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Searching for Site Q: Exploration, Archaeology, and Decipherment at La Corona, Guatemala

Stuart_FlierFINALSearching for Site Q: Exploration, Archaeology, and Decipherment at La Corona, Guatemala
The George E. Stuart Memorial Lecture
Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015

Wilson Special Collections Library
5:30 p.m. Viewing of the exhibition Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas
6:00 p.m. Program

Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

An archaeological mystery will be the subject of the George E. Stuart Memorial Lecture at UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library on Oct. 1. David Stuart, a scholar of Maya writing, will tell the story of the discovery of “Site Q” in Guatemala. Now known as “La Corona,” it is one of the most interesting dynastic centers of ancient Maya civilization.

“Site Q” first came to the attention of archaeologists during the 1960s, when numerous ancient Maya sculptures appeared on the international art market. Archaeologists and art historians were unable to identify a ruin that could be the source of these works. Looters had plundered from a mystery site that came to be known by archaeologists as “Site Q,” for “question.”

In 1997, a team of archaeologists, including David Stuart, set out to investigate an unnamed site in northern Guatemala. Upon entering the ruins, Stuart realized that he was in Site Q, and he named the ruins “La Corona.” Today La Corona is the center of intensive archaeological and epigraphic research and has yielded important new discoveries.

Stuart is the David and Linda Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1984, he became at age 18 the youngest person to receive a MacArthur fellowship. Stuart has published widely on the archaeology and epigraphy of ancient Maya civilization. His books include The Order of Days (Random House, 2011) and, with George E. Stuart, Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya (Thames & Hudson, 2008). He operates the blog Maya Decipherment.

Stuart is the son of the late Dr. George E. Stuart, who, along with his wife, Melinda Y. Stuart, donated his collection of nearly 13,000 volumes about archaeology and anthropology to the UNC Libraries in 2007. The Stuart Collection is particularly rich in materials related to the Maya.

Stuart’s lecture is sponsored by the Howren Fund of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill. It complements Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas, the Rare Book Collection’s fall exhibition in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room of Wilson Library. Lecture attendees are invited to tour the exhibition beginning at 5:30 p.m. The free public exhibition will be on view through Jan. 10, 2016.

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