Digging the Ancient Maya:
A Personal Stratigraphy of Archaeology

Sunday, July 8, 2012
3:00 pm

A lecture by Stephen Houston, MacArthur Fellow and Dupee Family Professor of Social Science at Brown University.

Exploring the Pre-Columbian past is about studying the life and thought of indigenous peoples before the Spanish Conquest. For most scholars, it is also a highly personal experience. Throughout the last 30 years, Houston has explored, mapped, and excavated in some of the great cities of classic Maya civilization. Working mostly in Guatemala, but also in Belize, Mexico, and Honduras, he has directed projects at several sites and labored at others as an excavator and hieroglyphic specialist. In this talk, he will “excavate” his own life as a fieldworker against the backdrop of a civilization whose remains are threatened; yet, because of fieldwork and recent decipherment, open to scholarly insight as never before. 

Houston is the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants, including an appointment as a 2011–12 Clark Fellow. He has authored and/or edited 17 books and contributed several hundred articles, book chapters, and reviews. His grants include substantial support from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Among his recent books are Fiery Pool: Maya and the Mythic Sea, Veiled Brightness: A History of Ancient Maya Color, The Classic Maya, and The Disappearance of Writing Systems.