Events and Announcements

April 2015 Explorer

April masthead 01April 2015 IMS Explorer

Volume 44, Issue 4

The April 2015 issue of the IMS Explorer is available now. Read about "The Maya Ruins of Pok ta Pok, Cancun, Quintana Roo" by Karl Herbert Mayer; "Squash, Gourds and Pumpkins in Maya Diet, Art and Ballgame" by Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth; "Malpasito Ball Court Complex" by Eric Slazyk, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C and other news.


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Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins

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Another in a series of FLAAR Reports created exclusively for the Institute of Maya Studies by Nicholas Hellmuth and his research team in Guatemala City:

Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins in Maya Diet, Art and the Ballgame

by Dr. Nicholas Hellmuth, Director of the Foundation for Latin American Anthropological Research (FLAAR)

Squash are eaten; squash vines are present in sculptures from the Olmec through to later Maya and Cotzumalhuapa sculptures. Ceramic effigy bowls clearly reproduce (a thousand years ago) the typical ribbed pumpkin-like squash. As recorded in the Popol Vuh, a squash takes the place of a head for one of the Hero Twins in the Xibalba ballgame. So, we find there are many reasons to study squash, gourds and pumpkins, especially as it pertains to the ancient and modern Maya of Mesoamerica.

Read more: Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins

Masterpieces of the Peabody

Harvard University's Peabody Museum has a new online exhibition called "Masterpieces of the Peabody Museum"  Based on a former gallery exhibition, the online exhibition groups selected objects by their geographic origins. The ten artifacts in the "Masterpieces from Mesoamerica" include gold items from Panama, Maya Jade, a Maya wall panel, a vessel from the Puuc region, a carved Peccary Skull from Copan and a Holmul polychrome. Descriptions for the exhibit were written by scholars including Ian Graham, Tatiana Proskouriakoff and Gordon R. Wiley. The Mesoamerica page for the exhibition can be found here.

Beans of the Maya

Beans of the Maya Unexpected diversity in Guatemala FLAAR Reports Nicholas-Hellmuth for IMS 001

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth's report "Beans of the Maya" is now available to IMS members.  Subtitled "Unexpected diversity in Guatemala," the report explores the importance of beans in the Maya diet. The book features studies on white, black, red and rice beans.  

Please visit to check out all the FLAAR reports on botanical research in the "Maya area."


Read more: Beans of the Maya

Flor de Muerto

Flor de Muerto Tagetes Maya Guatemala FLAAR Report for IMS 001

Dr Nicholas Hellmuth's article "Flor de Muerto Also for the Living: Marigolds in the Maya Diet" appeared in the November 2014 IMS Explorer (available as a PDF below). Now he has prepared a beautiful collection of pictures for IMS. This report is available by clicking on the image to the left to open in a new window.

Please visit to check out all the FLAAR reports on botanical research in the "Maya area."


Read more: Flor de Muerto

Tulum iOS app

Tulum Be Your Own Guide app iphone FrontTulum – Be Your Own guide is an app for iPhone or iPad that provides directions to and information on items of interest at the site of Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is designed to guide you around the site during a visit. When used onsite, the app uses your device's GPS to direct you to specific structures and other features around the site. No Wi-Fi or cellular data is used, so no need to worry about large data bills. Read on to find out why I think you should spend $0.99 for this app even if you don't plan on visiting Tulum any time soon.

by Keith Merwin, IMS Webmaster

Read more: Tulum iOS app

Old Newsletters Available

scribmacnuIMS Scribes Are Hard At Work For Members!

The Scribes of  the Institute of Maya Studies are working to make old issues of IMS' newsletters available to members. They have started with the very first issue: Volume 1 Number 1, April 1972. As issues are scanned,  they will be available to members in the "Members Only" area of the website. Login and download issues from 1972 through 1975. Issues from 2008 through the current issue are also available. We are hoping to have all issues of our 40-year-plus organization up for reading in the not-so-distant fugure.  This is one of the advantages of being a member. If you are not a Member go HERE to join today!

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thumb APMaudslay_001Pioneers in Maya Archaeology

Biographical sketches of men and women who did much of the early defining
work in Maya studies.

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