We invite you to join us on February 15-17, 2008 as we explore the physical and sacred geography of the Maya region, Maya origin stories and beliefs focusing on caves and cenotes, and rituals associated with these locales. 


EXHIBIT IN THE LATIN AMERICAN LIBRARY:  Sacred Cenotes, Hidden Caverns:  Fifty Years of Research in the Maya Area (4th floor of Howard-Tilton Library).
Venture into the realm of the Hero Twins and the rain gods with a visit to the Maya Underworld.  Featured in the exhibit are photographs and drawings of explorations at three cave and cenote sites – Balankanché near Chichén Itzá; Cenote Xlacah at Dzibilchaltún in Yucatán; and Naj Tunich in the Petén, Guatemala.  Tulane was instrumental in research at Balankanché and Dzibilchaltún under the direction of E. Wyllys Andrews IV, in projects co-sponsored by the National Geographic Society.  George Stuart of the NGS participated in all three projects, which will be the subject of his keynote address on Friday, February 15th.  We are grateful to Dr. Stuart, Tulane’s Middle American Research Institute, and the Latin American Library for making the exhibition possible.

FRIDAY, February 15
11:00 AM -12:30 PM
Tour of the exhibit Sacred Cenotes, Hidden Caverns:  Fifty Years of Research in the Maya Area, with Christine Hernández and Gabrielle Vail, followed by a tutorial focusing on web resources about the prehispanic Maya, with specific emphasis on the Maya Codices Website developed by Drs. Vail and Hernández.  Latin American Library, Fourth Floor of the Howard-Tilton Library.

SATURDAY, February 16
Book and poster exhibit, Room 201 (across from Freeman Auditorium), Woldenberg Art Center.


Friday, February 15th 

9:00 AM -12:00 PM K-12 Educator workshop given by Dr. Bryan Just. Priority registration given to K-12 educators, open to all on a space available basis. The workshop material will give a general overview of the symposium theme.

The Maya Underground: An Introduction to the Ancient Maya and Their Ideas about Caves, Cenotes, and the Underworld, by Bryan Just. Greenleaf Conference Room, 100 Jones Hall.

1:30 PM -4:30 PM Participants may register for one of the workshops being offered on Friday afternoon. K-12 educators have the option of attending one of the following workshops offered on campus or participating in the afternoon workshop at the Audubon Zoo. For more information on the K-12 educator workshops please click here.

Caves, Cenotes, Cosmology, and Calculations (beginning level) by Anthony Aveni. Greenleaf Conference Room, 100 Jones Hall.

Maya Glyphic Inscriptions in the Naj Tunich Cave (intermediate/advanced level) by Markus Eberl. Innovative Learning Center, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, 3rd floor.

7:00-8:00 PM Keynote Address by George E. Stuart: The Hole Truth: Reflections on Fifty Years of Maya Cave and Cenote Research. Free and open to the public. This talk will be held in the Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane's campus. Click here to view the flyer.

Saturday, February 16th 

All lectures on Saturday, February 16 will be held in the Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center.

9:00-9:15 AM Gabrielle Vail, Opening remarks
9:15-10:00 Cenotes and Caves of the Maya Region:  Natural Archives of Paleoenvironmental Information, Mark Brenner
10:00-10:45 Emerging from the Dark: The Development of Maya Cave Archaeology, James Brady
11:00-11:45 Rituals and Meanings Related to Maya Human Disposals in Caves and Cenotes, Vera Tiesler and Andrea Cucina
11:45-12:30 PM Caves, Sinkholes, and Springs in Maya Art and Writing, Marc Zender
12:30-2:00 LUNCH

"Giving the Devil His Due…”: Ah Tanlahob Chac (The Servants of Chac) and Colonial Yucatec Maya Rituals and Offerings in Caves and Cenotes, 1550-1750, John Chuchiak

2:45-3:30 Prohibido Tocar Este Cenote:  The Archaeological Basis for the Titles of Ebtun, Rani Alexander
3:45-4:30 Modern Kaqchikel Altars:  Making and Re-making Sacred Spaces, Judith Maxwell
4:30-5:00 DISCUSSION

Sunday, February 17th 

9:30-12:00 PM We welcome you to join the presenters on Sunday morning as they gather for an informal discussion on the role of caves and cenotes in the Maya region, located in the Greenleaf Conference Room in Jones Hall, 100A.

Abstracts and Bios

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Tulane University
100 Jones Hall
New Orleans LA 70118

ph: (504) 865-5164;  fx:(504) 865-6719
Tuesday, February 10, 2008
1:50:25 PM