Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

APRIL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

New Insights into the Classic Maya Collapse: Episodes of Political Disruption at Ceibal, Guatemala by Takeshi Inomata, PhD

This meeting will be held at the Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.  

In the study of the Classic Maya Collapse (c. the 9th century AD), scholars tend to emphasize a gradual process that took place over a century. Recent results of archaeological investigations based on a refined chronology, combined with epigraphic data, however, suggest that this process was punctuated by waves of collapse, or a series of rapid political disruptions that affected wide areas simultaneously. The lowland Maya center of Ceibal, Guatemala, has figured prominently in the study of the Classic Maya collapse since the pioneering research by Harvard University in the 1960s. After 40 years, we returned to this important site to further investigate this issue. Although researchers have thought that Ceibal thrived through the period of the Maya collapse, the results of our research show that Ceibal, like other centers, also suffered from multiple episodes of political crisis.  

Takeshi Inomata is Professor and Agnese Nelms Haury Chair in Environment and Social Justice in the School of Anthropology, University of Arizona. He has been conducting archaeological investigations at the Maya sites of Aguateca and Ceibal, Guatemala, to examine social changes in Maya civilization. His publications include The Classic Maya (2009, Cambridge University Press), “Early Ceremonial Constructions at Ceibal, Guatemala, and the Origins of Lowland Maya Civilization” (2013, Science), and “The Development of Sedentary Communities in the Maya Lowlands: Co-Existing Mobile Groups and Public Ceremonies at Ceibal, Guatemala” (2015, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). 

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