Special Interest Day – The Ancient Maya – Wednesday 14th March 2018

The Ancient Maya

Three lectures given by Dr Diane Davies.

Photos from the Special Interest Day can be found in the Gallery.

1. The Magnificent Maya

The Maya created one of the most sophisticated civilizations in the ancient world. Their achievements in the arts and sciences, along with their complex social, political and economic systems, make them one of the most remarkable culture groups in the pre-Columbian Americas. These people brought us an intricate calendar system, complex hierglyphic writing, some of the largest pyramids in the world, a form of ballgame that was like no other and most importantly, chocolate! This lecture will discuss the major achievements of the Maya as well as pointing out the common misunderstandings we have of this remarkable civilization.

2. The Lords of Creation – Kingship in Mayan Art

Art, inscriptions and architecture were commissioned by Mayan kings from Central America to memorialise themselves and ensure their place in history. This lecture will look at images that describe the transformation of a human being into a king, the wielder of sacred authority and the rituals that were carried out to re-establish their connections with the cycles of time and their ancestors. The purpose of art itself was to document the bloodlines of kings and so various examples will be given, including the spectacular murals of San Bartolo, Guatemala where the presenter carried out her research.

3. The Splendour of Colours: – Painted Vessels of the Maya

The ancient Maya of Central America created the most exquisite painted vessels. The scenes from these vessels give us a fascinating insight into the life of the people. Aside from their beauty as objects of art, they aid both the archaeologist and the art historian in understanding the context of the Mayan universe, from palace scenes and sporting events to mythology and tales of the underworld. In the absence of the wheel, the Mayan techniques of ceramic making will be discussed as well as their different styles and themes, thus confirming their place amongst the great painting traditions of the world.


10.00 Coffee

10.30 The Magnificent Maya – Fact and Fantasy

c11.30 Break

c11.45 The Lords of Creation – Kingship in Mayan Art

c12.45 Lunch

c14.00 The Splendour of Colours – Painted Vessels

c15.00 Finish

Tickets £25 – include morning coffee, wine or soft drinks and fruit at lunchtime (bring your own packed lunch). Please pay Ros Balfour at the Special Interest day Desk by cash or cheque payable to ‘The Arts Society Grayshott’ or ring her on 01428 604462 if you can’t come to a meeting.