Title: “History and Rhetoric in the Monuments of Piedras Negras”
The Center For the Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America (CASAA), the Center for Middle American Research and the Department of Anthropology, sponsored an Ancient Maya Hieroglyphic Workshop on October 19-21, 2012, at Texas State University.
Piedras Negras, a large site located on the Guatemalan side of the Usumacinta River, is of great importance to Mayanists because of its long and well preserved series of monuments. These sculptures, in the form of stela, altars, and wall panels, are central to the historiography of Maya studies. In her analysis of these inscriptions about fifty years ago, the scholar Tatiana Proskouriakoff proved that these texts primarily concern the lives and rituals of rulers, rather than gods. This workshop discussed the implications of Proskouriakoff’s argument for the understanding of dynastic history at Piedras Negras, and explored the further significance of these texts as instruments of political discourse.
As part of the events, there was a free public screening of the award-winning documentary Breaking the Maya Code (Nightfire Films, 2008 – 120 min.) on the decipherment of the ancient script. This version runs nearly twice as long as the version aired earlier on PBS television.
Professor—Dept. of Anthropology
Director—Center for Arts and Symbolism in Ancient America
Texas State University
601 University Dr.
San Marcos, TX 78666