November 9, 2013 Joanne Baron, PhD, Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania:

“Where the Gods Sleep: Patron Deity Temples among the Classic Maya.”


The Ancient Maya, like many societies around the world, worshiped local patron gods believed to protect and sustain individual communities. Hieroglyphic inscriptions give us a great deal of information about these deities, but the identification of their temples archaeologically is surprisingly rare. As a result, little has been known about ritual practices of patron deity veneration until recently. From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Baron conducted excavations on patron deity temples at the site of La Corona, Guatemala under the auspices of the La Corona Regional Archaeology Project. In her presentation, she presented the results of these excavations and discuss what archaeological and epigraphic evidence can tell us about the veneration of these local gods.


Dr. Joanne Baron is a lecturer in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology, where she earned her Ph.D. in 2013. She focuses on the Classic Maya of northwestern Guatemala. Her research investigates the strategies used by Maya communities to retain their local identity and autonomy in the face of inter-polity hierarchies. Her dissertation, entitled "Patrons of La Corona: Deities and Power in a Classic Maya Community," explores the relationship between Maya patron deity veneration and political authority through archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric evidence.

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