Payson Sheets, Professor, Anthropology
Archaeologists have long known about the opulent lifestyles of Mayan kings, queens and their courts. But what about most Mayans from that time period? During an archaeological survey in 1978 in El Salvador, Payson Sheets discovered an ancient Mayan village buried under fifteen feet of volcanic ash that for the first time offered a clear window into how Mayan commoners lived. In this lecture, Sheets will discuss his discovery of a village he named “Ceren” that was perfectly preserved when a volcano erupted in 660 A.D. The village of about 200 farmers and craftspeople had a surprisingly high quality of life, as indicated by earthquake-resistant architecture, specialized religious and public buildings, ample household buildings, varied diet, and access to some luxury goods.
Doors open at 12:30; advance registration is not required.