Archaeoastronomy is the study of the ways past cultures understood and used the sky. It includes things like equinox and solstice alignments, calendars, and inscriptions or art relating to the sky. I have long been aware of some of the ways that California Indian groups related to the sky, such as the construction of solstice markers by the Chumash. However I was not aware that solar alignments were also incorporated into the design of the California missions.
As an interesting aside, I was able to attend a presentation by Dr. Mendoza at the SAA conference, although it was not on this topic.