AASVlecture1 2014 Morgan Saletta:Archaeoastronomy of the Megaliths of Arles
Thursday, 20 March 2014 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm (AEDT)
San Francisco, California, USA
London, United Kingdom
Morgan Saletta: The Archaeoastronomy of the Megaliths of Arles: cosmology and monumental architecture in the European Neolithic
Morgan Saletta will present his archaeoastronomical study of the megalithic hypogées of Arles (The Arles/Fontvieille monuments) which were probably built between 3500 BC and3000 BC. Four of these large subterranean monuments were oriented toward the setting sun on the equinoxes while the largest, the Grotte de Cordes was oriented toward the winter solstice so as to be illuminated at seasonally important periods of the year for ritual, ceremonial and cosmologically symbolic purposes. This illumination phenomenon, which Morgan is the first to have documented, is very similar to the well-known winter solstice illumination of Newgrange in Ireland and Maeshowe in Scotland. Morgan will discuss how his research and discoveries contribute to and engage with longstanding debates in archaeology concerning the origin, diffusion and meaning of megaliths and other monuments in Neolithic Europe and in the recognition of these monuments from a world heritage perspective.
Morgan was educated in the U.S and France, earning Master’s degrees in Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and in Museum and Heritage Studies at the Muséum National d’Histoire National (Paris) before becoming a doctoral candidate in the History and Philosophy of Science at Melbourne University. An American by birth, he may have left his heart in his native San Francisco but now calls Melbourne home.
When & Where
Archaeological & Anthropological Society of Victoria (AASV)
The Archaeological and Anthropological Society of Victoria was formed in 1976 through the amalgamation of two societies, the Anthropological Society of Victoria and the Archaeological Society of Victoria. Although one was formed 30 years before the other both owed their origin to inspiring lectures given by singularly gifted academic lecturers to what were largely non-academic audiences. Both lecturers were on the staff of the University of Melbourne but stimulated the enthusiasm of people outside the university community.
The AASV welcomes members from all walks of life: professional archaeologists and anthropologists, students, and interested laypeople. We hold monthly meetings with free lectures covering a wide range of topics from the broad disciplines of archaeology and anthropology, and we offer a range of activities including fieldtrips and the opportunity to participate on archaeological digs. While the Pacific region has a special place in the work of the Society, lectures cover a wide range of topics and regions across the world. Links with the University of Melbourne, LaTrobe University and Monash are strong with both staff and students regularly speaking to the society about their work.