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November 15, 2004

Coming to Campus

Coming to Campus is a section announcing visiting speakers of note.

Those who wish to submit items for this section should send a brief description (maximum 300 words) of the event, including the date, time, and place, and giving the name, title, outstanding accomplishments and, if available, a color photo of the speaker to: Visiting Speaker, Advance, 1266 Storrs Road, Storrs, CT 06269-4144 or by e-mail:, with Visiting Speaker in the subject line.

The information must be received by 4 p.m. on Monday, a minimum of two weeks prior to the event.

Publication will depend on space available, and preference will be given to events of interest to a cross-section of the University community.

“Stonehenge: New Light from Modern Archaeology and Ancient Greeks,” will be the topic of a presentation by Vance R. Tiede, archaeo-astronomer and teacher in the Easton-Redding Public Schools, on Sunday, Nov. 21, at 3 p.m., in the Biology/Physics Building, Room 130. Admission is free.

Many tantalizing theories about the construction, function, and meaning of Stonehenge have been given through the ages. Tiede will show how an interdisciplinary approach combining archaeology and astronomy may reveal the intent behind the construction of Stonehenge in Southern England by Neolithic peoples 5,000 years ago.

The talk will review the debate between the late astronomer Gerald S. Hawkins and the late archaeologist R.J.C. Atkinson over sun and moon alignments at Stonehenge.

Tiede will illustrate how subsequent archaeological survey data confirm that the stones mark sun and high moon orientations more accurately than originally reported. As a result, the ethno-astronomical implications of what might be called “artifacts of alignments” discovered at Stonehenge are again open for discussion.

Tiede, who earned a master’s degree in archaeological studies from Yale University, was a research assistant to Hawkins. He is a member of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut and the Historical Astronomy Division of the American Astronomical Society. His research interests include the calendric orientation of Irish Early Christian oratories, Western Han Dynasty pyramid tombs, and Mississippian temple-mounds.

The talk is sponsored by the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and Connecticut Archaeology Center.

For information, see or call 860.486.4460.