Public programs teach hieroglyphic writing, newest research and ideas

Share this content

September 1, 2017

Each academic year, The Mesoamerica Center presents programming to bring Mesoamerican research to the public. The Colloquium Series is a set of free conferences given by scholars. Graduate students also participate in yearly public outreach programs at local schools.

an archaeologist using an endoscope on a ceramic figure

Stephanie Strauss, Elliot Lopez-Finn, Kendyll Gross, Catherine Popovici, and Edwin Roman—all art history graduate students specializing in Precolumbian art—visited Liberal Arts and Science Academy for two days in March to teach high school students how to read Aztec place names (toponyms). The activities were taken from Dr. David Stuart’s Aztec Art & Civilization class, but were adjusted to a high school level by the graduate students. This outreach program was initiated by Dr. Julia Guernsey of UT Austin’s Department of Art and Art History.

Also in the Spring, the graduate students visited Russell Lee Elementary School to teach 2nd-graders about Maya hieroglyphs. The class learned to read the Maya number system and were shown how to write their birthdates in Maya glyphs.

The 2016-2017 Colloquium Series season featured talks on subjects such as imaging technologies for ceramic contextual analysis, new thoughts on the meaning of the Aztec Calendar Stone, cross-cultural clashes between Mesoamerican civilizations, and more:

Dr. Julie A. Hoggarth, Baylor University, “Drought and its Demographic Effects in the Maya Lowlands: Bridging Historical and Archaeological Perspectives.” October 2016

Dr. Jennifer Mathews, Trinity University, “Life is Bittersweet: The Rise and Fall of the Sugarcane and Rum Industry in Nineteenth Century Yucatan.” November 2016

Dr. M. Kathryn Brown, The University of Texas at San Antonio, “Sacred Places, E-Groups, and Ancestors: The Emergence of Kingship in the Belize River Valley.” December 2016

Dr. David Stuart, The University of Texas at Austin, “History, Identity and Cosmos: A New Analysis of the Aztec Calendar Stone.” March 2017

Dr. Robert B. Pickering, The University of Tulsa, “Analyzing Ancient West Mexican Ceramic Figures.” April 2017

Dr. Edwin Román Ramírez, The University of Texas at Austin, “The Teotihuacan-Maya Encounter: Cultural Implications of the Early Classic Conquest of Tikal.” April 2017

Another year of exciting discussion on Mesoamerican archaeology will be ushered in with the 2017-2018 Colloquium Series. Please join us for the first talk of the academic year: Dr. Sergio Romero of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UT Austin will present “Central American Nahuatl and the post-Classic in Guatemala” on Monday, September 18. Check our website for details on this and other upcoming events throughout the year.