Welcome!

This fall, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is proud to present “13 Bak’tun: New Maya Perspectives in 2012,” a symposium to be held October 25–26, with concurrent exhibitions. With “13 Bak’tun,” UNC-Chapel Hill is placing the calendric reckoning of 2012 within a broad historical and cultural context and including the voices of Maya people. The Maya word bak’tun signifies a calendric cycle of 400 years of 360 days, and the ancient inscriptions indicate that once the 13th bak’tun is reached, the Long Count calendar cycle starts over.

The two-day symposium “13 Bak’tun,” which opens with a keynote address by noted Maya author Victor Montejo, capitalizes on the University’s extensive library resources and academic programs in Maya civilization. Lectures, open classes, multimedia presentations, and poetry readings will demonstrate the breadth of Maya scholarship and activity at UNC, home to the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute. Exhibitions will showcase the holdings of the University Library and its Rare Book Collection–where the George E. and Melinda Y. Stuart Collection of Maya materials resides.

Invited scholars, writers, and activists from Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize will give witness to the current cultural renaissance of the Maya, who developed the most enduring writing system of the Pre-Columbian Americas.

All components of this symposium are free and open to the public.

Symposium lectures and multimedia presentations are now available!