Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Educators, Scholars, and Enthusiasts Learn about the Maya

March 25th, 2015

The 12th annual Tulane Maya Symposium “Royal Chambers Unsealed: Tombs of the Classic Maya” informed educators, students, and scholars about the most recent advances in Maya archaeology, focusing on tomb architecture.

The weekend kicked off with an opening reception at the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans for the exhibit “Maya Ruins and the Passage of Time” by Jay Frogel, an exhibit showing the changes in Maya architecture over time by super-imposing modern photographs with drawings by Fredrick Catherwood from the 1800s. The reception, attended by over 100 people, was a great opportunity to meet the artist, Jay Frogel, learn about his work, and start the weekend. The exhibit at the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans will be on display until April 17th. View photographs of the opening reception from the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans. A companion exhibit at MARI will be on display through the end of May, so there is still time to visit the exhibits!

On Friday, the TMS teacher workshop helped local and regional K-12 educators learn how to integrate information on the Maya into the K-12 classroom. Teachers heard about recent research on the Maya, from scholars from Mexico and the United States, and learned how other teachers include the Maya in the K-12 classroom. LARC master teacher Ellen Cohen, of Metairie Park Country Day School, gave a presentation on a curriculum she wrote while participating in a Yale University Summer Teacher Institute. The curriculum focused on connections between Latin America and New Orleans, including through the modern banana trade and ancient cultures. Her presentation helped teachers see how to engage students in the classroom and integrate the information they learned in the morning. See photographs of the workshop on the Stone Center’s Flikr page or from the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans.

The keynote lecture, given by Bill Fash of Harvard University, at the New Orleans Museum of Art, was attended by over 100 people who heard about the importance of tomb architecture and some interesting discoveries, focused on the site of Copan, Honduras. Attendees were also able to view the NOMA collection of artifacts from the Americas, including items from Maya sites.

The main part of the symposium, the Saturday talks and Sunday workshops, included presentations by scholars from the United States, Spain, Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. This international group of scholars presented on some of the recent discoveries in the Maya area, focusing on tombs of the Classic period. Many of the photographs and much of the information presented is not readily available in publications, particularly in the United States. This provided the attendees with an excellent opportunity to learn about recent discoveries and what sorts of information tombs can provide us with about the ancient Maya. All in all, the 2015 symposium was a great success.

Mesoamerica + People
Amy George-Hirons
Language Program Director - Spanish & Portuguese