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Palenque’s Maya Glyph Carver Video

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This video features the work of Alejandro Lazo Figueroa, Palenque’s Maya Glyph Carver. Back in 1986, I attended the ground-breaking Blood of Kings Maya Art exhibition in Ft. Worth Texas. The video also shows the Blood of Kings book by Mary Miller and the legendary Linda Schele, which was amply illustrated. I thought an incised conch shell was particularly stunning.

It depicts a smoking lord with a deer headdress and a serpent, ready to strike. I thought it would be interesting to have this image carved in limestone by a modern-day artist.

So, 20 years ago, I found Alejandro Lazo Figueroa at Palenque in Chiapas, Mexico. He was able to recreate the smoking lord in faithful detail on a limestone panel.

I returned in 2014 and found him still carving. This time he carved a set of glyphs representing part of the Palenque dynasty.

Guatemala Maya textile exhibit offers tactile experience

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Textiles from Guatemala: Traditions and Transitions will be on display at the Center for the Arts Evergreen (Colorado) from September 19 through October 17, 2014. The opening reception is on Friday, September 19 from 4‐7 pm. More info can be found at http://www.evergreenarts.org/events.php.

For a thousand years, Maya weavers have been creating textiles for useful, beautiful garments in Guatemala. Their labor-intensive artistic weavings represent years of traditional methods, techniques, and styles. This exhibition presents examples of exquisite Guatemalan textiles and their evolution through time.

Viewers will learn about different weaving and dying techniques, as well as potential reasons behind their evolution. Examples of the over 50 Guatemalan textiles that will be on display are blouses, skirts, dresses, belts, headwraps, pants, scarves, dishcloths, and more.

Meg Leonard will provide a brief history of Guatemalan Textiles and how and why they are changing.

Center for the Arts Evergreen has partnered with Friendship Bridge, a nonprofit organization that provides microcredit and education to Guatemalan women, empowering them to find their own solutions to poverty. With the support of volunteers from ten United States Friendship Bridge Circles, including a local Evergreen, Colorado Group, the organization has reached over 20,000 women through their Microcredit Plus Program. (Reporting from Moira Heffernan) 

Maya at the Playa honors Peter Matthews September 25-28 in Florida

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8th Annual Maya at the Play September 25 – 28, 2014 – Flagler County, Florida
I attended this conference last year. It was extremely well-attended, so make your plans soon. Conference leader, Mat Saunders, has assembled another stellar line up of speakers. Last year I enjoyed having lunch with honoree, Justin Kerr along with George and Melinda Stuart, David Freidel, and Marc Van Stone. I also learned a lot from Harri Kettunen and Marc Zender who conducted a day-long hieroglyphic workshop.

Just look here to see the stellar list of names.

  • FLORA AND FAUNA IN MAYA WRITING AND IMAGERY
    Harri Kettunen – University of Helsinki
  • THE TALE OF LADY WINIKHAAB AJAW: INTERMEDIATE GLYPH WORKSHOP (3 hrs)
  • Marc Zender – Tulane University
  • HOW TO DECIPHER A LOST WRITING SYSTEM: EPI-OLMEC DECIPHERMENT METHODS AND RESULTS
    John Justeson – University of Albany
  • ALBERTO RUZ LHUILLIER: HOW HIS EARLY LIFE IN CUBA IMPACTED HIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL APPROACH
    Elaine Schele – Austin Community College
  • RABBITS IN MESOAMERICAN ART AND WRITING
    Harri Kettunen – University of Helsinki
  • A BRIEF EPIGRAPHIC HISTORY OF NORTHWESTERN PETEN, PART II
    Stanley Guenter – University of Utah
  • MESOAMERICAN CALENDRICAL ASTRONOMY: HOW DID MESOAMERICANS PREDICT ECLIPSES?
    John Justeson – University of Albany
  • REVISITING CARACOL STELA 3
    Marc Zender – Tulane University
  • THE STUDY OF HUMAN SKELETONS FROM CAVES AND ROCKSHELTERS IN CENTRAL BELIZE USING A SOCIAL IDENTITY APPROACH
    Gabriel Wrobel – Michigan State University
  • THE EPIGRAPHIC HISTORY OF THE SOUTHERN MAYA MOUNTAINS REGION OF BELIZE
    Phil Wanyerka – Cleveland State University
  • K’ALTUUN: RE-THINKING TIME AND THE “STELA CULT” OF CLASSIC MAYAN CIVILIZATION
    Gerardo Aldana – University of California, Santa Barbara
  • THE EVOLUTION OF IMAGES IN DOCUMENTATION OF THE MAYA
    Keith Merwin – Institute of Maya Studies
  • ILLUSTRATING MAYA SITES OF CENTRAL AMERICA: SCIENTIFIC RENDERING VERSUS ARTISTIC INTERPRETATION.
    Steve Radzi – Mayavision
  • THE LIME CEMENT OF BELIZE
    Joaquin Rodriguez – Institute of Maya Studies

Plus these speakers:

  • Marcello Canuto – Tulane University
  • David Schele –
  • Peter Mathews – Latrobe University
  • Francisco Estrada-Beli – Tulane University
  • Armando Anaya – University of Campeche
  • Karon Winzenz –

Linda Schele, Peter Matthews and deciphering Palenque’s dynasty glyphs

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Thanks to Elaine Schele for this heads up on a Call for Papers for next year’s Mesoamerican Symposium in memory of epigrapher extraordinaire, Linda Schele. Like many others, I had the pleasure of knowing and learning from Linda for many years when I lived in Austin. I’ll have more comments on this in a later post.

PLEASE SHARE: The 2015 Mesoamerican Symposium will be held on April 10-11, 2015 at California State University, Los Angeles in homage to the late Linda Schele. Dr. Schele was an eminent Maya epigrapher, iconographer and a key figure in the decipherment of Maya Glyphs. She was also a professor extraordinaire who launched the academic careers of many of today’s great scholars. These academic children of Dr. Schele are now established experts in the fields of Maya, Olmec, Aztec, Teotihuacan and West Mexico Studies, among others. As such, the theme of the 2015 Symposium shall be In the Realm of the Vision Serpent – Decipherments and Discoveries in Mesoamerica. — with Manuel Aguilar, Julia Guernsey, Marc Zender, Linda Schele, David Freidel and David Schele at California State University, Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, one of the greatest insights into Linda’s work can be found in a video I made of David Stuart during a Maya Field Workshop in Palenque.

How Palenque’s Pakal got his name (2min 10 sec)

Archaeologist Alfonso Morales introduces Dr. David Stuart who describes how Linda Schele, Peter Matthews and Floyd Lounsbury deciphered the Palenque Dynasty glyphs at the first Mesa Redonda in 1973. This eventually led to the name of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal, Palenque’s most revered king whose tomb lies in the Temple of Inscriptions.

George Stuart – A gentle giant of archaeology passes

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Dr. George Stuart, 79, passed away this week and left and empty space in the hearts of thousands of “mayanists” around the world. I treasure my visit with George and his wife Melinda and daughter Ann at his beautiful home in Barnardsville, North Carolina. Like so many folks, I was introduced to the Maya world by George’s early work for National Geographic. His 40-year career there as a cartographer and archaeologist provided some of Nat Geo’s most noted “finds” and articles.

I will be publishing video and photos I made in Yucatan of some of George’s interesting exploits. Meanwhile, here is a “best of” list of videos of lectures and interviews which are perfect examples of his humor and his amazing ability to explain the sometimes cryptic world of the ancient Maya.

An appreciation of George Stuart on National Geographic’s website.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/06/140612-maya-archaeology-george-stuart-national-geographic-mesoamerica/

“Must see” – PBS Nova’s Cracking the Maya Code
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/cracking-maya-code.html

National Geographic lecture by George and David Stuart
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ng-live/stuarts-lecture-nglive?source=searchvideo

National Geographic’s Interviews of David and George Stuart
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ng-live/stuarts-interview-nglive?source=searchvideo

Article announcing David Stuart among “Seven Great Innovators in Archaeology”
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/innovators/2014/05/140501-archaeology-innovation-science/

Maya Purification Rites in Balankanche Cave
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP6oqf8aT-o

This was posted by his son, David Stuart. “Friends have asked about memorial contributions in memory of my dad, George Stuart. Our family would be honored to have donations made to the Boundary End Archaeology Research Center (formerly the Center for Maya Research) which he founded a number of years ago. His passion was to publish and disseminate information about ancient America, and we have big plans to keep it all going in new and exciting ways. Please check out the link below (and thanks Joel Skidmore!).”

Boundary End Archaeology Research Center
http://www.precolumbia.org/bearc/

 

George Stuart explores Balankanche Cave, Yucatan

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First, let me say hello and best wishes to George Stuart who is at home in North Carolina and is grapling with cancer and under hospice care. Today I’m posting an excellent lecture by Dr. George Stuart on his adventures exploring the magnificent Balankanche Caves as part of the Maya Field Workshop in Yucatan. I videotaped this at the Hacienda Chichen last December 2013 right before the group toured the actual cave site and saw the amazing “Ceiba Tree” formed by stalactites and stalagmites. Meanwhile, please visit the Caring Bridge website and offer your thoughts and best wishes to George.

 

George and Melinda Stuart enjoying the gardens around the entrance to Balankanche Caves.

George and Melinda Stuart enjoying the gardens around the entrance to Balankanche Caves.

 

George and David Stuart lectured during the Maya Field Workshop at the Hacienda Chichen surrounded by Merle Greene Robertson's famous original Maya iconography rubbings.

George and David Stuart lectured during the Maya Field Workshop at the Hacienda Chichen surrounded by Merle Greene Robertson’s famous original Maya iconography rubbings.

George and David Stuart lectured during the Maya Field Workshop at the Hacienda Chichen surrounded by Merle Greene Robertson’s famous original Maya iconography rubbings.

 

 

 

Maya Field Workshops announce Tikal, Yaxha, Uaxactun, Aguateca, Seibal itinerary

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Map-Tikal

Maya Field Workshops has announced more details for it’s December 2014 Itinerary:

Workshops are led by Dr. David Stuart, just named by National Geographic as among the Seven Great Innovators of Archaeology!

  • Saturday Dec 6: Arrivals at Flores Airport. You will have transportation provided to Tikal. Welcome Dinner and Introductions
  • Sunday Dec 7: Visit to Tikal
  • Monday Dec 8: Visit to Tikal
  • Tuesday Dec 9: Visit to Yaxha
  • Wednesday Dec 12: Visit to Uaxactun
  • Thursday Dec 13: Travel to Lake Petexbatun on the Pasion River
  • Friday Dec 14: Aguateca visit by boat
  • Saturday Dec 15: Seibal visit by boat. Return to Flores for Farewell Party
  • Sunday Dec 16: Departures from Flores Airport

I have participated in the last two Maya Field Workshops (Palenque and Yucatan) and can attest to the extraordinary value of learning from David Stuart and benefit from the awesome travel logistics of David’s big sister, Dr. Ann Stuart. My advice is to sign up early because the workshops fill up fast.

 

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