February 10, 2001 Charles Golden: "New Investigations in the Acropolis of  Piedras Negras, Guatemala"

    Charles Golden holds a degree in history and anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology of the University of Pennsylvania. He has recently completed four seasons of excavations in the Acropolis of Piedras Negras, Guatemala.  His research  is focused on understanding the nature of the cultural shift at Piedras Negras that took place between the Early Classic and Late Classic periods, roughly between AD 500 - 600.
    Recent research conducted by the Piedras Negras Archaeological Project, a bi-national undertaking directed by Drs. Stephen Houston (Brigham Young University) and Hector Escobedo (Universidad del Valle), has shed new light on the history of this ancient Maya city.  In particular, excavations in the Acropolis, the royal palace of Piedras Negras, have opened up important new insights into the nature of royal governance among the ancient Maya and the socio-political development of Piedras Negras over the course of four centuries (AD 450 - 850).  In conducting these recent investigations, it has also been possible to bring to light much of the important and unpublished data uncovered by the University of Pennsylvania project at Piedras Negras between 1931 - 1939.  This talk focused on these new discoveries, and how current information  has been integrated with archival materials from the 30's to produce a more complete picture of Piedras Negras.

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