March 2018

The Ancient Maya

Welcome to The Arts Society Grayshott
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 10:00
Grayshott Village Hall
Headley Road Grayshott GU26 6TZ

The Ancient Maya Three lectures given by Dr Diane Davies.

The Magnificent MayaThe Maya created one of the most sophisticated civilizations in the ancient world. Their achievements in the arts and sciences, along with their complex social, political and economic systems, make them one of the most remarkable culture groups in the pre-Columbian Americas. These people brought us an intricate calendar system, complex hierglyphic writing, some of the largest pyramids in the world, a form of ballgame that was like no other and most importantly, chocolate! This lecture will discuss the major achievements of the Maya as well as pointing out the common misunderstandings we have of this remarkable civilization.
The Lords of Creation – Kingship in Mayan Art
Art, inscriptions and architecture were commissioned by Mayan kings from Central America to memorialise themselves and ensure their place in history. This lecture will look at images that describe the transformation of a human being into a king, the wielder of sacred authority and the rituals that were carried out to re-establish their connections with the cycles of time and their ancestors. The purpose of art itself was to document the bloodlines of kings and so various examples will be given, including the spectacular murals of San Bartolo, Guatemala where the presenter carried out her research.
The Splendour of Colours: – Painted Vessels of the Maya
The ancient Maya of Central America created the most exquisite painted vessels. The scenes from these vessels give us a fascinating insight into the life of the people. Aside from their beauty as objects of art, they aid both the archaeologist and the art historian in understanding the context of the Mayan universe, from palace scenes and sporting events to mythology and tales of the underworld. In the absence of the wheel, the Mayan techniques of ceramic making will be discussed as well as their different styles and themes, thus confirming their place amongst the great painting traditions of the world.

10.00 Coffee
10.30 The Magnificent Maya – Fact and Fantasy
c11.30 Break
c11.45 The Lords of Creation – Kingship in Mayan Art
c12.45 Lunch
c14.00 The Splendour of Colours – Painted Vessels
c15.00 Finish


Dr Diane Davies

Dr Diane Davies is a Maya archaeologist and honorary research associate of the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. She completed her PhD at Tulane University, New Orleans. Little is known about the Maya in the UK and so aside from carrying out research in Guatemala and teaching, Diane is an educational consultant for schools giving workshops to both teachers and children on the Maya. She has created award-winning resources, organizes trips to the Maya area and is also the Chair of Chok Education, a charity supporting the education of Maya children. Diane organises conferences on the Maya as well as lecturing to a variety of organisations, including the City Literary Institute, London and the Historical Association.

Diane can lecture on many different aspects of Maya Art. Some example titles are listed. She also organises annual trips to the Maya area for interested people - contact her for more information.