News

New Archaeological Discoveries in Guatemala

David Stuart on the field

In May Prof. David Stuart conducted fieldwork at two archaeological sites in northern Guatemala, helping to document important Maya monuments and sculptures discovered by colleagues from Tulane University.

New Publication Initiative at the Mesoamerican Center

New Publicatio cover

The Mesoamerica Center is excited to be involved in the production of two important monograph series in the fields of ancient American archaeology and art history, Ancient America and Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing. Both publications have a long and venerable history in Mesoamerican studies, and have been the source of a number of path-breaking works over the past three decades. Appearing this summer is Ancient America 13, The Fall of the Great Celestial Bird: A Master Myth in Early Classic Central Mexico by Jesper Nielsen and Christophe Helmke, both of the University of Copenhagen. 

 

Travel Report: Within Tikal's Reach

Dr. Astrid Runggaldier on the field
 

This summer a small team, led by Dr. Astrid Runggaldier, set out on a Mesoamerica Center expedition. The group visited several sites in the Tikal region and wanted to locate the settlement of El Zapote, first reported by Ian Graham in 1974.

This pilot study was funded by a research grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through UT’s Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies. Its aims were to ground-check the best location and potential for developing a long-term project, provide training and research opportunities for graduate students, and enrich undergraduate courses at UT with original research.

This region has contributed important recent discoveries and developments in Preclassic and Early Classic studies as well as demonstrates the interaction between Maya and Central Mexican peoples.

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. 

 

 

Director's Letter Summer 2014


 

Dear Friends,

I hope you will take a little time to read about some of the many exciting developments in Mesoamerican research now happening at The University of Texas at Austin. 

Among many other activities, The Mesoamerica Center, housed in the Department of Art and Art History, oversees the planning and operation of two major undertakings: The Maya Meetings and Casa Herrera.

The annual Maya Meetings, now in its 37th year, brings scholars, students, and all types of interested people together to share the latest discoveries in Maya art, archaeology, and decipherment (back in 1978 it was called the “Maya Hieroglyphic Writing Workshop” –see From the Archives). It remains one of the preeminent conferences in Maya studies, and our next meeting will take place in January, here in Austin. We will focus on the theme of sacrifice and ritual and keep you updated on The 2015 Maya Meetings website.


Casa Herrera, our beautiful research and learning center in Antigua, Guatemala, is home to a number of academic programs, seminars, lectures and residential scholars. Casa Herrera will continue to play a key role in forging communication and dialogue between the researchers in Central America and Texas, especially in these times when in-person connections and understanding are so vitally important.

2014 Maya Language Summer Institute


 

Professors, local instructors, and students from various universities in the United States and Guatemala collaborated at Casa Herrera during June and July for an intensive 6-week program of dynamic language instruction in Kaqchikel and K’iche’.

Dr. Judith Maxwell from Tulane University, along with 6 local Kaqchikel teachers, lead a group of eight students in the Kaqchikel program. Professor Mareike Sattler of Vanderbilt University and Dr. James Mondloch of the University of New Mexico, plus 4 local K’iche’ instructors, worked with a group of eight students in the K’iche’ program. Dr. Sergio Romero from The University of Texas at Austin also provided program support for the K’iche’ group during their three-week stay in Nahualá.

 

Pre-Columbian Architecture and Urbanism in México

This colloquium provides an overview of contemporary developments in the study and conservation of monumental sites in southern Mexico. Guest presenters are archaeologists from the National Institute of Architecture and History of Mexico, who will discuss the challenges inherent in preservation of some of Mexico's World Heritage sites, such as Monte Albán, Yagul and Mitla.

In Memoriam: Andrea Joyce Stone

We are deeply saddened by the passing of Andrea Joyce Stone, Professor Emerita at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. Andrea received her doctorate in the University of Texas’s Department of Art and Art History in 1983 under the tutelage of Linda Schele. She leaves a remarkable legacy in Pre-Columbian art history and in the field of Maya studies.