Feb. 13, 2020

Dr. Elizabeth Paris hits up Boston with lecture circut

Paris recently visited both MIT and Harvard presenting her work.


T.M. Wyman

Dr. Elizabeth Paris has been very busy the past couple weeks in Boston giving talks at both MIT and Harvard. Her MIT talk was on February 3rd and was titled, "Potters and Polities in the Jovel Valley of Highland Chiapas, Mexico" and included Roberto Lopez Bravo (UNICACH) as co-author.

AbstractThe ancient Maya are widely recognized for their extensive development of ceramic art, including pottery vessels, figurines, and ceramic sculpture. The objects they created range from elaborate funerary objects to the vessels that supported the everyday activities of ordinary households. This presentation examines the domestic pottery assemblages from sites in the Jovel Valley of highland Chiapas, which forms the western frontier of the Maya culture area. Located within a mountainous karstic plateau, valley residents had access to multiple sources of high-quality clay, and a wide range of temper sources that included crystalline calcite, ash, and volcanic sand. The majority of vessels that comprise household assemblages, presumed to be local, represent a surprisingly diverse array of clay colors, tempering strategies, and firing environments, which are complemented by imported decorative vessels from neighboring polities. Within the valley itself, multiple major and minor settlements created a complex political context, in which vessels produced at different sites on opposite sides of the valley were copied and/or exchanged. The exploration of ceramic producer communities and patterns of exchange is an important aspect of shifting political economies within the valley, and across the Central Highlands more broadly.

Her Harvard talk on February 5th was also very well received by professors, students and attendees. The talk was titled “Monitoring the Ancient Maya Marketplace: A View from Tenam Puente, Chiapas, Mexico”. See attached poster.

A very busy and productive trip for sure!