The Historical Record of Teotihuacan-Maya Relations: David Stuart

The year 378 C.E. saw a major political disruption in the central Maya lowlands, widely referred to as the “entrada.” This key event generally correlates with a significant appearance of Teotihuacan-related material culture in the region, as first defined by excavation projects at Tikal and surrounding sites in the 1960s. Since then, decipherment of hieroglyphic texts from Tikal and nearby centers showed that the entrada was described as the “arrival” of a mysterious character known as Sihyaj K’ahk’, who for many years wielded significant power over the region. In this talk I examine the latest historical evidence regarding this transformative event, including new readings that confirm the interpretation of the arrival as a military conquest alongside the establishment a new political order and alliance network with strong Teotihuacan connections. Although the nature of this long-distance interaction between Teotihuacan and the Maya lowlands remains poorly understood, multiple references to the “arrival” in later histories testify to its importance in the cultural memory of the Late Classic Maya.

David Stuart is an archaeologist and epigrapher specializing in the study of ancient Mesoamerica, especially Maya civilization. Winner of a MacArthur Fellowship, Stuart is the David and Linda Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. Co-presented with the Maya Society

$10, $5 My Mia members, free to members of the Native American Art Affinity Group. Register online or  call 612.870.6323. Tickets available August 13.