Maya Field Workshop in Belize March 2018

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Maya Field Workshops in Belize March 10 -18 2018

Noted archaeologist and epigrapher, Dr. David Stuart will be conducting the workshop. Participants will visit some of the most important sites in Belize, including:

  • Altun Ha
  • Xunantunich
  • Caracol
  • Naranjo
  • Naktun
  • Lamanai

Watch this space for more details.


David Stuart to deliver keynote at Witte Museum Maya Exhibit 

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I just returned from Copan, Honduras and a great Maya Field Workshop conducted by Dr. David Stuart. David will be the keynote speaker of the 5th Annual Witte Museum in San Antonio on April 12, 2016 according to Witte President Marise McDermott.

The event marks Dr. Stuart’s first appearance at the Witte, during which he intends to share his insights about the translation and interpretation of Mayan hieroglyphic writing. The event takes place in the museum’s new Mays Family Center for exhibitions and special events and builds further excitement for the premiere of the center’s first exhibition: Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed.

Dr. Stuart, who is now a professor of Mesoamerican Art at the University of Texas at Austin, began deciphering Mayan hieroglyphs at the age of 10, and delivered his first scholarly paper on Mayan glyphs at the age of 12. At age 18, Stuart became the youngest person to ever receive a MacArthur Fellowship, popularly known as the “Genius Award,” to further his groundbreaking studies into cracking the Maya code.


For tickets, visit www.wittemuseum.org/MayaSA


Maya Culture, featured at Friendship Bridge meeting in Evergreen, CO Jan. 19

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Friendship Bridge – Evergreen Circle
Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at 6:30pm
Evergreen Church of the Transfiguration

(Douglas Hall on the east end of downtown Evergreen)
R.S.V.P. to John Daigle, mayaglypher@gmail.com

During our travels to Tikal and Yaxha in Guatemala last year, my wife Vicki and I were honored to receive a very special wedding blessing from a Maya shaman (J’Men).


It was conducted by highly respected Reginaldo Chayax Huex, director of BioItzá a protected biosphere headquartered in San Jose on Lake Peten Itzá. He is one of fewer than 60 remaining persons who are fluent in the Itzá dialect of the Mayan language.

Many of our Evergreen, Colorado friends and neighbors have asked us to share our knowledge of both the ancient and present-day Maya culture. Over the past 40 years, we have collected quite a bit of information in our travels to Guatemala (Tikal, Yaxha, etc.) and Mexico (Palenque, Yaxchilan, Coba, etc.)

So we’ll be showing video clips of our exploits and pass along information I’ve accumulated while attending Maya Field Workshops with David Stuart and “auditing” classes with the legendary Linda Schele at the University of Texas at Austin.

Among our topics:

  • Our background and interest in the Maya culture (both ancient and contemporary). This will include a 5 to 10 minute video clips of our travels to iconic Maya sites of Tikal, Yaxha and Uaxactun, Aguateca, Palenque and Yaxchilan as well as present day Flores and the Lake Peten area.
  • A short clip of our “wedding blessing ceremony” conducted by Reginaldo Chayax Huex and his son, Aderito Chayax
  • Ancient Maya art (sculpture, ceramics and textiles) and how they can be seen in present-day art and textiles.
  • Mayan hieroglyphs, how they can be read and their relation to present-day Mayan languages.
  • How the accomplishments of the ancient Maya ancestors can be shared with the present-day descendants as a point of pride and inspiration.

Of course present day Maya face incredible economic and political challenges. So to some, a study of their ancient past may seem frivolous. Hopefully we offer some insights into how the ancient heritage can inspire a successful future.

We appreciate the invitation of Friendship Bridge to speak at Evergreen Circle. They work with indigenous Maya women where the rate of poverty in Guatemala is highest. Among other important goals, they assist with a successful microcredit program to foster:

  • A greater ability to weather economic shocks, such as illness or natural disaster
  • Decreased malnutrition
  • Decreased spousal abuse
  • Improved hygiene and health care
  • Increased number of children attending school, especially girls

Please visit the Friendship Bridge and Facebook pages to learn more.

Peek at the Maya Puuc Region this December

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puuc2Update: As of today there are only 1 or 2 spots left for the Maya Field Workshops, led by Dr. David Stuart, this coming December 5 to 13. They will be visiting 9 sites in the Yucatan’s Puuc Region. The area is famous for its unique architectural designs and beautiful façades with intricate stone mosaics, and elaborate figurative sculpture. I’ve attended MFW workshops for the past three years and they are “chance of a lifetime” learning experiences for any Mayanist, academic or serious amateur. David’s sister, Ann Stuart does a great job at the logistics of travel, food and accommodations.

You will explore the latest exciting finds in the area that have pushed the origins of the Puuc region well back into the Pre-Classic period. And near the end of the journey you will visit the charming town of Mani, where Xiu dynasty ruled at the time of Spanish contact and where Diego de Landa infamously burned many hieroglyphic books. Among the sites on the itinerary:

  • puuc-cUxmal
  • Oxkintok
  • Loltun
  • Kabah
  • Sayil
  • Kiuic
  • Edzna
  • Xocnaceh
  • Mani

Learn more about the Puuc region from these two excellent articles. The first is by Meghan Rubenstein, a Ph. D. candidate at the University of Texas. I had the pleasure of meeting Meghan during the Palenque workshop in 2012. Meghan’s blog posts chronicle her dissertation fieldwork at the ancient Maya site of Kabah.

The second article is co-authored by Meghan as well as David Stuart on his Decipherment blog.
“The Reading of Two Dates from the Codz Pop at Kabah, Yucatan.” 

Heading for Tikal, Uaxactun, Yaxha on David Stuart’s Workshop

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Map-TikalSaturday I fly to Flores, Guatemala to meet up with renowned archaeologist and epigrapher, Dr. David Stuart, as I begin my third Maya Field Workshop. David will guide us through Tikal, Uaxactun and Yaxha before heading south to the seldom visited Aguateca and Ceibal. There, we will stay on the scenic Rio Petexbatun. It is sold out as usual and I look forward to meeting many of the friends I met on previous trips to Palenque, Yaxchilan, Bonampak, Chichen Itza, Coba and Ek Balam in the Yucatan. I’ll post more pix and videos as my journey continues. Stay tuned.


  • Saturday: Arrival & welcome
  • Sunday: Tikal
  • Monday: Tikal
  • Tuesday: Yaxha
  • Wednesday: Uaxactun
  • Thursday: Lake Petexbatun;
  • Friday: Aguateca
  • Saturday: Ceibal; To Flores
  • Sunday: Departure

Mayas for Ancient Mayan: Dr. Bruce Love interview

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At the recent Maya at the Playa Conference, I sat down with Bruce Love, president and field coordinator for Mayas for Ancient Mayan. Bruce received his Ph.D in in Anthropology from UCLA and has 40 years of field experience among the Maya of Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. MAM is a tax-deductible charitable organization dedicated to bringing the glyphs and ancient calendar back to the Maya people. MAM has had some exciting successes and has ambitious plans for the future as Bruce explains.

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