Mesoamerica Center

Highlighted News and Events

Celebrate International Archaeology Day at UT Austin!

Archaeology Day 2015

Would you like to learn more about how archaeologists work with pottery, excavate burials, and find sites through satellite images? Participate in the annual celebration of International Archaeology Day with events and activities for the general public organized by The Mesoamerica Center in the Department of Art and Art History and the Anthropology Department Graduate Student Organization. Events are designed for children (K6), teenagers (K6-12), and adults.All activities are free, but require registration as we have a limited number of spaces! Click this link to register!

Holy week Art Program

Student pose in front of alfombra

During the 2015 Spring semester, Professor Jason Urban and Leslie Mutchler accompanied a small group of students from the Department of Art and Art History to take part in Semana Santa by designing and creating an eight by twenty-foot Alfombra, or sawdust carpet for the Holy Week processions.

Throughout this ten-day trip, anchored at Casa Herrera, students heard lectures about Semana Santa, the culture and customs of Guatemala, took field-trips to a textile factory, the Capuchinas Convent, and San Juan Comalapa to see hand-painted murals. This time spent together, away from home and typical American creature comforts allowed our students to form long-lasting friendships and gain valuable cultural perspective.

New Fire: University of Texas at Austin's Blog on Mesoamerica News and Research


New Fire is a blog produced by The Mesoamerica Center on current Mesoamerican art and archaeology. This blog will present current archaeology news, projects by graduate students at UT-Austin, and information about resources and projects at the Mesoamerican Center.

The editors of this blog include Elliot Lopez-Finn and Stephanie Strauss, as well as other contributing members of MaGSA, the organization of students at UT-Austin that study Pre-Columbian culture.

Study Abroad: Spring Semester in Guatemala and Belize


San Pedro las Huertas

This spring, The Mesoamerica Center brought students to Casa Herrera for their study abroad semester for the third year. This satellite campus provides a teaching and research center in the colonial city of Antigua, Guatemala.

The study abroad program is open to all majors and focuses on ancient and contemporary culture in Guatemala and Belize, giving students a fully immersive and interactive experience at ancient Maya sites, national and local museums, archaeological laboratories, and contemporary Maya villages.

The Mesoamerica Center faculty lead for the program, Dr. Astrid Runggaldier, teaches courses in Antigua and oversees the curriculum, field trips, invited speakers, and special projects.


From the Archives


In 1978, this 56-page booklet, the original “notebook” for the Maya Hieroglyphic Writing Workshop at Texas, was handed out to all participants and contained Linda Schele’s detailed transcriptions of selected hieroglyphic tablets from Palenque, Mexico.

This initial gathering, held over a chilly spring break in Austin, was the distant ancestor of the current Maya Meetings and has been held annually ever since. 




IHOPE ( Integrated History and Future of People on Earth) is a global network of researchers and research projects using integrative frameworks to combine study human and Earth system history on behalf of our species’ future. IHOPE’s long-term, human-scale perspective unites Earth system science with the social sciences, the humanities, and communities of practice. The IHOPE project office is hosted by Uppsala University in Sweden.

Remote tunnel exploration beneath Temple of the Feathered Serpent

Photo of tunnel

Some recent reporting on robots and archaeological exploration at Teotihuacan:

Lienzo de Quauhquechollan Exhibition

Lienzo de Quauhquecholla

The Mesoamerica Center is proud to present 
The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan Exhibition.

The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan is a pictographic painting on cotton cloth, created circa 1530. The Lienzo is considered the first map of Guatemala.

The Lienzo is also the only firsthand indigenous account of the conquest of Guatemala, and one of the few sources to record the military campaigns of Jorge de Alvarado in 1527–1530. The exhibit of the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan brings to life this untold story of Guatemala's conquest. 

The exhibition coincides with the 2013 Maya Meetings and will be on display until March 2013.

Major Discovery: Tomb of Lady K'abel

The burial chambers of Lady K'abel have been discovered at the site of El Perú-Waka' beneath the staircase leading to the summit of Structure M13-1.

Major Discovery: Cueva Rey Condoy

A recently discovered cave in the Oaxaca Valley contains several new and exciting examples of Zapotec visual culture, including wonderful over-life-size mud sculptures of human and supernatural figures, rock paintings, and lithics.

Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing

The Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing issues number 61, 62, and 63 are now available for download at the University of Texas Digital Repository!

Texas Notes @ the UT Digital Repository

Texas Notes logo

All available entries in the Texas Notes on Precolumbian Art series are now online and available for download at the University of Texas Digital Repository.

Apocalypse later

Image of cover book The Order of Days

Dr. David Stuart is feature on The Boston Globe. Dr. Stuart demystifies the 2012 phenomenon in a very interesting Q&A.