David Carrasco

Davíd Carrasco

Director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive & Research Project

Davíd Carrasco is the inaugural Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University, with a joint appointment in the Harvard Divinity School and the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He received his Ph.D. in the History of Religions from the University of Chicago, in 1977, under Mircea Eliade, Charles Long, Jonathan Smith, Paul Wheatley, and Friedrich Katz, specializing in Mesoamerican religions and theory and method in the study of religion. His many publications include Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire: Myths and Prophecies in the Aztec Tradition (1982, 2000), Religions of Mesoamerica: Cosmovision and Ceremonial Centers (1990, 2014), City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization (1999), and The Aztecs: A Very Short Introduction (2012), and he is editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001).

Anthony Aveni

Anthony Aveni

Anthony Aveni is the Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, Anthropology, and Native American Studies at Colgate University. Featured in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the ten best university professors in the country, Aveni was also voted National Professor of the Year by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Washington, D.C., and has received the H. B. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies (2004) from Harvard University. He played a formative role in founding and developing the academic discipline of archaeoastronomy, and has published more than 300 articles and eighteen authored books, including Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico (1980, 2001), Empires of Time: Calendars, Clocks, and Cultures (1989), The Sky in Maya Literature (1992), Conversing with the Planets: How Science Inventing the Cosmos (1992), Ancient Astronomers (1993), Stairways to the Stars: Skywatching in Three Great Ancient Cultures (1997), The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012 (2010), and Circling the Square: How the Conquest Altered the Shape of Time in Mesoamerica (2012). His humanistic and scientific model for organizing scholarship has influenced the Moses Mesoamerican Archive’s academic agenda from its inception.

Elizabeth Boone

Elizabeth Hill Boone

Elizabeth Hill Boone is the Martha and Donald Robertson Professor in Latin American Art and a research associate in the Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University. Her innovative and insightful work on pre-Hispanic art, iconography, and pictorial manuscripts has made her a leader in the field and the 2014 recipient of the H. B. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies from Harvard University. Her numerous publications include The Codex Magliabechiano and the Lost Prototype of the Magliabechiano Group (1983), Incarnations of the Aztec Supernatural: The Image of Huitzilopochtli in Mexico and Europe (1989), The Aztec World (1994), Stories in Red and Black: Pictorial Histories of the Aztecs and Mixtecs (2000), and Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate (2007). She was previously the Andrew W. Mellon Professor at the National Gallery of Art’s Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (2006–2008) and director of Pre-Columbian Studies and curator of the Pre-Columbian Collection at Dumbarton Oaks (1983–1995), and in 1990, she was presented the prestigious Order of the Aztec Eagle, Mexico’s highest award for foreign nationals.

Jose B. Cuellar

Jose B. Cuellar

Jose B. Cuellar is San Francisco State University Latino/a Studies Professor Emeritus, with an academic career spanning more than four decades as an ethnic studies educator and ethnologist. His research, teaching, and administration promoted better understanding of those in greater need, especially older and younger persons in U.S. Mexican/Latino urban communities. Also known as “Dr. Loco,” Dr. Cuellar is a San Antonio–born, San Francisco–based Xicano multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, bandleader, producer, and composer. His lifelong musical career is devoted to performing and recording interpretations of classic and contemporary Música Americana in its broadest sense, with emphasis on genres that flourish along and across the U.S.–Mexico borderlands. Cuellar has assisted Carrasco and Matos in organizing the Moses Mesoamerican Archive since its inception in 1984. Among his significant publications is the critical essay “Chicanismo” in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001), along with several important studies on gerontology among minority elderly. Cuellar was coproducer of Alambrista: The Director’s Cut (2004), for which he also performed and produced a new soundtrack for the celebrated 1977 film. He is also the founder of the popular musical ensemble “Dr Loco’s Rockin’ Jalapeño Band” and served as the Hardy Fellow at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, where he examined, evaluated, and played scores of ancient Mesoamerican flutes and whistles in 2012.

Lawrence Desmond

Lawrence G. Desmond

Lawrence G. Desmond received his Ph.D. in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, after earning an M.A. from the University of the Americas in Cholula, Mexico. He has carried out archaeological research in Mexico and Guatemala for more than forty years and has taught at the University of Minnesota at Morris and San Francisco State University. His books, A Dream of Maya (1988) and Yucatán through Her Eyes (2009), examine the photography and studies of the ancient Maya by Alice and Augustus Le Plongeon who worked in Yucatán in the 1870s. His photographs of the people, architecture, and landscape of Mexico and Guatemala are archived at Harvard’s Peabody Museum, and photographs of the Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project are at the Getty Research Institute. He assisted Davíd Carrasco and Lois Middleton in establishing the Archive at the University of Colorado, and was instrumental, along with John D. Hoag, in setting up the Archive’s research collection. Today, Desmond is a senior research fellow in archaeology with the Archive and a research associate with the Department of Anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences.

Barbara Flash

Barbara W. Fash

Barbara W. Fash is director of the Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions (CMHI) program at Harvard University’s Peabody Museum. Since 1976 she has combined her focus on archaeological illustration, sculpture documentation and analysis, conservation, three-dimensional scanning, and ceramic production at the sites of Copán, Honduras, and Chalcatzingo and Teotihuacan, Mexico. Her publications include, The Copan Sculpture Museum: Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone (2011), Precolumbian Water Management: Ideology, Ritual, and Power (coedited with Lisa Lucero, 2006), along with numerous professional articles and museum exhibitions. Currently, she is preparing CMHI publications on Yaxchilan stelae and the Copán Hieroglyphic Stairway, and she codirects the Santander Program for the Research and Conservation of Maya Sculpture with William Fash (2010–present). In 2008, Barbara received the Hoja de Laurel del Oro from the government of Honduras in recognition of over thirty years of service in preserving and documenting Honduran cultural heritage.

William L. Fash, Jr.

William L. Fash, Jr.

William L. Fash, Jr. is the Bowditch Professor of Central American and Mexican Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University and was previously chair of the Anthropology Department and the director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. His field research has focused on the complex religious, ceremonial, and political structures of Maya cultures, and his many publications include Scribes, Warriors, and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya (1991, 2001) and The Ancient American World (with Mary E. Lyons, 2005). He was an area editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001) and has trained many graduate students who have contributed to the innovative study of Mesoamerican societies. He has been awarded both the Order of José Cecilio del Valle and the Hoja de Laurel de Oro by the Honduran Government for more than thirty years of documenting and preserving the nation’s cultural heritage.

Laura Filloy Nadal

Laura Filloy Nadal

Laura Filloy Nadal is an art conservator at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City and professor of archaeology, conservation, and restoration in Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris where she presented a dissertation on the life and funerary accoutrements of the Maya king K’inich Janaab’ Pakal (603–683) of Palenque. Her earlier work on rubber artifacts in Mesoamerica resulted in a master’s degree from Paris and several writings that have illuminated the significance and function of the Mesoamerican ballgame. She was chief coordinator of the Maya Masks Restoration Project which led to several important exhibitions and publications, including Misterios de un maya rostro (Mysteries of a Maya Visage, 2010) and Costume et insignes d’un gouvernant maya (Costume and Insignia of a Maya Ruler, 2014). She has also worked as a conservator at Teotihuacan, taught courses in Mexico and Italy on materials science and museography, and has participated in Moses Mesoamerican Archive seminars for many years.

Lindsay Jones

Lindsay Jones is a historian of religions and professor in the Department of Comparative Studies at the Ohio State University. He is the author of numerous articles on the study of religion and sacred space in Mesoamerica as well as the monographs Twin City Tales: A Hermeneutical Reassessment of Tula and Chichén Itzá (1995) and The Hermeneutics of Sacred Architecture: Experience, Interpretation, Comparison (2 volumes, 2000); coeditor of Mesoamerica’s Classic Heritage: From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs (2000) and The Earthworks of Newark, Ohio: Enduring Monuments, Contested Meanings (2015); and editor-in-chief of the second revised edition of Mircea Eliade’s sixteen-volume Encyclopedia of Religion (2005). He has carried out extensive research in Mesoamerican archaeological, religious, and tourist sites and is currently developing a 2,500-year “ritual-architectural reception history” of Monte Albán, Oaxaca, in southern Mexico.

Charles Long

Charles H. Long

Charles H. Long has been advising Davíd Carrasco on the intellectual direction and cultural significance of the Mesoamerican Archive since its inception in 1984. Long is considered one of the greatest teachers of the history and meaning of the discipline of the Chicago School of the History of Religions, and he taught generations of historians of religions at the University of Chicago, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Syracuse University, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. He was a founding editor, along with Mircea Eliade and Joseph Kitagawa, of the History of Religions journal, and is the author of Alpha: The Myths of Creation (1963) and the classic Significations: Signs, Symbols, and Images in the Interpretation of Religion (1986), as well as numerous articles and reviews concerning theory and method in the study of religion and colonialism.

Alfredo López Austin

Alfredo López Austin is one of Mexico’s most distinguished anthropologists known for a broad array of influential publications that have changed the way we look at the complexity, endurance, and flexibility of “cosmovision” among Mesoamerican peoples. Books such as Hombre-dios: Religión y política en el mundo náhuatl (Man-God: Religion and Politics in the Nahuatl World, 1973), The Human Body and Ideology: Concepts of the Ancient Nahuas (1988), The Myths of the Opossum: Pathways of Mesoamerican Mythology (1993), and Tamoanchan, Tlalocan: Places of Mist (1997) have inspired several generations of students and scholars to reevaluate the pervasive power of religiosity in Mesoamerica from the pre-Hispanic period up to the present day. He has received many honors including the H. B. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies (2011).

Leonardo Lopez

Leonardo López Luján

Leonardo López Luján is one of the leading archaeologists, researchers, and writers of pre-Hispanic Central Mexican history and society, and has collaborated on numerous Moses Mesoamerican Archive projects. His original understandings of Aztec ritual burials, cosmology, and symbolism appeared in the award-winning The Offerings of the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan (1994), La Casa de las Águilas: Un ejemplo de la arquitectura religiosa de Tenochtitlan (The House of the Eagles: An Example of Religious Architecture from Tenochtitlan, 2006), and a series of other well-researched books and articles. In an effort to internationalize his work he has held visiting fellowships at Princeton, Harvard, the Musée de l’Homme in Paris, and Dumbarton Oaks, and visiting professorships at the University of Paris, the University of Rome, and the Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala. Central to his work is his full time research professorship at the Templo Mayor Museum in Mexico City where he has taught numerous students the science and art of archaeology, and he has also served as president of the Mexican Society of Anthropology (2003–2005). In 2013, López Luján became a corresponding fellow of the British Academy and an honorary fellow of the London Society of Antiquaries.

Eduardo Matos

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma is a cofounder and senior advisor to the Moses Mesoamerican Archive who has revitalized Mexican archaeology through innovative excavations, conferences, and publications over the past forty years. His directorship of the Templo Mayor Project (1978–2001) resulted in a new flowering of studies and understandings of the Aztec empire and the religious, sculptural, and ritual dimensions of the expansion of the Mexica state. He is the author of hundreds of articles, catalogues, and monographs, including Muerte a filo de obsidiana (Death by Obsidian Blade, 1975), The Aztecs (1989), Teotihuacan, the City of the Gods (1990), Life and Death in the Templo Mayor (1995), and Mexica Monumental Sculpture (with Leonardo López Luján, 2009), and his extraordinary cultural contributions to uncovering Mexico’s historical and archaeological past led to him being named a lifetime member of the Colegio Nacional. His remarkable achievements have also been recognized by governments and academic institutions in France, Venezuela, Germany, England, and the U.S., and he was the inaugural recipient of the H. B. Nicholson Award for Excellence in Mesoamerican Studies (2002).

Scott Sessions

Scott Sessions is a historian of religion and assistant director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive, who for many years has helped build the Archive’s research collections and has overseen its scholarly publications. He has served as research associate and the managing editor of the African-American Religion Documentary History Project, and taught in the religion departments of Amherst College and Princeton University. He is coauthor of Daily Life of the Aztecs: People of the Sun and Earth (1998, 2011), coeditor of Mesoamerica’s Classic Heritage: From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs (2000) and Cave, City, and Eagle’s Nest: An Interpretive Journey through the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan No. 2 (2007), and development editor of the three-volume Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001).

William Taylor

William B. Taylor

William B. Taylor is the Muriel McKevitt Sonne Professor Emeritus of Latin American history at the University of California, Berkeley, and has also held professorships at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, and Southern Methodist University. He has published many articles and monographs on Mexican history, including Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca (1972), Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (1979), Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century Mexico (1996), Shrines and Miraculous Images: Religious Life in Mexico before the Reforma (2010), and Marvels and Miracles in Late Colonial Mexico: Three Texts in Context  (2011), and served as area editor for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001). He works along overlapping edges of history, anthropology, art history, and religious studies, and is a longtime colleague of Davíd Carrasco.

Lars Pharo

Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo

Lars Kirkhusmo Pharo is a historian of religions. He is Research Associate at MMARP and Research Partner at Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin. Pharo is author of publications on epistemologies, ideas, languages and semiotics of the Americas, which incorporate the monographs The Ritual Practise of Time: Philosophy and Sociopolitics of Mesoamerican Religious Calendars (2013) and Concepts of Conversion. The Politics of Missionary Scriptural Translations (2016). He has published several articles including: The Concept of Religion in Mesoamerican Languages (2007), The Concepts of Human Dignity in the Moral Philosophies of Indigenous People of the Americas (2014), Moral Knowledge in Early Colonial Latin America (2015), Authorities of Scriptural Technologies in America (2015), Multilingualism and Linguae Franca of Indigenous Civilizations of America (2016). At present, Pharo conduct research about cartography and religious knowledge in Mesoamerica and the Andes and about the moral business philosophy of the Haudenosaunee-Confederacy practiced by the Swedish high-tech company Plantagon.

Doris Heyden

Doris Heyden (1905–2005) was an exceptional scholar of pre-Hispanic cultures whose writings and mentoring of students and younger colleagues has had a lasting impact on Mesoamerican studies. Educated at the Pratt Institute, she left a budding career as an illustrator at Mademoiselle magazine in New York to study art in Mexico, where she married the photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902–2002) and worked with artists, writers, and political activists such as Diego Rivera (1886–1957), Frida Kahlo (1907–1954), and Remedios Varo (1908–1963) during the Mexican Renaissance which sought to reorient the Mexican imagination toward new symbolic understandings and social change. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, taught at the National School of Anthropology and History, and was curator of the Teotihuacan Hall at the National Museum of Anthropology. She produced more than one hundred articles and monographs, including Pre-Columbian Architecture of Mesoamerica (with Paul Gendrop, 1975), Mitología y simbolismo de la flora en el México prehispánico (Mythology and Symbolism of Flora in Pre-Hispanic Mexico, 1983), and The Eagle, the Cactus, the Rock: The Roots of Mexico-Tenochtitlan’s Foundation Myth and Symbol (1989), in addition to outstanding English translations of works by Diego Durán (1537–1588) entitled The Book of Gods and Rites and The Ancient Calendar (with Fernando Horcasitas, 1971) and The History of the Indies of New Spain (1993), and served as a senior consulting editor for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001).

John Hoag

John D. Hoag 

John D. Hoag (1919–2011) taught art history for decades at the University of Colorado at Boulder, after several years teaching and serving as art librarian at Yale University. He earned his Ph.D. in 1958 under the guidance of Yale art historian George Kubler (1912–1996) with a dissertation on the Spanish architect Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón (1500–1577). His undergraduate work in archaeology at Harvard had resulted in a 1941 honors thesis on ancient Pueblo artifacts, before wartime intelligence work took him to the Middle East and fostered an interest in Islamic art and architecture, yielding several important publications. These earlier interests converged in his longtime focus on Latin America, especially the archaeology, art, and architecture of pre-Hispanic and colonial Mesoamerica, although he was also an acknowledged authority on the history of classical Greek and Roman, Byzantine, Medieval, Renaissance, Islamic, and Modern art, all of which he regularly taught during his professional academic career. At the University of Colorado, Hoag founded and developed an enormous and unique collection of slides that proved invaluable for generations of teachers and students seeking to appreciate the history of human art. Hoag was instrumental in the founding of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and an active participant in its seminars from the beginning.

H. B. Nickholson

H. B. Nicholson

H. B. Nicholson (1925–2007) was a giant among Mesoamerican scholars whose research and writings helped define the fields of the study of pictorial manuscripts, the enigma of Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, the vocabulary of Aztec sculpture, and more. Not since the achievements of Eduard Georg Seler (1849–1922) had anyone mastered the knowledge of Central Mexican iconography and archaeology as Nicholson had. His Ph.D. in anthropology at Harvard (1957) resulted in the now canonical dissertation on the Toltec god-king published more than four decades later as Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl: The Once and Future Lord of the Toltecs (2001). His enormous collection of photographs, bibliographies, and other research in his Aztec Archive are now housed in the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his writings on pre-Hispanic religion, Mixteca-Puebla style, Central Mexican alphabetic and pictorial ethnohistorical texts, and the life and works of Bernardino de Sahagún (1499–1590) have become authoritatively fundamental in Mesoamerican Studies. He was a constant participant in the seminars of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive and he worked alongside editor-in-chief Davíd Carrasco as a senior consulting editor and wrote several major articles for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures (2001).