Northwestern Events Calendar


LACS Faculty Colloquium: Responding to Societal Crises in the Ancient World: New Research at the Ancient Maya City of Aventura, Belize (Cynthia Robin)

When: Tuesday, February 2, 2021
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Global & Civic Engagement


About the talk

In this LACS Faculty Colloquium talk, Cynthia Robin will present ongoing research at the ancient Maya city of Aventura in Belize. Aventura is a city that survived a period of societal stress in Maya society where disruptions in politics, climate, and health led to the decline of many of the once most powerful Maya cities. Aventura survived and even thrived during this period of time.  The talk presents new research by a Northwestern team collaborating with local stakeholders to understand Aventura's past.

About Cynthia Robin

Cynthia Robin, Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern, is an archaeologist and project director who works with contemporary Maya to study the ancient Maya civilization of Mesoamerica. Her research focuses on the everyday lives of ordinary people in ancient Maya society to show how ordinary people make a difference in their societies and were not the mere pawns of history or prehistory. She sees archaeology as a field that is both grounded in the study of the past and relevant for the world today. She is the author of Everyday Life Matters: Maya Farmers at Chan (2013), editor of Chan: An Ancient Maya Farming Community (2012), and co-editor of Gender, Households, and Society: Unraveling the Threads of the Past and the Present (2010).  

Robin's current research project, the Aventura Archaeology Project, is the subject of this talk. Prior to working at Aventura, Robin directed the Chan Project, also in Belize. The Chan Project examined the 2000-year history of the ancient Maya farming community of Chan in western Belize. The Chan research documented the importance of farmers’ lives and their agricultural, religious, and political innovations in Maya society. The farming community of Chan was a socially and environmentally resilient community that thrived for 2000 years while the fortunes of nearby major Maya centers waxed and waned, providing important lessons about social and environmental sustainability. Robin's research at Chan and Aventura has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Geographic Society, the John J. Heinz III Charitable Trust, and Northwestern University.

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