Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Program Seminar: Daily Life and Governance at Ancient Teotihuacan, Mexico


Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 12:00pm to 2:00pm


CGIS South, S030 (Gathering Room)

Speaker: David Carballo, DRCLAS Santander Visiting Scholar & Associate Professor of Archaeology, Boston University
Moderator: William Fash, Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology

Two dimensions that make the ancient Mexican metropolis of Teotihuacan remarkable in terms of pre-modern societies are its enigmatic political organization, which presents a “faceless” system of governance, and the fact that the majority of its occupants lived in multi-family apartments—unique in the ancient world for a city of this size.  This talk will examine how the two may have been related, by considering evidence from the city’s monuments, art, and households.

This event is co-sponsored by the Moses Mesoamerican Archive


David Carballo holds a PhD from UCLA and is Associate Professor of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Latin American Studies at Boston University. He is an archaeologist who works primarily on pre-Columbian central Mexico, including at Teotihuacan and in the state of Tlaxcala. Among his publications are the books Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico and Obsidian and the Teotihuacan State: Weaponry and Ritual Production at the Moon Pyramid, and the edited volumes Obsidian Reflections: Symbolic Dimensions of Obsidian in Mesoamerica and Cooperation and Collective Action: Archaeological Perspectives. Carballo is on the editorial board of Arqueología Mexicana and was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Center for US – Mexican Studies, UC San Diego (2007). At DRCLAS he will be working on publications relating to his research at Teotihuacan.

William Fash joined Gordon R. Willey’s archaeological project in Copán, Honduras, Central America in 1977. With Barbara Fash, he created the Copan Mosaics Project in 1985, and subsequently spearheaded efforts to conceive, design, and construct the Sculpture Museum in Copán which showcases the magnificent cultural heritage from this site. For his efforts he was awarded the Order of José Cecilio del Valle by the President of Honduras in 1994, and selected to succeed his mentor, Gordon Willey, as Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and History at Harvard University. William and his wife Barbara recently received the Hoja de Laurel de Oro, a lifetime achievement award, conferred by the Minister of Culture and the Arts, and the Office of the President. It recognizes 30-plus years of service in preserving and documenting Honduras’ cultural heritage.