Throughout history, the ability of a people to survive and thrive has been tied to environmental conditions. The skill to predict the climatic change of the seasons was an essential element in the ability to “control” those conditions. Seasonal calendars thus became the foundation of early cultures: hunting and gathering, planting and harvesting, worshiping and celebrating were activities dictated by specific times of the year. In addition, celestial events such as eclipses and falling stars would have profound effects on belief systems.
Kenneth Zoll is the Executive Director of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. He is also a volunteer docent at cultural heritage sites in the Coconino National Forest. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in cultural astronomy of the Southwest and is a certified instructor in cultural astronomy with the Arizona Archaeological Society. He is currently working with Arizona State University’s Center for Meteorite Studies on the use of meteorites among ancient Southwest cultures. Zoll is the author of several popular books on cultural astronomy and rock art in Central Arizona, as well as several cultural astronomy articles in professional publications.