This lecture by Anthony F. Aveni will explore theories about the widely prophesized end of the world on the December solstice of 2012 by measuring them objectively against the evidence of archaeology, iconography, and epigraphy. Special attention will be given to information from the earth sciences and astronomy about the likelihood of world-wide Armageddon. Finally, the prophesies will be placed in the broader cultural and historical context of how other cultures, ancient and modern, thought about the "end of things" and why cataclysmic events enjoy wide spread appeal in contemporary American pop-culture.
About the Speaker
Anthony F. Aveni is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies, serving appointments in both Departments of Physics & Astronomy and Sociology & Anthropology at Colgate University, where he has taught since 1963.
Having received a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of Arizona, Aveni helped develop and is now considered one of the founders of cultural astronomy (archaeoastronomy), in particular for his research into the astronomical history of the Aztec and Maya Indians of ancient Mexico.
Aveni has either spoken or written on astronomy-related subjects on the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, PBS-Nova, BBC, NPR, The Larry King Show, NBC's Today Show, Unsolved Mysteries and the N.Y. Times, Newsweek, and USA Today. He has lectured in more than 300 universities around the world. Aveni has also authored more than 20 books on ancient astronomy, which have been translated into 12 foreign languages. Among them are Empires of Time, on the history of timekeeping; and The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012, which made Choice’s Top 10 list for 2010.
This talk is part of a day forum focused on the special exhibition Exploring Art of the Ancient America: The John Bourne Collection Gift.