Next Meeting of the Pre-Columbian Society
Saturday May 11, 2019 1:00 pm at Penn Museum room 345: Dr. Simon Martin,
Associate Curator and Keeper, Penn Museum: “Maya Politics Redux: Recent Developments in Understanding Classic Maya Political Organization”

Scholarly debate about the political organization of the Classic Maya was intense in the 1980s and 90s, but today has largely coalesced around the “hegemonic model”—first outlined by the speaker in 1992. In subsequent years that model has been refined and expanded, and both supported and elaborated by fresh epigraphic and archaeological finds. This talk explores these developments in the context of Maya archaeology more generally and describes the wide consensus now taking shape.

Simon Martin is an Associate Curator and Keeper of the American Section at the University Museum. He is a political anthropologist and specialist in Maya hieroglyphic writing, with a particular interest in the history, politics, and religious beliefs of the Classic Period (150-900 CE). His major focus for two decades now has been on the social and political organization of the Maya lowlands and reconstructing the network of hegemonic ties between polities. His book Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens, with Nikolai Grube (2000), is now in its second edition (2008) and has been translated into five other languages. He holds a Ph.D from University College London.

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