Cave Excavation and the Popol Vuh

Cave Excavation and the Popol Vuh

Here we are, as deep as I’m willing to go (for fear of getting completely lost) into the caves of the Raxruja Viejo project – a deep cave excavation in collaboration with, and under the direction of, my co-director Chloe Andrieu (CNRS) and assistant co-director, Julien Sion (Sorbonne).

Continue reading “Cave Excavation and the Popol Vuh”

Now that you have unearthed it, share it with the world...Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email

Deep Cave Subproject Exploration – Video

In my last blog post, Colossal Cave Excavation, I shared a short video of my supervisory visit to the cave subproject, the Raxruja Viejo project, in collaboration with, and under the direction of, my co-director Chloe Andrieu (CNRS) and assistant co-director, Julien Sion (Sorbonne).

Are you ready for more? Below you can see Julien Sion and I entering the cave to give a tour at the bottom of the main entrance. Listen closely as we share updates about our ongoing progress.

In the next video, Don Amilcar takes us deep into the cave subproject to show off the grand, natural wonders as I discuss Mayan rituals practiced in this very location. As you can see, even with many flashlights, it’s difficult to find your way to the underground river below. Can you imagine the ancient Maya doing this journey in almost complete darkness? 

This cave acted not only as a ritual space, but also as a gigantic tomb and cathedral. For more, follow along below. 

 

Now that you have unearthed it, share it with the world...Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email

My VU Classroom

This year at Vanderbilt University (VU), I’m teaching two courses – Intro to Archaeology and an advanced seminar on The Collapse of Civilizations. The educational gap between these two classes is causing me intellectual whiplash, but seeing the impact of my teaching, from intro to advanced, is something that I feel privileged to encounter.

Continue reading “My VU Classroom”

Now that you have unearthed it, share it with the world...Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email

The Vilmita de Demarest Strategy

In my latest blog post, I hinted at my new research design strategy and my fateful discovery of Mayan artifacts (including a beautifully carved and polished hardstone mortar in the shape of a turtle with an anthropomorphized head and face, perforated large banner stones, figurines, and grinding tools) in the backyards of friends and relatives in the San Andres Semetabaj town area. After talking to their other relatives it became clear that their houses were all sitting on a 2,600 year old Middle PreClassic cemetery!

Continue reading “The Vilmita de Demarest Strategy”

Now that you have unearthed it, share it with the world...Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email

Ritual Dancing, Dinner, and Digs

It seems like at any moment another ritual might “breakout.” Just a couple of days ago, I found a rare moment of peace to write up some of our findings.  Those plans were truncated by a sudden cacophony of drums, flutes, and marimba, punctuated by deafening explosions of plastic bottle bombs.  My “San Andresana” wife, Vilmita, casually said that it was the “rito de San Juan y los toritos” (the ritual of San Juan and the little bulls” also called “Los Negritos”) and she ordered that we had to go to it immediately!  We were then swept away into the Kaqchiquel universe. 

Continue reading “Ritual Dancing, Dinner, and Digs”

Now that you have unearthed it, share it with the world...Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email

What Doomed the Maya? Maybe Warfare Run Amok

Arthur excavating the famous tomb of the warrior king, Itzamanaaj K’awiil (aka Ruler 2). 1991. Deep within one of the temples of his capitol city, Dos Pilas.

 

Written By: JOHN NOBLE WILFORD

Source: The New York Times

NASHVILLE— After hacking through tropical jungles in Central America and turning up stones of magnificent temples and tombs, archeologists over the years built up in their minds an idealized image of the Maya people who once flourished where now only wilderness thrives.

Continue reading “What Doomed the Maya? Maybe Warfare Run Amok”

Now that you have unearthed it, share it with the world...Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Email this to someone
email