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A Brief History of the Center for Archaeoastronomy

The Center was founded in 1978 at the University of Maryland to advance research, education, and public awareness of archaeoastronomy. The journal of the Center, then called Archaeoastronomy, was started in 1977 and remains the only publication devoted exclusively to world archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy. We also published a quarterly newsletter called Archaeoastronomy & Ethnoastronomy News for several years, and offer its myriad articles to you here on this website.

Since 1985, the Center for Archaeoastronomy has been an independent tax-exempt, non-profit institution which sponsored conferences, lecture series, and tours as well as published the journal, newsletters, and other special studies.

In 1995, we launched this website to help us further disseminate scientific research in archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy.

In 1997, the Center was invited to join ISAAC, the International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture, founded just the year before.

In 1998, the University of Texas Press took over publication of Archaeoastronomy under the new name, Archaeoastronomy: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture. Through all of these means and all of these decades, the Center for Archaeoastronomy functions as both a source and clearinghouse for professional archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy.

About the Officers

Dr. John B. Carlson

The founder and Director of the Center for Archaeoastronomy and the Editor-in-Chief of ARCHAEOASTRONOMY: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture.

Dr. John B. Carlson, a radio and extragalactic astronomer by training and an expert on Native American astronomy specializing in studies of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. The art, iconography, calendar systems, and hieroglyphic writing of the Maya and Highland Mexican civilizations are his particular interests, and the "archaeology of pilgrimage" is his current special research interest. Research into ancient and contemporary Maya calendars and the "2012 Phenomenon" have been areas of expertise for more than thirty years. In this context, he was the organizer of the first academic session on "2012 Phenomenon" studies held as part of the Oxford 9 International Archaeoastronomy Conference (IAU Symposium 278) in Lima, Peru, in January, 2011. In 2005 and 2006, Carlson was Kislak Fellow in American Studies at the John W. Kluge Center for Scholarly Research at the U. S. Library of Congress where he completed a long-term comprehensive study of "Maya Flasks and Miniature Vessels." Dr. Carlson is Senior Lecturer in the University Honors College, University of Maryland - College Park, where he teaches courses in Astronomy, Anthropology, and the History of Science. You can reach him at tlaloc at

Professor Stephen C. McCluskey
Secretary and Treasurer for ISAAC as well as co-editor of ARCHAEOASTRONOMY: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture.

Dr. McCluskey also is the contact person for editorial contributions and is the Book Reviews Editor for our publications. Dr. McCluskey has a Ph.D in the History of Science and is a Professor at West Virginia University, teaching courses on Medieval Europe, History of Science, and astronomies of traditional cultures. He currently is spending a year conducting research at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester. For more information about his work, please visit his personal website. You can contact him at scmcc at

Dr. Stanislaw Iwaniszewski
Co-Editor of ARCHAEOASTRONOMY: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture

Dr. Juan Antonio Belmonte
Co-Editor and Managing Editor of ARCHAEOASTRONOMY: The Journal of Astronomy in Culture

Contacting Us

The Center for Archaeoastronomy is located near the University of Maryland. The mailing address for the Center is:

The Center for Archaeoastronomy
P.O. Box "X"
College Park, MD 20741-3022

For more information, please write to us at the above address, email John Carlson at tlaloc at, call us at (301) 864-6637 or send us a fax at (301) 699-5337. If you are interested in submitting an article for review, please see the style guide.

The Center for Archaeoastronomy is an independent tax-exempt, non-profit research and educational institution which sponsors conferences, lecture series and tours as well as publishing ARCHAEOASTRONOMY, the A&E News and other special studies. Your support in the form of tax-deductible charitable contributions is also very much appreciated. Thank you so much for your interest and support. We hope to hear from you soon. Keep your eyes on the ancient skies!

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Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.