Tulane anthropology professor receives National Geographic Society grant

July 2, 2014

Barri Bronston
Phone: 504-314-7444

The National Geographic Society has awarded Marcello Canuto, director of Tulane University’s Middle American Research Institute and associate professor of anthropology, a $50,000 grant to further his research at the Classic Maya city of La Corona in the jungles of northern Guatemala.

Canuto and his research team are using the grant to help find answers to long-standing questions about the political organization of this ancient civilization. Although small, La Corona was host to a prodigious number of hieroglyphic texts, including the longest known ancient Maya text in Guatemala.

“We are currently excavating various buildings that we hope will tell us about the kings and queens of La Corona during the rule of the Kaanal kingdom,” Canuto said.

Canuto’s study is titled “The Royal Snake Queens of La Corona: Politics, Commerce and Conquest Among the Classic Maya.” This spring’s National Geographic Society grant represents a continuation of its interest in — and support of — Canuto’s ongoing research.

In 2012, Canuto was part of a team that discovered a 1,300-year-old Maya text that provided only the second known reference to the so-called “end date” of the Maya calendar, Dec. 12, 2012. The discovery was one of the most significant hieroglyphic finds in decades. Canuto has been involved in excavation work in La Corona since 2008.


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