Understanding ancient urbanism: urban form, site planning, and daily life at the Classic Maya city (250-900 CE)

The workshop held at Sapienza University of Rome in October 2022, focused on the Classic Maya city and aimed at discussing its inception and expansion through time, while considering the different actors involved in its planning, daily life, city use and transformation. Through unique examples and perspectives, the talks explored the decision-making process underlying site planning, the extent of authority and the agency of other urban actors. They also considered the limitation imposed by location and pondered the influence of tradition and believes in site selection and building constructions. The results of recent investigations in southern Mexico have been instrumental to address these topics, while emphasizing issues related to archaeological research in the tropics. For instance, remote sensing has proven essential to uncover the ancient Maya landscape but also to investigate ancient Maya cities at an intra-site level.

The workshop modality was hybrid as not all the participants were able to travel to Rome. Nonetheless, Lisa Johnson, Lucas Martindale Johnson and Nicola Lercari joined myself and Dr. Luisa Migliorati at La Sapienza. Also Dr. Alessandro Lupo, professor of anthropology at Sapienza-SARAS joined our group during the sessions, as well as Berkeley PhD student Esteban Mirón Marván.

From left to right: Lucas Martindale Johnson, Esteban Mirón Marván, Lisa Marie Johnson, Luisa Migliorati, Arianna Campiani, Alessandro Lupo and Nicola Lercari. On zoom, from left to right Felix Kupprat, Rodrigo Liendo Stuardo, Josep Ligorred and Rosemary Joyce.

With our collaboratos in presence or by zoom, thanks to the MAYURB funding I organized this workshop as a brainstorm/coclusion of my Horizon 2020 MSCA MAYURB project.

Thank you for coming to Rome, MAYUB and the workshop have been an interdisciplinary adventure that complement my investigation and contribute to open new research paths.

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