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“Saturday Morning Workshop: Archaeology, Representation, and Preservation: the Ethics and Politics of Conducting Collaborative Archaeology in a Protected Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala and the Cleveland Museum of Art”

November 14, 9:00 AM – Maya Society of Minnesota Workshop

This workshop will focus on the multiple networks and levels of political and social collaboration with which the El Peru-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project (EPWRAP) continues to engage. Part of our discussion will focus on the complications of these relationships, the ethics of collaboration with local communities both indigenous and Ladino, and what is at stake for communities, ecologies, cultural resources, and the future of how these sectors continue to be integrated within the aegis of Guatemala’s political, economic, and national institutions. The project also in the initial stages of collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA). Specifically, I will talk about how I am working with the CMA on a digital web app that museum visitors can click on to see an interactive interview with me on the excavation of Burial 61 (that we believe to house Lady K’abel) whose portrait is featured on the CMA’s centerpiece of the Mesoamerican collection, Stela 34 of El Peru -Waka’. The recorded interview features selected photos displaying the process of excavation. The hope for this collaboration is that by providing the archaeological context that speaks to one of the CMA’s most famous pieces, viewers will have a better appreciation of this historical figure and of the importance of archaeological context for revealing heretofore unknown information that is otherwise lost to looting.

6S Giddens Learning Center (Anthro Lab)
Hamline University
St. Paul, Minnesota

“Saturday Morning Workshop: The Archaeology of a Forgotten Region: The Pacific Coast of Guatemala”

October 3, 9:00 AM – Maya Society of Minnesota Workshop

The Pacific Coast of Guatemala is one of the archaeologically richest areas in southeastern Mesoamerica. Because of its earthen architecture, it has been subject to constant destruction due to its location in the most agricultural fertile area of the country. However, important research has been carried out at the sites of Takalik Abaj, La Blanca, Monte Alto, Balberta, Manantial, El Baul, and others. This workshop will offer an overall perspective of the archaeology of the Pacific Coast starting with my dissertation and postdoctoral work around the mangroves and estuaries of Chiapas, Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Results from surveys and excavations at various Early Preclassic sites will offer and introduction to the first sedentary villages of the region, continuing into the evolution of important Late Preclassic centers such as Monte Alto and Balberta, and continuing into the Classic period. By the end of this workshop, attendees will learn about this important region for the development of the Maya area and its importance in the larger sphere network of southeastern Mesoamerica.

6S Giddens Learning Center (Anthro Lab)
Hamline University
St. Paul, Minnesota

“Saturday Morning Workshop: Reading Maya Art”

September 12, 9:00 AM – Maya Society of Minnesota Workshop

Maya art is a rare and complex combination of linear elegance and naturalism, blended with a densely-coded, language-based symbolism. Decorated objects, ranging from painted vases and carved ornaments to towering stone monuments and building facades, bear the traces of a symbol system that, while fascinating, can make an understanding of these images elusive to the uninitiated. In this hands-on three-hour workshop, Marc will draw on the fruits of his recent book, Reading Maya Art (co-written with Andrea Stone), presenting several hieroglyphs that are also the building blocks of much of Maya art. These symbols touch on key facets of the Maya world, from the natural environment–animals, plants, geography, and the heavens–to the mental landscape of gods, myths, and ritual. Attendees will learn how to identify these signs, to “read” their linguistic and symbolic meaning, and to appreciate the novel and inventive ways they appear in art. As well as providing an introduction to Maya art, this workshop also explores the entwined nature of writing and art, and offers some new and exciting interpretations.

6S Giddens Learning Center (Anthro Lab),
Hamline University
St. Paul, Minnesota

“The Second London Nahuatl Study Day and Workshops”

February 20-21 – Institute of Latin American Studies Worshops

17.30-18.00 : Registration (Free Admittance)

18.00-18.10 : Welcome Address by Professor Linda Newson, Director of ILAS 18.10-19.20 : Introduction and Aims of Workshop by Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano, UCL

Institute of Archaeology

18.30-19.30 : “The Brilliance of Aztec Hieroglyphic Writing” by Professor Gordon Whittaker, University of Göttingen

Saturday, 21st February 2015 – Room G22-26

Welcome address by Professor Alejandro Madrigal, Pro-Provost for the Americas, UCL Introduction to the Virtuosity of Nahuatl Hieroglyphs (Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano and Professor Gordon Whittaker The Adventures of Tochin:Exploring the Iconography and Hieroglyphs of the Codex Xolotl (Professor Gordon Whittaker)

Introduction to Nahuatl, the Language of the Aztecs (Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano and Professor Gordon Whittaker)

Introductory Workshop on Nahuatl Language and Literature (Professor Gordon Whittaker and Dr. Elizabeth Baquedano)

Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU
Room G22-26
London, England

2015 Maya Meetings – Symposium Registration Now Open

January 13th – 17th – Thompson Conference Center, Austin, TX

Workshops spaces are filling out fast! Register Here.


Workshops are held from 9:00- 4:00 pm January 13-15, 2015. All workshops are held consecutively, therefore you can only enroll in one workshop. Workshop fee includes lunch ticket.

Student Price: $175
Non Student Price: $265

Gifts to the Gods: Sacred and Sacrifice at Yaxchilan

Alexandre Tokovinine, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard

This workshop explores the rich body of visual and textual data provided by the monuments at the archaeological site of Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico. Its particular emphasis is on the relationship between the holy rulers of the city, their consorts, heirs and noblemen, and the powers which shaped the destinies of the royal court and its inhabitants and were personified as deities of different kinds. The reciprocal exchange between the royal family and its divine patrons figures prominently in Yaxchilan texts and images. To a somewhat lesser extent, the monuments also hint at a similar arrangement between the king and his subjects. The workshop participants will study the inscriptions revealing various facets of these relationships and some underlying concepts. A collection of relevant readings and a workbook will be provided. It is an intermediate-level workshop, so some background knowledge of Maya writing and culture is required.

Origins and Development of the Classic Maya Syllabary Workshop

Dr. Marc Zender, Tulane University

‘The Classic Maya Syllabary’. The words have a deceptively unitary connotation, as if there were only one set of syllabic signs valid in all times and places. Yet Maya writing was in use for almost two millennia (from ca. 400 B.C. to A.D. 1565) and underwent numerous formal and structural changes during that considerable time span. Recent findings suggest that the syllabary’s core elements may have been borrowed from a presently unknown writing tradition recording an undocumented Mesoamerican Indian language. (That is, iconically-recognizable signs such as the a ‘parrot’, e ‘toad’ and u ‘shark’ cannot presently be explained by recourse to Mayan linguistic resources alone.) Nonetheless, numerous new signs were added over the centuries, initially via the acrophonic reduction of Mayan words (explaining the production of syllables like k’u from the earlier word sign K’U’ “nest”) and later on when sound changes resulted in the abbreviation of still other Classic Mayan words into phonetic syllables (such as when the loss of vowel length and the reduction of the h/j contrast around A.D. 750 led to the reduction of word signs like BAAH “gopher” and TAJ “torch” to the phonetic signs ba and ta). In this workshop, students will use Classic Mayan texts and the dictionaries of both Mayan and non-Mayan languages to explore the origins and manifold developments of the Classic Maya syllabary. Prior experience is recommended but not required to attend this workshop.

Body and Sacrifice Workshop

Dr. Justin Kerr

This workshop, using the theme of this symposium, “Body and Sacrifice” will focus on the visual aspects that the Ancient Maya produced using images from painted and carved vessels as well as three dimensional objects. The workshop will also examine carvings in stone that relate to various sacrificial practices involved in the Maya ball game. Participants are asked to prepare for this workshop by reading The Royal Ballgame of the Ancient Maya: An Epigrapgher’s View by Alexandre Tokovinine and Deathly Sport by Stephen Houston. Participants will be asked to discuss the Mesoamerican game relative to the visual aspects that will be presented during the session.

The workshop will examine warfare as presented on the vessels as well as wall paintings in light of the treatment of captives. Preparation for this theme may be perused using the Mayavase Database, using the search term “war” as well as “The Spectacle of the Late Maya court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak” by Mary Miller and Claudia Brittenbaum. One of the questions we will raise will be; was warfare primarily for territory or captives for sacrifice? We will also deal with the concept of entertainment and celebration in the aftermath of battle.The workshop will examine “body art” in terms of tattoos, scarification, and makeup again using both images from vessels as well as three dimensional objects. In this area we will discuss the role of woman as a political creature and did her makeup and costume play a part. We will wonder why, in Maya art, although there are countless images of individuals, there is almost no nudity or images we would consider erotic.

Paola Bueché Senior Program Coordinator
The Mesoamerica Center
University of Texas at Austin
2301 San Jacinto Blvd.
ART 1.412 Stop D1300
Austin, TX 78712-0337

Office Phone: (512) 471-6292