Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

9th Annual South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica

October 19th, 2018 - October 21st, 2018

Location
San Antonio Museum of Art
200 E. Jones Ave.
San Antonio, TX

The 9th annual South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica will be hosted by the University of Texas San Antonio and the San Antonio Museum of Art on October 19 through October 21, 2018. The South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica is a regional conference that provides a venue to bring together scholars in the fields of archaeology, ethnography, art history, and others, as well as the general public, to share information and interpretations on current research focused on the cultures of the Mesoamerican region.

The keynote address will be given by Dr. Vera Tiesler, who has been a research professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico for nearly 20 years. Her academic interest lies in illuminating the human conditions of the Maya and of past society, by correlating data gleaned from human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts with information from other material and documentation. In her keynote address Ancient Maya Life, Death, and Identities: A View from Yaxuná, Yucatan, Mexico, Dr. Tiesler will discuss perceptions of life and death of the Yucatecan Maya prior to and during the rise of the ancient city of Chichén Itzá. This northern cultural arena is poorly understood compared to other regions of the Maya kingdoms. Tiesler anchors her explorations of ancient Northern Maya Lowlanders through examinations of the burial population at Yaxuná, another ancient urban center located in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula and connected to Chichén Itzá by a causeway. The human remains unearthed during excavations provide valuable insight into everyday life, evolving social roles, collective identities, and manners of death experienced by Yucatec Maya. To reveal these mysteries, Tiesler combines several approaches, including bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and artifact-based iconography. Her discussion will address the fate of individuals and neighborhoods, the regional trajectory that resulted in Yaxuná‘s rise, and then, ultimately, the city’s abandonment. She will conclude with thoughts on the advent of Chichén Itzá‘s political networks and what was perceived as a new cosmic era for the Maya.

During her career, Dr. Tiesler has conducted work on some 250 Maya burials. Her publications discuss living conditions and lifestyle among Maya social classes, social aspects of age and gender, physical appearance and body enhancement, violence, sacrifice, and ancestor veneration. Dr. Tiesler recently published her findings from Yaxuná in the book Before Kukulkán: Bioarchaeology of Maya Life, Death, and Identity at Classic Period Yaxuná (University of Arizona Press).

All conference events will be held at the San Antonio Museum of Art. The conference is free and open to the public.

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Registration for the 9th Annual South-Central Conference on Mesoamerica is now open. To register please fill out the registration form.

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 19
Keynote Address
Ancient Maya Life, Death, and Identities: A View from Yaxuná, Yucatan, Mexico
Dr. Vera Tiesler

Saturday, October 21
Screening of Out of the Maya Tombs
Panel Discussion lead by David Lebrun, Michelle Rich, and Jason Yaeger

Saturday October 20 – Sunday, October 21
Paper Presentations