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Ashley McKeown, associate professor, UM Department of Anthropology, 406-529-2198, ashley.mckweon@umontana.edu .

Archaeologist To Lecture On Roots Of Mayan Creation Story

Mar. 18, 2013

MISSOULA

A Central American archaeologist will share his findings and interpretations of the Mayan origin myth based on extensive excavations at the monumental site of Cahal Pech, Belize, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, in The University of Montana’s University Center Rooms 332-333.

Jaime Awe, director of the Institute of Archaeology in Belize has been investigating ancient Mayan archaeological sites for more than two decades. In his talk, “Archaeological Evidence for the Preclassic Origins of the Maya Creation Story and the Myth of the Hero Twins at Cahal Pech, Belize,” Awe will interpret archaeological findings in light of Mayan religious ideology.

This Mayan story of creation is best known from a European transcription in the 18th century, while its ancient roots remain a mystery. Integrating imagery from murals, ceramics and figurines from across the Mayan region with very early archaeological evidence from Cahal Pech, this lecture will explore the Mayan creation story and the Hero Twin myth.

Awe’s groundbreaking research into the ancient Maya has overturned numerous long-held beliefs about this society’s development and decline. His early research demonstrated the deep Preclassic roots of the cultural fluorescence of the Classic period, including the Mayan calendar, political systems, writing, monumental architecture, complex trade systems and religious beliefs that we associate with the Mayan culture today.

The Montana Anthropology Student Association and UM’s Department of Anthropology will sponsor the lecture, which is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information call UM Associate Professor Ashley McKeown at 406-529-2198 or email ashley.mckeown@umontana.edu.

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