LAND Lecture: Oct. 22


The 2011 Elizabeth and Lewis K. Land Memorial Lecture



By Karl A. Taube, University of
California, Riverside

Saturday, October 22, 2011 ~ 10 AM

Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

                                                                 (Free admission)


 Discovered in 2001, the buried mural chamber at San Bartolo, Guatemala, constitutes one of the richest bodies of information concerning ancient Maya creation mythology. Not only of exceptional
beauty, the murals are also extremely ancient, and are hundreds of years before such Classic Maya sites as Tikal, Copan and Palenque. Dating to the first century B.C., the San Bartolo murals form an important link between the religious beliefs and practices of the still earlier Olmec and the later Classic Maya. In this presentation, Professor Taube will discuss the discovery and excavation of
these murals and their symbolic significance, including such themes as the creation of mankind, the world directions and the mythic origins of Maya kingship. In addition, the presentation will include some of the most recent findings at San Bartolo, including still finer murals from another structure
and the earliest writing and mural painting known for the ancient Maya.

Karl Taube is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. Much of his recent research and publications center upon the writing and religious systems of ancient Mesoamerica. Selected publications: (with W.A. Saturno, D. Stuart and H. Hurst) The Murals of San Bartolo, El Peten, Guatemala, Part 2: The West Wall (2010) and Part 1: The West Wall
(Boundary End Archaeology Research Center 2005), Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks
(2004), “Lightning Celts and Corn Fetishes: The Formative Olmec and the
Development of Maize Symbolism in Mesoamerica and the American Southwest” (in OlmecArt and Archaeology, editors J. Clark and M. Pye, 2000), The WritingSystem of Ancient Teotihuacan (Center for Ancient American Studies, 2000), “The Turquoise Hearth: Fire, Self Sacrifice, and the Central Mexican Cult of War” (in Mesoamerica’s Classic Heritage, editors D. Carrasco, L. Jones,S. Sessions 2000), “The Olmec Maize God: The Face of Corn in Formative Mesoamerica” (RES, 1996).