Archaeologist visits campus, talks about Guatemala dig

Olivia Navarro-Farr

Olivia Navarro-Farr

The Anthropology Colloquium at Youngstown State University sponsors a presentation by Olivia Navarro-Farr, assistant professor of Anthropology and Archaeology at the College of Wooster, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, in Room B100 of Cushwa Hall on the YSU campus.

The title of the presentation is “Memory, Monuments, and Royalty at the City Shrine of Ancient El Peru-Waka’.” It is free and open to the public.

Excavations in 2012 into the main civic-ceremonial structure at the ancient Maya city of El Peru-Waka’ (Guatemala) made a series of striking discoveries, which reflect symbolic statements and ceremonies that were conducted to ensure continuity and the maintenance of balance as dynastic authority collapsed. Among these was the tomb of Waka’s Royal Queen Lady K’abel, who carried the title Kaloomte’ or “supreme warrior” and is most famously featured on Waka’s Stela 34 which dates to 692 AD and is housed in the Cleveland Museum of Art. The enduring ritual engagement during the site’s final centuries of occupation (roughly throughout the 8th and 9th centuries AD) coupled with the discovery of a Late Classic royal woman buried within the building strengthens the understanding of how the Maya of Waka’ performed social memory.

Navarro-Farr earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and master’s and PhD degrees from Southern Methodist University. Her research focuses on ancient Mesoamerica, and she has conducted archaeological investigations in Belize, Mexico and currently works in Guatemala. As co-director for the El Perú-Waka’ Archaeological Project, she has focused on the investigation of the site’s primary civic-ceremonial structure since 2003.