March 2014 Lecture
The Taaj: Exploring a Religious Order at Xultun, Guatemala
Ancient murals are rare in the Maya world, but rarer still are the archaeological remains of these murals' creators. This presentation explores recent research at the Classic period Maya site of Xultun, Guatemala, where the discovery of a late mural in the Taaj group provides an exciting opportunity to examine scribal practice and courtly culture at this large center. The mural depicts not only portraiture of elite figures in a courtly scene, but also presents a palimpsest of roughly sketched, minute calendrical glyphs interspersed among those painted figures. In 2012, focused excavations at the Taaj group yielded new insight into the lives of the poorly know artisans who inhabited the area. This presentation details these recent archaeological excavations; discusses the mural in light of these investigations; and examines the link between its content, new discoveries made within the group, and the history of Xultun.
Monthly meetings are held at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1201 17th Street NW.
Date: Friday, March 7, 2014
Time: Refreshments: 6:45 pm
Meeting and lecture: 7:15 pm
Biography: Franco Rossi is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Archaeology at Boston University, where he specializes in the archaeology of Mesoamerica with special focus on the social politics, epigraphy and iconography of the Ancient Maya. Leaving business in 2005, Franco had his official “Maya archaeology” start with the Philadelphia branch of the Precolumbian Society, also volunteering the Penn Museum for two years as a docent and exhibition research assistant. He began studying Maya hieroglyphics as part of the Philadelphia Precolumbian Society’s Glyph Group. Franco is now in his sixth year of graduate study. He has conducted epigraphic research for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Princeton Art Museum. He is currently a Junior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks where he is working on a dissertation concerning his archaeological work at Xultun, carried out as part of William Saturno’s San Bartolo Regional Archaeological Project.