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Mesoamerican Conference

Symposium at the University of Utah, Free and Open to the Public

November 16-17, 2018

Image of The famous stucco swimmer frieze from the Late Pre-classic Period, located in the Grand Central Acropolis
The famous stucco swimmer frieze from the Late Pre-classic Period, located in the Grand Central Acropolis. Image from Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies.

The Mesoamerican Conference is presented this November in conjunction with the Museum's new special exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

Take a deep dive into the exciting research happening now on Maya Civilization including the recently revealed vast network of ancient cities discovered using laser technology. The symposium's focus is on the pre-classic period (2,000 BC to 250 AD). The Museum's exhibit focuses on the classic period (250 to 900 AD). 

Co-presented by the University of Utah's Department of Anthropology, College of Social and Behavioral Science, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and the Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies

Friday sessions held in Gardner Commons will be in the Siciliano Auditorium (Room 1900). Saturday sessions held in Gardner Commons will be in the Eccles Auditorium (Room 2900). Both are on the south end of the building, with Siciliano on the first floor and Eccles on the second floor. Keynote talks at NHMU will be held in the Swaner Forum. 

Friday afternoon, November 16, at Gardner Commons on the main campus of the University of Utah

1 p.m.Dr. Leslie Knapp, (Chair, Anthropology, University of Utah)Introductions and Preliminary Comments
1:15 p.m.Dr. Richard D. Hansen, (University of Utah, Director, Mirador Basin Project) The Multidisciplinary Investigations of the Mirador Basin, Guatemala:  The Legacy of Culture and Nature in the Cradle of Maya Civilization
2 p.m.Lic. Edgar Suyuc, (FARES, Co-Director, Mirador Basin Project); Marcia Chacon de Hernandez & Licda. Anaite Ordoñez, (University of San Carlos, Guatemala)Excavations on Danta Pyramid, El Mirador
2:30 p.m.Dr. Richard Terry, (Professor Emeritus, Brigham Young University); Dr. Daniel Bair (University of California, Davis)Soil Studies at El Mirador
3 p.m.Josephine Thompson, (FARES Foundation)Mapping and LiDAR Programs of the Mirador Basin
4 p.m. TOUR of GARDNER COMMONS, U of U campus
4 p.m.Dr. Glenna Nielsen-Grimm, (Collections Manager Anthropology NHMU)Guided tour of Maya Exhibit for Conference attendees

Friday evening, November 16, at the Natural History Museum of Utah | Rio Tinto Center, 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City

TimeKeynote SpeakerTalk
7 p.m.Dr Ray Matheny, (Professor Emeritus Brigham Young University, Anthropology)Memoirs of Research at Edzna, Aguacatal, El Mirador
8 p.m.Dr. Norman Hammond, (University of Cambridge, Boston University)It Takes a Village: Economy and Culture of the Early Lowland Maya

Saturday, all day, November 17, at Gardner Commons on the main campus of the University of Utah

10 a.m.Dr. Leslie Knapp & Dr. Richard HansenIntroduction
10:15 a.m.Dr. Ross Ensley, (USGS)The Geology of the Mirador-Calakmul Basin
10:45 a.m.Dr David Wahl, (USGS, U Cal Berkeley)Holocene Climate and land Use in the Mirador Basin, Guatemala
11:15 a.m.Dr. Andrea Brunelle, (Chair, Geography, University of Utah); Benjamin Marconi; Dr. Richard Paine, (University of Utah)Looking for Paleoecological Evidence of Land Use and Climate from El Mirador-What Didn’t Work and What We are Going to Try Next
11:45 a.m.Lunch 
1 p.m.Dr. Richard Paine & Dr. Richard Hansen, (University of Utah)Ancient Demographics of the Mirador Basin: The Problem of Invisible Structures
1:30 p.m.Ana Beatriz Balcarcel, (University of San Carlos, Guatemala)Excavations in the Grupo Balam of the Great Central Acropolis, El Mirador
2 p.m.Dr. Joan Brenner-Coltrain, (University of Utah)Isotopic Data from the Mirador Basin
2:30 p.m.Sara Dalton, (University of Leicester, School of Archaeology and Ancient History)The Chultuns of the Mirador Basin
3 p.m.Break 
3:30 p.m.Dr Karen Kramer, (Anthropology, University of Utah)Water & the Built Environment: Continuity and Change in the Lives of Contemporary Maya
4 p.m.Enrique Hernandez, (University of San Carlos, Guatemala, Mirador Basin Project); Dr. Thomas Schreiner, (U Cal Berkeley); Dr. Richard Hansen, (University of Utah); Carlos Morales, (University of Sorbonne, Paris)Ancient Causeway Systems in the Mirador Basin
4:30 p.m.Lic. Douglas Mauricio, (University of San Carlos, Guatemala, Mirador Basin Project)Ancient Stucco Art from the Casa del Coral, El Mirador, Guatemala
5 p.m.Dr. Norman Hammond, (Cambridge University; University of Boston); Dr. Ray Matheny, (BYU-Emeritus); Dr. Richard Hansen; Dr. Leslie Knapp; Dr. Andrea Brunelle, (University of Utah)Final Observations & Panel Discussion

Learn more about Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, a new special exhibition at NHMU.