Collins Conference Room
Working Group

All day


Our campus is closed to the public for this event.

The Maya Working Group has been pursuing the emergence and development of complex society and culture in Mesoamerica and the Maya lowland region from the perspective of time-reckoning. To this end, the group has produced two edited volumes, the first (2017, 2020) on the original solar commemorative ceremonial centers, E Groups, and the second, on the materialization of time, forthcoming in 2023. Experience with these projects showed us that these indigenous ancient peoples and their descendants, perceived of themselves as time-bound within a living world of immanent spiritual power: time is alive and is sustained and nurtured by human action. Animation and intention in material things of all kinds manifests as human beings engage those things. This apprehension, broadly shared among indigenous peoples of the Americas, was based in systematic observation not only of calendar time, but also cycles of the animals, plants, seasons, stars, and the dynamic punctuated phenomena like earthquake, volcanic eruption, hurricane, that mark time. The Maya and Mesoamericans crafted their understandings into material designs and symbols, geometry and mathematics, we can discern. They extrapolated their experience of being to the whole cosmos, with that knowledge, variable and evolving, as the basis for cultural consensus and collective social power. The Maya Group concluded that it should devote itself to elucidating this process of being Maya and Mesoamerican and pursue it in the myriad databases researchers command and are compiling. This conference will be devoted to bridging across the contributions. The result will be a third edited volume.


David FreidelDavid FreidelProfessor of Archaeology​
Anne DowdAnne S. DowdUS Forest Service
Jerry MurdockJerry MurdockAdvisor & a member of the Board of Trustees
Arlen ChaseArlen ChaseMesoamerican archaeologist

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