Brown Bag Lecture Focuses on Ancient Stone Calendars of the Southwest

LANL News:

Ron Barber of Mechanical Design Engineering (AOT-MDE) will talk about the Stone Calendar Research Project in a Brown Bag Lecture noon-1 p.m., Jan. 22 at the Bradbury Science Museum.

The talk, titled “Ancient Stone Calendars of the Southwest,” focuses on the hundreds of stone calendar sites located in the southwestern United States that were used to mark the seasons and important indigenous dates. These calendars were made using specific glyphs that align with unique shadows used to mark the time of year, including winter and summer solstice, equinoxes, cross-quarters and many other local important dates.

The Stone Calendar Project researchers are attempting to identify the western regional extent of this type of calendar technology. Sites have been surveyed and studied in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Washington and Mexico.

The study helped identify unique cultural variations in glyph design and revealed the technological evolution over time, which led to very complex and accurate stone calendars throughout the west.

Brown bag lectures at the museum are free and attendees can bring their lunch.

About the Speaker

Barber is an engineer by profession with more than 30 years of experience at the national laboratories in California and New Mexico.

Over the past seven years, he has focused a project to study rock art throughout the southwest, specifically looking for glyphs that might provide insights into early astronomical knowledge. Barber has applied his engineering background to develop a systematic approach to surveying and identifying glyphs for potential study.

More information on the Brown Bag Lecture series can be found on the museum’s website.

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