Research Programs: Collaborative Research

Period of Performance

7/1/2003 - 9/30/2003

Funding Totals

$32,432.00 (approved)
$32,432.00 (awarded)

Uncovering Cancuen's Royal Palace: The Political Role of Classic Maya Art

FAIN: RZ-50141-03

Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37203-2416)
Arthur A. Demarest (Project Director: September 2002 to August 2004)

Excavation, documentation, and analysis of stucco sculpture on an 8th-century royal Maya palace in the tropical lowlands of present day Guatemala to help understand the basis of Maya royal power. (12 months)

The goal of the proposed project is to excavate, record, remove, transport, analyze, and preserve the stucco sculpture that adorns the facade of the 8th century royal palace of the Classic Maya city-center of Cancuen. The project will include the collaboration of American, Guatemalan, and Mexican specialists in the fields of archaeology, conservation, and restoration. Palaces, as principal sites for ritual and political events were also among the instruments of power utilized by elites in their status-rivalry competition with other rulers and their efforts to generate, consolidate, and legitimate their power and authority over their local and regional populations, courts, and vassals. Iconographic analyses of these palaces and their relation to cultural geography can help us to understand the varying strategies and bases of Maya royal power.