This year’s symposium titled “Royal Chambers Unsealed: Tombs of the Classic Maya”, will explore the significance the ancient Classic Maya placed on the death of their divine rulers, as well as the meaning they invested in their funerary architecture, building decoration, grave goods, burial texts, and mortuary rituals.
Royal tombs have always captured the public's imagination, and recent archaeological research has uncovered some of the most interesting, opulent, and decorated Maya tombs ever. However, far gone are the days in which tombs are largely treated as an accumulation of photogenic "goodies." In the modern day, given Maya archaeology's technical maturation and interpretive sophistication over the past several decades, these recent finds are able to draw on many new analyses and techniques - including epigraphy, advanced osteological analysis, materials sourcing, chemical residue analysis, 3D mapping, and more - that more fully help us understand the complexities of Classic Maya mortuary practices.
The goal of the symposium is to showcase some of the more recently discovered Classic Maya royal tombs in order to shine light on what the death of a divine king might have meant to the Classic Maya. New texts, new analytical techniques, and new discoveries help us appreciate how complex and dynamic Classic Maya notions of death and the afterlife were. To that end, we have assembled a wonderful group of Maya studies scholars from different disciplines, such as archaeology, epigraphy, and physical anthropology to address this topic mustering as wide an array of evidence as is possible.
Such a consortium is a rare accomplishment in modern academia, so please JOIN US!
2015 Program | Registration | Accommodation