Welcome to Tulane University’s Maya Symposium webpage. Since 2002, Tulane University has hosted a weekend of talks and workshops dedicated to the study of the Maya civilization of Mexico and Central America. This yearly meeting has called upon scholars from a wide spectrum of specialties—epigraphy, archaeology, art history, linguistics, history, and cultural anthropology—to elucidate the many facets of this fascinating Mesoamerican culture. In developing a broad approach to the subject matter, we aim to draw the interest of a wide ranging group of people—from the expert to the beginner.


10th Annual

Tulane Maya Symposium:



The Snake Kingdom

of the

Classic Maya


Feb 22-24, 2013




The Middle American Research Institute, the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, and Far Horizons are proud to present the Tenth Annual Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop. This year’s symposium, titled “KAANAL: The Snake Kingdom of the Classic Maya”, will explore one of the largest ancient Maya political entities - the kingdom of Dzibanche and Calakmul.


Recent archaeological and epigraphic research in Quintana Roo, Campeche, and the Peten have outlined the development of a political behemoth during the Classic period that extended its influence from Honduras to Chiapas to the northern Yucatan. Ruled by a long-lived dynasty--called Kaan--from first Dzibanche and then Calakmul, this kingdom grew at its apex in the mid-7th century. This symposium will explore the rise, rule, and fall of Kaan kings, posing the important question: was the Kaan kingdom a unique experiment in Maya political integration?


As in the past three years, MARI will take the reins in organizing the Maya Symposium. In collaboration with Tulane's Center for Inter-American Policy and Research and the New Orleans Museum of Art, we hope to develop a diverse set of activities and topics for the symposium’s participants and attendees for many years to come. Now that MARI has returned to its new facilities in renovated Dinwiddie Hall, we are expanding the scope and range of activities offered by the Symposium.

In keeping with tradition, this year’s Maya Symposium will incorporate a wide variety of specialties such as epigraphy, archaeology, and art history to explore the research being conducted on the ancient Maya civilization. This conference will use this interdisciplinary approach to focus on how and why the great cites and states of the Maya civilization developed throughout the lowlands, highlands, and coast.

For 2013, we are excitied to announce that this year's keynote hosted at the New Orleans Museum of Art will be given by Dr. Peter Mathews of La Trobe University who will regale us with stories about how Site Q and the Snake Dynasty were "discovered". We will also host a viewing of the Precolumbian collection at NOMA. On Sunday, the Hieroglyph Forum and the Workshops will focus on newly discovered texts from La Corona and elsewhere. Finally, throughout the weekend, we will also be featuring M.A.R.I.'s new exhibit, "Faces of the Maya." The Latin American Library houses a collection of Merle Greene Robertson's rubbings, which may be viewed upon request.


PLEASE JOIN US! We invite you to join us in New Orleans, LA, February 22-24, 2013 at Tulane University and the New Orleans Museum of Art to learn of the recent developments in Maya studies as they relate to the broader topic of Mesoamerican studies.

Learn more about the 2013 Meetings













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