Archaeolog Distinguished Lecture in honor of Norman Hammond

5:00 pm on Tuesday, November 5, 2019
6:00 pm on Tuesday, November 5, 2019
Stone Science, 675 Commonwealth Avenue, Room B50, Boston, MA 02215; Reception following at the Castle.
Contact Name:
Maria Sousa

Keynote speaker, Barbara Fash, Director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Program (CMHI) at the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. Sponsored by the Boston University Center for the Humanities.

Abstract: Although controversies continue to arise and evolve over the mercurial nature, and routes of exchange that influenced the unpredictable relations between the ancient Maya and Highland Mexico, particularly with the metropolis and ritual center of Teotihuacan, it is clear that both areas placed tremendous importance on the use of shiny objects in their rituals. Cinnabar, a vibrant red mineral that embodied the blood and heat of life, was used throughout Mesoamerica to animate objects and the dead since Preclassic times (100–250 CE). When heated it also magically produced the reflective liquid mercury, a substance used in Maya accession ceremonies. Tracking the procurement and uses of the enigmatic mineral sheds fresh light on its significance in this complex dynamic of the ancient past. Barbara Fash is Director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Program (CMHI) at the Peabody Museum of Harvard University since 1976 she has combined specialties in art, art history, archaeological illustration, documentation, conservation, and 3D scanning, towards the interpretation of Maya sculpture, bas reliefs, stucco, murals, and ceramic production at the archaeological sites of Copan, Honduras, Chalcatzingo, and Teotihuacan, Mexico. She received the Orden del Pop (Order of the Mat) in July 2015, from the Museum Popol Vuh, and Francisco Marroquin University, Guatemala, and in December 2017 the Long-Term Research Award from the Shanghai Archaeology Forum. Presently, she divides her time in and out of the field preparing CMHI volumes, the PAAC publications, and analysis of the recently discovered Maya mural fragments from the Project Plaza of the Columns Complex (PPCC), Teotihuacan, Mexico.