The Origins of Divine Kingship in Mesoamerica: Contextualizing Early Mythological Narratives at San Bartolo, Guatemala


ACLS Fellowship Program




This project concerns the documentation and study of the earliest preserved murals associated with the ancient Maya. Just as the 1946 discovery of murals at Bonampak, Chiapas, was a watershed in our study of Classic Maya society (AD250 – AD900), the newly excavated San Bartolo murals, dating to the first century BC, offer a unique window into the very origins of ancient Maya religion and government. Research at San Bartolo is multidisciplinary and highly collaborative, involving numerous experts in the interpretation of the murals and their cultural context. This definitive scholarly work on the topic sheds light on the origins of Maya society and Mesoamerican civilizations as a whole.