College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Screening of the film “Out of the Maya Tombs”

Saturday, October 20, 2018
7:00pm – 9:00pm

San Antonio Museum of Art

Please join us for a screening of the film "Out of the Maya Tombs" sponsored by UTSA and the San Antonio Museum of Art.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with:

David Lebrun  – Writer and Director of Out of the Maya Tombs

Michelle Rich – Dallas Museum of Art, The Ellen and Harry S. Parker III Assistant Curator of Arts of the Americas and Maya Archaeologist

Jason Yaeger – UTSA Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, College of Liberal and Fine Arts and Maya Archaeologist

Seating will be on a first come first serve basis.


Over the last century, exquisitely painted ancient Maya ceramics – almost all illicitly looted from royal tombs – have made their way into public and private collections across the globe. These amazing works of art open an extraordinary window on the Maya past. However, the zeal to collect these objects has resulted in the destruction of archaeological evidence that could tell us as much or more about the ancient Maya world.

The documentary Out of the Maya Tombs enters the world of the vases to explore the royal life and rich mythology of the Maya, as well as the tangled issues involved in the collection and study of looted art. The story is told by villagers, looters, archaeologists, art historians, dealers and curators. For each, these vases have a radically different value and meaning.

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Keynote Lecture for the 9th Annual South Central Conference on Mesoamerica

Friday, October 19, 2018
6:00pm – 8:00pm

San Antonio Museum of Art

We would like to welcome the public to the Keynote Lecture for the 9th Annual South Central Conference on Mesoamerica co-hosted by San Antonio Museum of Art and University of Texas at San Antonio. There is limited seating, so please arrive early. Seating will be on a first come first serve basis.


October 19, 2018 at 6:00 pm at the San Antonio Museum of Art with a reception to follow.

Ancient Maya Life, Death, and Identities: A View from Yaxuna, Yucatan, Mexico

Dr. Vera Tiesler, PhD

Chairperson of the School of Anthropological Sciences, Autonomous University of Yucatan, Merida, Mexico


This talk dives deep into the life and death ways of Yucatecan Maya prior to and during the rise of the ancient city of Chichén Itzá. Obscured by scholarly focus on Central Lowland Maya kingdoms located further to the south, this northern cultural arena is poorly understood on its own terms. Tiesler anchors her explorations of ancient Northern Maya Lowlanders through examinations of the burial population at Yaxuná, another ancient urban center located in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula and connected to Chichén Itzá by a causeway. In recent decades, Yaxuná has been the focus of continued intensive research efforts by David Freidel, Travis Stanton, and a number of other archaeologists. The human remains unearthed during excavations provide valuable insight into everyday life, evolving social roles, collective identities, and manners of death experienced by Yucatec Maya. To reveal these mysteries, Tiesler combines several approaches, including bioarchaeology, mortuary archaeology, and artifact-based iconography. Her discussion will address the fate of individuals and neighborhoods, the regional trajectory that resulted in Yaxuná’s rise, and then, ultimately, the city’s abandonment. She will conclude with thoughts on the advent of Chichén Itzá’s political networks and what was perceived as a new cosmic era for the Maya.

Vera Tiesler (Ph.D., National Autonomous University of Mexico, 1999) has been a research professor at the Autonomous University of Yucatan for nearly 20 years. Her academic interest lies in illuminating the human conditions of the Maya and of past society in general. To this end, Tiesler correlates bioarchaeological information with other material and documentation. During her career, she has conducted work on some 250 Maya burials. Her publications discuss living conditions and lifestyle among Maya social classes, social aspects of age and gender, physical appearance and body enhancement, violence, sacrifice, and ancestor veneration.

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Workshop on Culture, Environment, and Society: Michael Cepek

Friday, October 19, 2018
2:00pm – 3:00pm

Anthropology Lab (MH 3.05.32)

Please join us for a meeting of the Workshop on Culture, Society, and Environment to discuss Michael Cepek's Wenner-Gren Proposal, entitled "Those Who Have Emerged: History and Value in Cofán Shamanism." Please email Michael Cepek ( for a copy.

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Department of Anthropology

University of Texas at San Antonio

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

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