PCAS General Meetings

Monthly lecture meetings feature noted archaeologists and anthropologists who provide insight into a variety of topics. Lecture meetings are held at the Irvine Ranch Water District Community Room, 15500 Sand Canyon Avenue (between the I-5 and I-405) in Irvine, on the second Thursday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public. See vicinity and detail maps of PCAS meeting location. For additional directions, please call Scott Findlay, 714-342-2534.

Please Note: The Irvine Ranch Water District neither supports nor endorses the cause nor activities of organizations which use the district’s meeting rooms that are made available as a public service.

You are invited to join the speaker and PCAS members for dinner before the general meeting. It's an informal opportunity to visit with an acknowledged expert. We meet at 6:00 pm at a local restaurant. Please check the newsletter (left menu) for location.

Schedule and Speakers

Please note that last minute changes may occur.

May 10, 2018

Dr. James Kus

What's New At Machu Picchu?

In this PowerPoint presentation Dr. Kus will tell the story of Hiram Bingham’s 1911 “discovery” of Machu Picchu and give an overview of the site, its importance within Andean prehistory, recent discoveries at Machu Picchu, plus how massive numbers of tourists are affecting this world–famous archaeological site. He will also present his theory regarding what the site was used for. This talk has been Dr. Kus’s most popular lecture on recent cruises, and he has given it throughout North America for the past 15 years as part of the Archaeological Institute of America lecture series.


Dr. James Kus is an Emeritus Professor (41 years teaching at California State University, Fresno) and a Registered Professional Archaeologist. He has lived for many years in Peru, leading several archaeology projects there and teaching at Peru’s top university. He has published extensively on Peruvian geography, archaeology, and history in both professional and popular media, including Encyclopedia Britannica. Since retiring seven years ago, he has led more than a dozen tours to Peru (for the Archaeological Institute of America, Smithsonian Journeys, universities, and private groups) and lectured on vessels sailing around South America, along West Coast Mexico and Central America, and through the Panama Canal.


June 21, 2018 Third Thursday

Dr. E.C. Krupp

Uplifted and Transported: Encounters at Burro Flats

The Burro Flats Painted Cave Complex, one of the most elaborate and significant prehistoric rock art sites in California, hosts fetching winter-solstice and summer-solstice light-and-shadow events. E.C. Krupp was present for their discovery in 1979/1980, and between then and 2004, he systematically monitored the astronomical performance of the painted rock shelter and other nearby zones on 37 visits and also assessed the impact of the 17 January 1994 Northridge earthquake on the site. Dr. Krupp will illustrate and describe the astronomical dimensions of the site, including details he's learned in the field since the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, where it's located, closed. This Chumash/Tongva archaeological site, near Chatsworth, California, is just a ridge away from the stands on which the huge moon-rocket and Space Shuttle engines were test fired. The test stands and the Burro Flats Painted Cave site, in fact, comprise the only place on earth where our modern world heritage in space converges with the prehistoric reach for the sky. The rock art and the test stands make Burro Flats irreplaceably significant in the history of space exploration, in the history of NASA, in the history of California, in American history, and in the history of the world.

E.C. Krupp is an astronomer and Director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. He attended Pomona College as an undergraduate majoring in physics/astronomy (B.A., 1966). He received his M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) in astronomy at U.C.L.A.

Since 1973, Dr. Krupp has been recognized internationally for his work on ancient, prehistoric, and traditional astronomy and on the relationship between astronomy and culture. He is the author and editor of five books on this subject and has personally visited, studied, and photographed more than 2100 ancient, historic, and prehistoric sites throughout the world, most recently in Myanmar. He has also written hundreds of articles for the general reader on astronomy and culture, dozens of research papers, and four children's books on astronomy. He has received several prominent awards from the American Institute of Physics, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Pomona College, and other astronomical and civic organizations.

Dr. Krupp began his Griffith Observatory career as a part-time planetarium lecturer in 1970 and has been its Director and an agent of public astronomy since 1974. He led the Observatory’s $93-million restoration, renovation and expansion, a project he conceived and shepherded through design, fundraising, construction, reactivation, and return to space after a five-year close.