11th European Maya Conference

Ecology, Power, and Religion in Maya Landscapes

4 – 9 December 2006

The European Association of Mayanists (Wayeb) welcomes scholars and students to attend the 11th European Maya Conference that will be hosted by Malmö University, Sweden, December 4-9, 2006. The conference combines a Maya Hieroglyphic Workshop (December 4-7) and a Research Symposium (December 8-9).

The symposium will be held at Malmö University. Building Orkanen (the Hurricane), Nordenskiöldsgatan 10.

The programme is available for download:

Programme for the Symposium
Programme for the Workshop

The conference will be preceded by a three-and-a-half-day long Maya Hieroglyphic Workshop at Malmö University, Building Orkanen (the Hurricane), Nordenskiöldsgatan 10.

Several groups from beginners to advanced level were available. All groups will be taught and supervised by experienced tutors. A hard copy of the introductory workbook written by Harri Kettunen and Christophe Helmke can be provided to participants in English, Spanish or French for an additional fee ( – otherwise the workbook can be downloaded at no extra charge from our website EMC-Workshopbook Download) The EMC Workshop programme starts with an introductory lecture on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday morning participants will be assigned to their individual workshops. The programme will finish on Thursday afternoon with recapitulating sessions in each workshop.

Opening Lecture

Simon Martin (University of Pennsylvania Museum)

The opening lecture will serve as a general introduction for all participants of the EMC Hieroglyphic Workshop. It will give those who are beginners some general idea of Maya hieroglyphic writing and will provide participants with the latest information and new directions in Maya Studies.


Workshops are divided into three separate levels: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced. We strongly recommend that participants register for a workshop which suits their individual level of experience to benefit most in the three days. Please, note that this year, an additional Special Workshop on Iconography is offered which is generally open to all participants who have some prior basic knowledge of Maya art and writing.

Beginners Workshop

Tutors: Sven Gronemeyer (Bonn University), Harri Kettunen (University of Helsinki), Christian Prager (Bonn University), Alexandre Safronow (Moscow State University)

The Beginners Workshop is open to all participants with no prior or little knowledge of Maya writing.
This workshop does not have a regional or thematic focus but concentrates exclusively on teaching “newcomers” in a structured and didactic way how to read Classic Maya hieroglyphic inscriptions.
Every participant will be provided with a special beginners booklet – in addition to the official EMC workbook – that contains several inscriptions from various Classic sites. The selected texts exemplify the basic grammatical structure of Classic Maya writing. Participants will learn how to read hieroglyphic inscriptions by being introduced to the language and syntax underlying these hieroglyphic texts. As such, the course is designed to teach beginners with no prior knowledge or beginners with very little knowledge, who wish to improve upon their reading ability of Classic Maya inscriptions.
The Beginners Workshop will comprise several workshop groups. The tutors will give step-to-step guidance in how to analyse the syntax of Maya inscriptions in form of general lectures to the entire Beginners Workshop.
The general tuition in this workshop will be in English, but explanation can also be provided in Spanish, German and Finnish on an individual basis.

Intermediate Workshop

The Intermediate Workshop is open to all participants who have basic knowledge of Maya writing: some calendrical knowledge and the ability to structure hieroglyphic inscriptions and understand their syntactic components are prerequisites to fruitful participation in this workshop. Depending on their level of knowledge, participants may be separated into different groups. The workshop will be taught in English.
This year’s intermediate workshop will concentrate on the inscriptions from Dos Pilas and the Petexbatún region. The topic is inspired by the exhibition on postcolonial theory in Maya culture in the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm (Historiska-Museet) which features artefacts from Arthur Demarest’s project in Cancuén. The workshop will be taught by the independent researcher Dr. Erik Boot and Elisabeth Wagner of Bonn University.

“The Inscriptions of Dos Pilas and the Petexbatun
Tutors: Erik Boot & Elisabeth Wagner

The contents of the missing steps of Hieroglyphic Stairway 2 at Dos Pilas, discovered in August 2001 and subsequently excavated in 2001-2002, has aided enormously in our understanding of the origins of the local dynasty and its relationship with the central Peten site of Tikal and the site of Calakmul in Campeche. The workshop will be centered around Dos Pilas Hieroglyphic Stairway 2 and Hieroglyphic 4 as well as the other monuments at Dos Pilas. To place Dos Pilas history within a larger regional perspective, the inscriptions of the other important sites in the Petexbatun area will be offered as well (e.g. Aguateca, Arroyo de Piedra, Tamarindito). The analysis of the hieroglyphic texts will be accompanied by an in-depth iconographic analysis of visual narratives that accompany these hieroglyphic texts. It is specifically within the detailed iconography that further and very specific relationships between Dos Pilas and Tikal can be observed.
To participate in this workshop you need to have experience with general epigraphic analysis, basic Maya grammar and calendrics. A source book on Dos Pilas and the Petexbatun will be made available to participants. During the course of the workshop several Power Point presentations will be given to facilitate epigraphic and iconographic analysis. If you have a laptop computer, please bring it to this workshop for your benefit as well as the group.
The drawing represents Dos Pilas Hieroglyphic Stairway 2, West Section, Step III (drawing by E. Boot, for illustrative purpose only). The central part of the text reads hub’u[u]y uto[‘]k’ [u]pakal nu[‘]n ujol cha[ah]k, na[ah]b’aj uk’ik’el, witzaj ujol … “brought down were the flint and the shield of Nu’n Ujol Chaahk, made into a pool was the blood, made into a pile like a mountain were the skulls …”, the event that happened on April 30, AD 679 (, 11 Kab’an 10 Zotz’).

Recommended Reading & Viewing
Hieroglyphic texts on monuments and portable objects available for study.

Advanced Workshop

Advanced participants with well founded knowledge of Maya writing are offered special a Advanced Workshop to give them the opportunity to expand their proficiency of Classic Maya writing and to provide them with insight into very special aspects of Classic Maya culture – though with specific focus on epigraphy, language and iconography. This year’s Advanced Workshop will focus on religion in Classic Maya culture and will be taught by Dr. Marc Zender from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology (Harvard University).

“Classic Maya Religion, Politics and History”
Tutor: Marc Zender (Peabody Museum, Harvard University)

Classic Mayan inscriptions speak of a host of important religious topics including “creation” narratives, penitential and sacrificial rituals, deities and deity-impersonation. They also treat on occasion of a class of religious specialists who seem to constitute the long-missing Classic Maya priesthood. This seminar-style workshop focuses on the texts and pictorial information relating to these themes — in particular on the non-royal texts of the priests — and argues that a fuller consideration of their texts and artwork can lead to a deeper and more nuanced understanding of Maya religion, politics and history.

Special Workshop

Responding to recent requests about iconography workshops, this year’s EMC takes advantage of having Dr. Jesper Nielsen (University of Copenhagen) who will teach a special workshop on Teotihuacan art and style and its relevance for analysing Mesoamerican history.
This course is open to all those who are interested and have some prior knowledge about Mesoamerican art and writing.

“Teotihuacan Writing and Iconography”
Tutor: Jesper Nielsen (University of Copenhagen)

It is becoming increasingly clear that one of the ways to gain a better understanding of Maya and Teotihuacan interaction in the Early Classic period (A.D. 250-600) is through a study of the iconographic and epigraphic sources. This workshop will provide an introduction to the current knowledge of Teotihuacan’s rich iconographic corpus as well as the relatively few texts from the site. The aim is to give the partcipants a basic knowledge of the system, and thus make them able to recognize standard Teotihuacan iconographic elements, including those that frequently appear in contexts outside central Mexico, e.g. in the Maya area. The workshop will mainly focus on the murals from Tepantitla, Techinantitla, Atetelco and La Ventilla. We will also take a look at the corpus of stuccoed, painted and incised ceramic vessels. Finally, examples of Teotihuacan-influenced iconography from Maya sites such as Tikal and Copan will be discussed.

Additional Tutors

Additional tutoring on Beginners/Intermediate/Advanced level will be provided by: Dimitri Beliaev (Russian State University), Albert Davletshin (Russian State University) and Alexandre Tokovinine (Harvard University)