schedules, designate holidays and hold public events derives more from political and religious dictates than astronomical observation. Calendars that we may take for granted have been cobbled together from strands of history. Our Common Era calendar, BC and AD, is an amalgam of Greco-Roman, Biblical, and Ancient Near Eastern systems, with an additional dash of Renaissance astronomy.