October 19 2016 Presentation


What's New at Homul,

with Dr. Francisco Estrada-Belli of Tulane University


A diverse group of students, Maya assistants, archaeologists and researchers explored Holmul and its minor centers (Cival, La Sufricaya, K'o, T'ot, Hamontun, Hahakab) during this year’s field season. On a grand scale, the project investigates the rise and fall of political institutions in the Maya Lowlands. At Cival and Holmul, we are focusing on the earliest ritual practices and iconography that mark the beginning of the political institution of the ajaw in the Preclassic and how it transitioned into the Classic period.

        Very recently, two tombs, a monument and another giant Maya stucco mask were found in four sites in the Peten. These findings were made at the archaeological sites of The Achiotal, La Corona, Holmul, and Witzna. I reported the discovery of the two graves that “miraculously escaped decades of looting” in the site of Holmul, at a recent press conference in Guatemala City.
        Another subject of investigation is what political changes occurred at the end of the Preclassic period and what role Teotihuacan played in the Maya Lowlands in the Early Classic period. In this respect, the evidence from La Sufricaya and Holmul is providing new clues. Finally, we are investigating the relationship of the Late Classic Holmul elite with that of peripheral centers such as K'o and Hamontun and what was the political milieu in N.E. Peten as Holmul ended its path as a Classic Maya city.


2016 Holmul Archaeological Team



The 2016 Holmul archaeological team.









Carved jade portrait(Right) Carved jade portrait of ruler pendant with avian sun god wearing a headdress over a cormorant’s head. Front view. Antichamber of tomb in Group I, Holmul. Photo courtesy of Estrada-Belli.





Holmul ceramics(Left) Close up of ceramic vessels decorated with hieroglyphs in the tomb within Building A, Group II, Holmul. Photo courtesy of Estrada-Belli.






Please note that this and future presentations will now start at 6pm not 8pm.

The Institute of Maya Studies is now a community partner with Miami Dade College – Kendall Campus, Miami, FL. This program will take place in K-413 (in Building K-4, Room 13). Check out the campus map for the location of Building K-4 on mdc.edu or, call the Maya Hotline (305-279-8110) for directions.




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Copyright 2012 October 19 2016 Presentation. The Institute of Maya Studies is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your charitable contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.
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