Mesoamerica Center

Highlighted News and Events

Graduate Student Summer Research

Stephanie Strauss in Palenque, Mexico
Stephanie Strauss in Palenque, Mexico

This summer, second year Ph.D. student and Donald D. Harrington Doctoral Fellow Stephanie Strauss, received research grants from the University of Texas at Austin and the Department of Art & Art History to conduct pre-dissertation travel and research throughout Mexico and Guatemala. Stephanie is interested in Mesoamerican writing practices and language ideologies cross-culturally, and her dissertation will focus on the enigmatic Isthmian art and hieroglyphic systems. 

 

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.

Mesoamerican Professor awarded National Science Foundation


Dr. Julia Guernsey at La Blanca
Dr. Julia Guernsey at La Blanca

The La Blanca Archaeological Project, whose team includes Julia Guernsey, was awarded a $400,000 National Science Foundation grant to pursue archaeological investigations at the Middle Preclassic (900-600 BC) site located along the Pacific coast of Guatemala.

Dr. Julia Guernsey, Associate Director of the Department of Art and Art History and affiliated faculty of The Mesoamerica Center,  received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997, and has taught ancient Mesoamerican art and culture history in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin since 2001.

Her research and publications continue to focus on the Middle and Late Preclassic periods in ancient Mesoamerica, in particular on sculptural expressions of rulership during this time. She participates on the La Blanca Archaeological Project, which is exploring this large site that dominated the Pacific coastal and piedmont region of Guatemala during the Middle Preclassic period. 

Dr. Julia Guernsey wins Outstanding Teaching Award

Dr. Julia Guernsey
The Mesoamerica Center congratulates Dr. Julia Guernsey, affiliated faculty of our center, for the Outstanding Teaching Award. The award's program is one of the nation’s largest monetary teaching recognition programs in higher education, honoring outstanding performance in the classroom and dedication to innovation in undergraduate instruction.

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. 

 

 

Doctoral Candidate awarded a Fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks

Caitlin Earley, doctoral candidate in the Department of Art and Art History, was awarded a Junior Fellowship from Dumbarton Oaks. Dumbarton Oaks is a research institute of Harvard University dedicated to supporting research in Pre-Columbian Studies as well as Byzantine Studies and Garden and Landscape Studies. Junior Fellowships are awarded to PhD candidates for one academic year of residential study in Washington, DC, giving them the opportunity to pursue research amongst the rich academic resources and dynamic scholarly community of Dumbarton Oaks.

IHOPE-MAYA Workshop

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.