December 10, 2011 Robert Sharer, PhD: "Is the Past an Accident?  Second Thoughts about Some Past Maya Research"

 Most scientists hold that random so called accidental events played a crucial role in the evolution of our universe and in the evolution of life on our planet.  What role did random accidents play in the evolution of past human societies like the ancient Maya?  This question was examined by taking a second look at findings from some past Penn Museum archaeological research in Guatemala.
            Dr. Robert Sharer received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania.  His archaeological research in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has examined the origins and development of ancient Maya states.  He is a member of the Society for American Archaeology and has been elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Society of Antiquaries of London.   He has published final reports of his archaeological research, and co-authored two archaeology textbooks.  He also co-edited Understanding Early Classic Copan in 2004 and authored two editions of Daily Life in Maya Civilization, in 1996, 2009 and three editions of the standard sourcebook on Maya civilization, The Ancient Maya, the most recent 2006 version with his wife and archaeological colleague, Dr. Loa Traxler.  A curator in the American Section of the Penn Museum and a professor in the Penn Anthropology Department for 37 years, he retired in 2009 and now devotes his time to writing up the results of his most recent archaeological research at Copan, Honduras.

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