About The Pre-Columbian Society

The Pre-Columbian Society at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology was formed after some attendees of the first Maya Weekend (1983) found the Weekend so successful that they were prompted to ask why they should wait another year to work on glyph decipherment and hear quality presentations on current research.  After a yearís worth of conversation among the founding members regarding the philosophy, form and direction of the organization, the Pre-Columbian Society was formed at the second Maya Weekend in 1984, with the University Museum generously providing a home and support for the meetings.  Founding members include Elin Danien, John Harris, Chris Jones, the late Ben Leaf, the late Shimon Mednick and Steve Stearns.

Our membership has now grown to approximately 100 members across the US and overseas.  For our monthly meetings, attendees travel to Philadelphia from a segment of the northeast that, on average, covers New York through Maryland/Washington DC.

Our publication, The Codex, debuted in November 1990 as a small newsletter, and has evolved over the years into a publication of significance in the world of Mesoamerican and pre-Columbian studies. Issues include articles on current research, fieldwork, linguistics, glyph decipherment and more.  The Codex is published biannually, and is free with membership or available for separate purchase (some past issues still available).  For a look at the contents of past issues: The Codex.

Our Glyph Group is a subset of the main membership, and meets Saturday mornings prior to the general meeting and throughout the summer as well.  The Glyph Group focuses on the study and decipherment of hieroglyphs found throughout the Mesoamerican world.  Beginners are always welcome to join this fascinating area of study! For information, see: Glyph Group.

The Pre-Columbian Society supported the University Museumís Maya Weekend, which was held each year in April, during which professionals and amateurs alike come together for a weekend of lectures and workshops centering around the Maya world. Although the Maya Weekend is not currently held, information on previous Maya Weekends is available at Maya Weekend.

The PCS is governed by a Board of Directors and officers, which are elected every two years. Additionally, there are committees that serve various functions.  The current Board, slate of officers and committee chairs are:

Board of Directors
    Lloyd Anderson
    Brian Ampolsk  
    Bruce Asam
    Kate Casano
    Anita Fahringer
    Gaye Greenwald
    Chris Kocher
    Lynn Matson
    Bob Paulson
    Clement Smith
    Naomi Smith
    Ray Wolf
    President:                            Lynn Matson
    Vice President:                    Bruce Asam
    Corresponding Secretary:   Clement Smith
    Treasurer:                            Kate Casano
    Codex editor:                      Anita Fahringer
    Glyph Group Leader:         Chris Kocher
    Membership:                      Gaye Greenwald
    Refreshments:                    Chris Kocher
    Public Information:            Bob Paulson (website)
    Program (speakers):           everyone

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