Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

"Ahk'ab: Darkness and the Night among the Classic Maya," a talk by Marc Zender

September 9th, 2011 - September 12th, 2011
4:00 pm

Location
Room 102, Dinwiddie Hall, Uptown Campus

TO BE RESCHEDULED, PLEASE CHECK BACK SOON.

Ancient Mesoamericans regarded the night as an alien landscape antithetical and inimical to human interests. Both the dualistic opposite and ceaseless, antagonistic counterpart of “day” — of brightness, heat and life — “night” encoded the utter absence of everything associated with the world of the sun; it provided a daily period of danger and liminality to human lives, and a threatening landscape of darkness, cold and death. For the Classic Maya especially, the night was peopled with predatory, rapacious animals such as jaguars, bats, owls and mosquitos, all of which were marked in writing and art as “nocturnal,” and unvaryingly associated with disease, ill omen and death. Widely regarded as an “unnatural” time and place, with eclipses simply providing the most extreme examples of the unceasing attacks of darkness on the world of the sun, night was a period to be passed in fearful watch and a landscape only be traveled.

A Reception with snacks and soda will follow the talk.

Marc Zender is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Tulane and is teaching Classical Nahuatl, Intermediate Mayan Hieroglyphics, and History of Writing. Mr. Zender has a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Calgary and comes to Tulane from Harvard University where he was a Research Associate and Lecturer.

Sponsored by the Tulane Anthropology Student Association Colloquium

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