NEWS FROM THE FIELD: ARCHAEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES FROM MESOAMERICA
January 12-16, 2021
Organizers: David Stuart, Astrid Runggaldier, Milady Casco, Laura Gámez
The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
The 2021 Mesoamerican Meetings will take place for the first time in an entirely digital format. We acknowledge that this will feel very different, given that the Meetings have always been an opportunity for people to connect, exchange ideas, meet new people, and meet up with old friends. Converging in Austin, the hub of the Meetings for more than forty years, will have to wait for a future opportunity when we can all travel safely again. Nevertheless, continuity is important, and, with Mesoamerican goggles on, we see the value of keeping the Meetings going, one cycle after another, even if in a virtual format of remote online presentations.
This year we have designed a virtual Mesoamerica Meetings for 2021, focused on the new and important research moving forward on several fronts. Sometimes, a new find can radically change the interpretation of a whole context or a whole site. Other times, fresh discoveries deepen the previous understanding of a place, and fill gaps in our knowledge of the past. In this way, things – whether monuments, objects, or buildings, can speak to us from ancient times, and add new perspective to what we know of the cultures of Mesoamerica. In this spirit, we present a series of talks from the perspective of the discipline of archaeology, focusing on a site, artifact, structure, or artwork, through which our speakers will explore how these new finds have added to or changed what we previously knew.
Our material culture approach for 2021 allows students and scholars to see how the discipline of archaeology connects with other disciplines in Mesoamerican studies, how these studies are transforming in important ways, and even how this new knowledge can begin to meet the needs of a changing world while confronting unforeseen challenges. We won’t all be gathering in Austin this year, but the Mesoamerica Meetings will be available to a wider audience across the world. We are enthusiastic to help set the stage for a renewal of research and new understandings that will offer a taste of the future directions in Mesoamerican studies.
Below is a short video and some information on what is new for this upcoming virtual edition of The Mesoamerica Meetings!