Maya History in 3D


ACLS Fellowship Program


General Education


The ancient Maya recorded their history on carved and painted hieroglyphic inscriptions, many of which are preserved in the archaeological record. While recent decipherments have made much of this history known to the scholarly community, modern Maya peoples are often excluded from rewriting this history from their invaluable perspective. This project initiates collaborative efforts with a Maya heritage community to cocreate a history of Waka’, an archaeological site in northern Guatemala. The ancient history, translated from the hieroglyphic monuments, will be narrated across three interrelated, public-facing media: an illustrated monograph; an interactive online database of 3D models of the monuments; and physicalizations (3D prints) of inscriptions interactively connected to the online database, which allows the viewer a tactile and visual experience of the monuments. Each element will bridge academic and Indigenous knowledge systems, focused on decolonizing our relationship to Maya history and opening a dialogue with the living Maya to enrich our understanding of the past.