May 27, 2018  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Bulletin

ANTH 3240 - Ancient and Modern Maya of Yucatan



Goals: To directly familiarize the students with the prehistory, history, and present-day conditions of the Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula of southern Mexico. The ancient Maya constructed large architectural complexes and were able to sustain some of the largest, most densely-packed populations the world has known until the advent of industrialization and modern medical advances. They were accomplished astronomers and mathematicians. They provide us with an example of a culture that developed a complex state and civilization in an environment many view as “hostile.” Their “experiment” in civilization had some fatal flaws that brought about their downfall around A.D. 900—centuries before the arrival of the Europeans. We stand to learn much from their experience.

Content: Using on-site visits to archaeological and historical sites, museums, to modern Maya communities, students become acquainted with the prehistory, history, and the rural-to-urban ethnographic spectrum of the Maya people of Yucatan. Students are confronted by a variety of alternative explanations and issue-oriented perspectives that deal specifically with the Maya area.

Taught: Alternate years, winter term in Yucatan, Mexico

Credits: 4