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First Announcement - African Astronomical History Symposium

The Astronomical Society of Southern Africa will hold the first-ever symposium on African Astronomical History on 8-9 November 2005 as one of the festivities surrounding the opening of the Southern Africa Large Telescope (SALT) on 11 November.

The Symposium will cover all African aspects of astronomy from ancient times to the present, including recent discoveries concerning the astronomical knowledge of the indigenous peoples of the continent. The first day will include presentations on archaeo-astronomy and ethno-astronomy. The second day will deal with achievements during the colonial and post-colonial periods. There will also be a poster session.

Participants will include several well-known experts on African Astronomical History from abroad as well as of experts from within Africa. At present, Prof Jarita Holbrook, a Fulbright Senior Specialist working on African Cultural Astronomy at the University of Arizona (Tucson) and Prof Keith Snedegar (Chairman, Dept of History and Political Science, Utah Valley State College) have accepted invitations to attend. Prof Brian Warner (University of Cape Town) and various members of the SAAO will also be present. Besides invited presentations, the programme will also include shorter contributed talks and posters.

The Symposium will be held in a meeting room of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in Observatory, a suburb of Cape Town. This is on the site of the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, believed to be the oldest scientific institution in Africa (1820). The venue will have a capacity of about 80 persons. There is an excellent hotel, several guest houses and a backpacker lodge within walking distance. Lunch can be taken at the River Club close by.

We hope to be able to invite participants to the SALT opening ceremonies in Sutherland, though details of this event have yet to be announced.

We are considering printing the Symposium contributions in a special Society publication. The conference registration fee proper will be kept minimal, with a dinner event and the possible visit to Sutherland as add-ons.

Details of the arrangements will be posted and kept up-to-date on the Symposium's web page Those interested in participating are invited to contact the Scientific Organizing Committee at as soon as possible.


News archive:
[2004.11.01] African Astronomical History Symposium call for papers




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