Planchón del Rey (San Diego Cliff Face), Petén, Guatemala

Corpus Volume 8 presents a single monument, an Early Classic period relief carving, three meters tall, high on a limestone escarpment that overlooks a major (though unrecorded) archaeological site about halfway along the paved highway connecting La Libertad and El Ceibo, Petén. The project was facilitated by the alcalde of the municipio of La Libertad, where I had photographed the Itzimte stelae in 2016 that constituted our Corpus Volume 7.

When I returned to La Libertad in April 2019, again with Bernie Mittelstaedt as my guide and co-worker, I brought two plaques showing the Itzimte stelae as gifts and tokens of appreciation to alcalde Benjamín Ipiña. These plaques were made of metalized material suitable for hanging outdoors. Mr. Ipiña then made phone calls for us that paved the way for us to photograph Planchón del Rey.

two men holding signage and shaking hands

-Bruce Love

Corpus Volume 8: Planchón del Rey (San Diego Cliff Face), Petén, Guatemala

The Lost Murals of San Bartolo

The Murals of San Bartolo rightly stand as one of the great archaeological discoveries of recent times, and thus, their discovery deserves further attention.

In 2002, a few months after the murals came to light, freelance journalist Cyril Mischler recorded the story as told to him by Peten guide and outfitter Bernhard “Bernie” Mittelstaedt, long-time petenero and guide for Ian Graham and David Stuart. Later that same year, author Mischler visited the murals with Bernie to see for himself, and in 2007 made another trip, at which time photos were taken for a 2010 article on the topic published in Overland Journal, a magazine dedicated to “worldwide vehicle-supported expedition and adventure travel.”

If this report is correct, Bernie Mittelstaedt and Mariano Catalan deserve to be recognized for discovering the San Bartolo Murals.

We publish a downloadable PDF of this article, with permission from Overland Journal, in order to make this information accessible to a readership in Mesoamerican studies that might not otherwise have known that this version of the story exists.

-Bruce Love and Meghan Rubenstein

Research Contribution 8: The Lost Murals of San Bartolo, Overland Journal, by Cyril Mischler

New Data from Santoton, Ocosingo, Chiapas, México

In our most recent post, we bring you a research contribution by Alejandro Sheseña and Ángel Sánchez Gamboa that offers fresh insight into the archaeological site of Santoton in the municipio of Ocosingo, Chiapas.

As a reminder, if you would like to be notified by email when we upload a new Corpus or Research Contribution, you can sign up in the right-hand menu under Follow Blog via Email (or at the bottom of the page if you are on a mobile device).

-Bruce Love and Meghan Rubenstein

Research Contribution 7: El Sitio Arqueológico de Santoton, Ocosingo, Chiapas, México. Nuevos Datos

The 260-day Calendar among Contemporary K’iche’

In September 2018, I attended a conference at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in which a graduate student from there presented a remarkably in-depth picture of contemporary use of the Cholq’ij, or 260-day calendar, among contemporary K’iche’ of Guatemala. I later received a copy of his UNAM Master’s thesis and was so impressed with its depth and erudition that I requested he allow us to publish it on our website, to which he generously agreed.

Iván Canek Estrada Peña’s thesis combines a century of ethnographic studies with his own findings from intensive fieldwork among the guías espirituales and day keepers of highland Guatemala to produce, in my opinion, the best work ever written on the subject.

-Bruce Love

Research Contribution 6: Traditions and Innovations around the 260-day Calendar among Contemporary K’iche’: the Case of the Day Imox