F. Kent Reilly
Director, Center for the Study of Arts and Symbolism of Ancient America
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 1994
Phone: (512) 245-8272
Office: ELA 271
Mayan and Southeastern ideological systems and epigraphy
I am primarily a pre-historian and my interests converge around the religion, art, and visual validation of elite authority in New World chiefdoms and early states. My primary focus is Mesoamerican Civilization. I spend a great deal of my research energy examining the art and symbols of the ancient Olmec (1200-400 BC), and Classic Maya (AD 200-900) cultures. In 1995 I was a guest curator and a catalog contributor to the Princeton University exhibition "The Olmec World: Art, Ritual, and Rulership." I have published articles on the ecological origin of Olmec symbols, the influence of Olmec symbols on the iconography of Maya rulership and the origin and function of the Olmec symbol system. My current interests, besides the ancient Olmec and Maya, include the art and iconography of the prehistoric Mississippian Period of the Southeastern United States. In 2004 I was a member of the advisory board and a catalog contributor to the Art Institute of Chicago exhibition "Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand; Ancient Native American Art of the Midwest and South."
In 2011 Dr. Reilly was chosen as the Field Anthropologist Consultant for the Muscogee Nation of Florida. The tribe hopes Dr. Reilly will be able to offer fresh insight, research material and advice as they seek federal recognition. This is the final phase of a 63 year journey and the tribe asked Dr. Reilly for his assistance in this last step because of his extensive knowledge of Muscogee government, ceremonial cycles and traditions.
2015 Picture Cave: Sacred Portal To The Mythic Past, eds. Carol Diaz-Granados, Jim Duncan, and F. Kent Reilly III. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
2011 Visualizing the Sacred: Cosmic Visions, Regionalism, and the Art of the Mississippian World, eds. George E. Lankford, F. Kent Reilly, III and James Garber. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
2007 Sacred Bindings of the Cosmos: Ritual Acts of Bundling and Wrapping In Ancient Mesoamerica. eds. Julia Guernsey and F. Kent Reilly III. Boundary End Archaeology Research Center Press, Barnardsville, NC.
2007 Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms: Studies in Mississippian Iconography, Vol. I. eds. F. Kent Reilly, III and James Garber. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
Chapters and Articles
2015 “The Cave and The Beneath World Spirit: Mythic Dragons From The North American Past In Picture Cave: Sacred Portal To The Mythic Past, In Picture Cave Unraveling The Mysteries of The Mississippian Cosmos PP. 46-91. eds. Carol Diaz-Granados, Jim Duncan, and F. Kent Reilly III. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
2014 (with Whitney Lytle) “Wrapped In the Clothing of the Sacred.” In Dress and Regalia in Early Mesoamerica and Central America, pp. 351-371 ed. Heather Orr and Matthew Looper. University of Colorado Press, Boulder.
2013 “Identifying The Face of The Sacred: Tattooing the Images of Gods and Heroes in the Art of the Mississippian Period.” In Drawing With Great Needles, Ancient Tattoo Traditions of North America, pp. 175-193 ed. Aaron Deter-Wolf and Carol Diaz-Granados. University of Texas Press, Austin.
2011 “Displaying the Source of the Sacred: Shell Gorgets, Peace Medals, and the Accessing of Supernatural Powers.” In Peace Medals, Negotiating Power In Early America ,pp. 8-18 ed. Robert B. Pickering. Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma.
2011 “The Great Serpent in the Lower Mississippi Valley.” In Visualizing the Sacred: Cosmic Visions, Regionalism, and the Art of the Mississippian World, Eds. George E. Lankford, F. Kent Reilly, III and James Garber. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
2011 “Dancing in the Otherworld: The Human Figural Art of the Hightower Style
Revisited.” In Visualizing the Sacred: Cosmic Visions, Regionalism, and the Art of the Mississippian World, (with James Garber) Eds. George E. Lankford, F. Kent Reilly, III and James Garber. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
2011 (with Adam King, Chester P. Walker, Robert V. Sharp, and Duncan McKinnon) "Remote Sensing Data From Etowah’s Mound A: Architecture and the Re-Creation of Mississippian Tradition, “ in American Antiquity, Vol. 76, Number 2, April 2011, pp. 345-371. Society For American Archaeology.
2010 “La Venta.” In Olmec Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico, eds. Kathleen Berrin, and Virginia Fields. The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, pp. 44-54.
2010 (with David Freidel) “The Flesh of God: Cosmology, Food, and the Origins of Political Power in Ancient Southeastern Mesoamerica.” In Pre-Columbian Foodways Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica, Eds. John Edward Staller, and Michael Carrasco. Springer, New York and Hidelberg.