Astronomy of the Inka Empire: St. Louis Astronomical Society June Meeting

Astronomy of the Inka Empire: St. Louis Astronomical Society June Meeting

Steven R. Gullberg from University of Oklahoma will be presenting "Astronomy of the Inka Empire"

The Inca people (they prefer to be known as “Inka”) dominated the western coast of South America from about 1400 A.D. until their conquest by Spain in 1533 A.D. Astronomy in the Inka Empire was a robust and fundamental practice. The Spanish conquest of the Andes region disrupted much of this Indigenous culture and resulted in a significant loss of information about its rich history. Modern archaeoastronomy – the study of the astronomy of ancient cultures - helps to recover and interpret some of these elements of Inka civilization.

The Inkas worshipped the Sun, and astronomy was intricately woven into the fabric of their existence and daily life.  Dr. Gullberg will present some historical background and then look at the intentional light and shadow effects created in numerous Inka shrines and caves. Photos captured during field research in places such as Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and Cusco add visual insight into Inka culture and beliefs.

Dr. Steven Gullberg is a Professor of Cultural Astronomy at the University of Oklahoma. A distinguished teacher and researcher, he is also President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Commission C5 Cultural Astronomy. He is Managing Editor of the Journal of Astronomy in Culture. He has conducted extensive field research on the astronomy of the Incas in the Peruvian Andes and has authored books and many research papers on archaeoastronomy.

The St. Louis Astronomical Society is an organization for individuals interested in astronomy and telescopes. The public is invited to attend its meetings, telescope observing sessions, and special events. For more information about Astronomical Society events, please visit

Free parking will be available.