How Does Astronomy Help Date The Origin Of The Iroquois Confederacy?

The beginnings of the “Iroquois Confederacy,” also known as the “Iroquois League” or the “Five Nations” remains shrouded in mystery. But do you know what astronomy has to do with unveiling at least a part of this enigma? Click the link below for this week’s episode of The State of Greater Western New York Report and discover how NASA data helps date the origin of the Iroquois Confederacy.

Dr. Joe Stahlman of the Seneca Nation Tribal Preservation Office returns as this week’s guest. He starts off by describing the general geography of the Five Nations that founded what has come to be known as the Iroquois Confederacy. He then goes into how the history of this union melds with the greater culture of pre-Columbian Greater Western New York.

In the show’s second half, Stahlman describes how a reference to a solar eclipse offers some clues as to when the tribes initially united. NASA maps of centuries-old eclipses present possible origin dates. He explains how history cannot be known with certainty because there are too many sources of data subject to a variety of interpretations. In the end, the story of history ultimately comes from the storyteller.

Our guest happily answered questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. Would you like to be a live audience member so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by “mansardian” courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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