Simon Martin - Kings and Overkings: The Political Culture of the Classic Maya 250-900 CE

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Thursday, April 20, 2017 5:30pm - 6:30pm
IBES 130 (Carmichael Auditorium)

"Kings and Overkings: The Political Culture of the Classic Maya 250-900 CE"
By Simon Martin

Classic Maya political organization has been a contested topic for almost a century and, even though advances in deciphering the Maya script has brought many of these debates to a close, much remains to be done. Only now, with greatly improved textual and material data-sets, are we able to move from basic questions to the richer and more complex ones that lie beyond. This talk describes how unravelling complex political hierarchies continues to offer new ways to understand this ancient American civilization.

Simon Martin is a specialist in Maya hieroglyphic writing, with a particular interest in the history, politics, and religious beliefs of the Classic Period (250-900 CE). He is currently an Associate Curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He gained his PhD at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, and has conducted over two decades of epigraphic fieldwork at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Calakmul, Mexico. Among his better-known publications are the co-authored the books “Courtly Art of the Ancient Maya,” with Mary Miller, and "Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens," with Nikolai Grube.