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Grant number: FT-61149-13

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Heather Hurst
Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-1698)

The San Bartolo Mural Fragments: Reconstructing Images of Ancient Maya Myth

Recently discovered Maya murals at San Bartolo, Guatemala revealed an elaborate artistic program of mythology and texts from the Preclassic period (ca. 400 B.C. - A.D. 250). However, the site once contained many more murals, but these artworks were intentionally broken into fragments and concealed by the Maya. I have begun piecing this jigsaw puzzle back together to reconstruct scenes from the lost paintings. This project will produce illustrations and two articles from the new research: first, a summary of the new iconography and how it articulates with the previously documented murals; second, an examination of mural termination practices as a form of caching and act of de-visualization. I will examine ways in which the Preclassic belief system differs from the ideology of later 8th - 16th century Maya and what social realities produced these differences. My research addresses the role of artists in a time of rapid urban growth and ritual practice surrounding events of major change.

Project fields:

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 7/31/2013