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That Strength Which in Old Days Moved Earth and Heaven: Kingship in the Maya Terminal Classic Period

Nicholas Carter, Brown University, Junior Fellow 2013–2014

My most significant academic project at Dumbarton Oaks, and the one which took up the bulk of my time, was writing most of my doctoral dissertation, “Kingship and Collapse: Inequality and Identity in the Terminal Classic Southern Maya Lowlands.” The core of the dissertation consisted of a study of Terminal Classic Maya royal inscriptions from the central and southern lowlands—including several not previously adequately published or analyzed—along with a discussion of archaeological evidence for ninth-century royal and elite activity at the site of El Zotz in northern Guatemala. With this work completed, submitted, and defended, I received the doctoral degree from Brown University on May 25, 2014. I presented some of the results of my dissertation research in a research report, “The Name of the King: Politics and Nomenclature in the Maya Terminal Classic Period,” in October 2013. And I wrote a review of Robert Williams’s recent book, The Complete Codex Zouche-Nuttall: Mixtec Lineage Histories and Political Biographies, which was published in the February issue of Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale. One of the most satisfying aspects of my fellowship was having the opportunity to discuss epigraphic and archaeological questions with other researchers. These discussions led to several collaborative projects now in process, among them an analysis of the Early Classic mural paintings from Uaxactun Structure B-13 and an article on new epigraphic findings connected to the Terminal Classic magnate Olom Jaatz’. Other articles derived from my dissertation work are in progress as well, including one on innovative Terminal Classic onomastic practices and a reassessment of the Vase of the Initial Series from Uaxactun.