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Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan – “Early Formal Ceremonial Complexes and Olmec-Maya Interaction”

September 20 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm MST (Arizona)

The origins of Maya civilization and its relation with Olmec civilization have long been debated. To examine this question, we have been conducting archaeological investigations at Ceibal, Guatemala, and in the Middle Usumacinta region in southeastern Mexico. In Mexico, we identified the site of Aguada Fénix, with a rectangular artificial plateau measuring 1,400 m in length and dating to 1,050-750 BC. This is the largest and oldest monumental construction in the Maya area. This find encouraged us to expand our study of similar formal ceremonial complexes by analyzing lidar data. By examining low-resolution lidar obtained by the Mexican government, we covered an area of 85,000 km2, including the Olmec region and the western Maya lowlands. The identifications of many complexes, most of which were not known to archaeologists before our research, transform our understanding of the emergence of Mesoamerican civilizations. 


Inomata, Takeshi, Daniela Triadan, Kazuo Aoyama, Victor Castillo, and Hitoshi Yonenobu, Early ceremonial constructions at Ceibal, Guatemala, and the origins of lowland Maya civilization. Science 340(6131):467-471.

Inomata, Takeshi, Jessica MacLellan, Daniela Triadan, Jessica Munson, Melissa Burham, Kazuo Aoyama, Hiroo Nasu, Flory Pinzon, and Hitoshi Yonenobu, Development of sedentary communities in the Maya lowlands: coexisting mobile groups and public ceremonies at Ceibal, Guatemala. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112(14):4268-4273.

Inomata, Takeshi, Daniela Triadan, Verónica A. Vázquez López, Juan Carlos Fernandez-Diaz, Takayuki Omori, María Belén Méndez Bauer, Melina García Hernández, Timothy Beach, Clarissa Cagnato, Kazuo Aoyama, and Hiroo Nasu, Monumental architecture at Aguada Fénix and the rise of Maya civilization. Nature 582:530-533.


September 20
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm MST
Event Category:


Paul Minnis