Yucatan and the Maya: A History Apart—FULL
The Maya created the most sophisticated civilization in the Ancient Americas, with a writing system, intricate codes of law, and teeming cities full of great public and private art. Many of the descendants of these people live in the Yucatan peninsula, where Mayan languages are still regularly spoken. While the Spanish conquest was swift, brutal, and total in central Mexico, the Mayan area of the Yucatan was not as completely conquered nor as firmly held, leading to a unique blending of Spanish and indigenous peoples.
Rex Koontz, professor in the school of art at University of Houston as well as its director, will explore how the sophisticated ancient civilization and the colonial experience have joined to produce a rich, innovative, and singular culture on the peninsula. His lecture will lay the groundwork for our spring 2016 journey to the Yucatan. Dr. Koontz is the author of Lightning Gods and Feathered Serpents: The Public Sculpture of El Tajin (University of Texas Press, 2009); coeditor with Heather Orr of Blood and Beauty: Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America (The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, 2009); and coauthor with Michael Coe of Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs (Thames & Hudson, 2013, 7th edition).