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The Maya of Yucatan: Ancient Monuments, Modern Lives

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The Maya of Yucatan: Ancient Monuments, Modern Lives

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, August 13, 2024 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1M2335
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Castillo at Chichen Itza (Photo: George Scheper)

The Classic Maya city-states of Central America that flourished from the 3rd through the 9th centuries famously "collapsed" in the 9th and 10th. However, in the distinctive environment of the Yucatan Peninsula the Maya experienced a greater continuity, and a resurgent Post-Classic Maya culture arose that persisted uninterruptedly until the incursion of the Spanish in the 16th century.

Cultural historian George Scheper leads a virtual excursion to the most storied ancient Maya sites of Yucatan and raises the perennial scholarly question as to whether the Toltec culture of Central Mexico had a decisive impact on the architecture and iconography of Chichen Itza. While Chichen is one of the most accessible and frequently visited and widely studied of Maya archaeological sites, it remains, ironically, a site with far less scholarly consensus of interpretation than other, earlier and more remote, sites.

Scheper concludes with a consideration of the historical persistence of Maya cultural life through the impacts of the Spanish colonial period, Mexican sovereignty, and contemporary international tourism.

Scheper is a senior lecturer in the master of liberal arts program at Johns Hopkins University.

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