Event: PIZZA TALK: Three Thousand Years of the Cultural and Natural Legacy in the Mirador Basin, Guatemala

Date & Time

February 19, 2020 - 12:00am to 1:00pm
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Contact Information

Sumiji Takahashi
Phone 310-825-4169


Fowler A222 (Seminar Room)

Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details


Dr. Richard Hansen

Adjunct Professor

Department of Anthropology

University of Utah


Excavations over four decades in the Mirador Basin have revealed perspectives of the origins, dynamics, and demographic collapse of the Preclassic Maya societies that flourished in northern Guatemala and southern Campeche, Mexico.  The identifications of the social, political, and economic catalysts that created the cultural complexities in the Maya Lowlands have allowed new explanatory models responsible for the rise of cultural complexity during the Middle and Late Preclassic periods of Maya civilization (1000 BC-A.D. 150).  Mapping and excavations in 51 ancient cities of various sizes throughout the entirety of the Basin have also revealed the ideological, logistical and economic dynamics that created a homogeneous society that merged to form one of the earliest state level societies in the Western Hemisphere. Yet, even in light of the economic, political, and ideological complexities of the Preclassic Maya in the Mirador Basin, a series of multicausal factors contributed to the long term demographic collapse of civilization in the area.  The synthesis of the entire panorama of cultural process in the Mirador Basin provides new understandings of the saga of humanity found in emergent Maya civilization that is now being revealed for the first time.