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Author photo of Matt Gatton.


matt gatton

Matt Gatton is a writer and scholar based in Santa Fe, New Mexico whose first book, The Shadows of Socrates: The Heresy, Treachery, and War Behind the Trial of Socrates, was published with Pegasus Books in early 2024. He was born in Europe, raised in North America, and performed his graduate studies in Asia. He was a university lecturer.  


Gatton specializes in the aesthetic and ritual uses of physical light in built spaces during prehistory and antiquity, with particular emphasis on the phenomenon of the camera obscura. He has written on the origins of art for the festschrift of Oxford art historian Martin Kemp (Zidane Press). Gatton’s groundbreaking work on optical distortions at Lascaux was published in the Journal of Applied Mathematics; and his work on the ritual use of optics at the influential ancient Greek temple of Eleusis was published by Oxford University Press.


Gatton has presented his work at the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford, the University of Cologne, Slovak University, Vanderbilt University, and elsewhere. A large international arts festival in Belgium was themed on Gatton’s art writings, which were also presented by Neil deGrasse Tyson on National Geographic’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

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