RLS 120 Mayan Religion and Culture, 3 credits

Explores the Mesoamerican civilization in its highest form, the civilization of the Maya, surveying its history from the Olmec period circa 1000 BCE to the time of the Spanish conquest circa 1500 CE. Mayan myth and ritual will be examined as evidenced in monumental architecture, sculpture, painting, and literature. Students will learn the fundamentals of the Mayan system of writing and of the calendar, with particular attention paid to the use of calendrical mythology in the political legitimization of Palenque’s dynasty.