und Wörterbuch
des Klassischen Maya
text database and dictionary of classic mayan
print header

28th European Maya Conference (EMC2023): Regionalism and Unity: Exploring Intracultural Variation and Commonality in the Maya Region



28.11.2023 Online registration for workshops and symposium is no longer available. Note that registration will only be conducted on-site on the day of arrival (December 5th and 9th).
27.11.2023 The program for the Research Colloquium 'Research in the Maya Area and Mesoamerica at the University of Bonn' is available online.
25.11.2023 The Special Workshop has reached full capacity. No more spaces for this workshop are available.




The 28th European Maya Conference is co-organised by the European Association of Mayanists (Wayeb) together with the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn and is going to be hosted by the Department for the Anthropology of the Americas of the Institute for Archaeology and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Bonn, Germany, from December 4th to 10th, 2023. The conference will begin on December 4th with a welcome address, and will combine four days of workshops (Tuesday to Friday, December 5th-8th) and a two-day symposium (Saturday to Sunday, December 9th-10th). Bonn projects, researchers and doctoral students present current research and results on December 8th, afternoon. The program will be posted online in the coming days.

The topic of the 28th European Maya Conference is Regionalism and Unity: Exploring Intracultural Variation and Commonality in the Maya Region. We are used to talking about “the Maya” in both popular and academic discourse. But did or does such a single homogeneous Maya culture actually exist? In fact, the idea of a large Maya culture, stretching from the highlands of Guatemala to Yucatan, only emerged in the 19th century in connection with the European desire to divide the world into cultural areas. In this regard, the term “Maya” which originally designated the language and inhabitants of Northern Yucatan, was used for an entire language family and the various peoples speaking these languages and inhabiting the territory that comprises the Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo, and the countries of Belize, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras and El Salvador.

EMC2023 Poster front
EMC2023 Poster front
EMC2023 Poster back
EMC2023 Poster back

Registration (Workshops and Symposium)

Online registration for the workshops and symposium has now closed. On-site registration on day of arrival will be available, subject to the following registration fees. Please also note University of Bonn's Policies for Protection Against Sexualized Discrimination and Violence.

Registration (on day of arrival)

  Regular Student (proof required)
Wayeb member Wayeb Student (proof required)
Workshop 120 EUR 70 EUR 65 EUR 40 EUR
Symposium 120 EUR 30 EUR 65 EUR 25 EUR
Both events 230 EUR 100 EUR 120 EUR 60 EUR


Workshops: Abteilung für Altamerikanistik, Oxfordstraße 15, 53111 Bonn (#1 on map)

Project and research presentations: Main Building (Hauptgebäude), Uni Bonn,  Am Hof 1 or Regina-Pacis-Weg 3, 53113 Bonn, FESTSAAL (#2 on map)

Bonn City Center
Bonn City Center
Bonn Center
Places of interest
Oxfordstr. 15, 53111 Bonn
Oxfordstr. 15, 53111 Bonn (Dept. of Anthropology of the Americas)
Main Building, Map
Map of Main Building, Location of Festsaal (1st floor)

Symposium: Hörsaal 2, Campus Poppelsdorf Hörsaalzentrum (CP1-HSZ), Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 6, 53115 Bonn (#7 on map)

Bonn Poppelsdorf Map
Bonn Poppelsdorf Map
Campus Poppelsdorf Legende
Places of interest
Poppelsdorf, Hörsaalzentrum
Poppelsdorf, Hörsaalzentrum
Map of Hörsaalzentrum
Map of Hörsaalzentrum

Book Sale

At the forthcoming symposium within the confines of the 'Hörsaalzentrum Poppeldorf', a selection of scholarly texts will be displayed (Verlag Anton Saurwein, Bonner Altamerika-Sammlung und Studien), encompassing both contemporary and rare volumes, made available for perusal and acquisition.  On Saturday, 9th of December, the library will present an exclusive collection for sale: retired volumes and duplicates between 10 and 15 o'clock.


Arriving from Cologne / Bonn Airport (CGN)

When arriving at Cologne/Bonn Airport (CGN) and aiming to reach Bonn, you have two convenient options:

Option 1: SB60 Shuttle Bus
- The SB60 shuttle bus operates directly between Bonn Central Station (Hauptbahnhof or Hbf) and Cologne/Bonn Airport.
- Buses run every half hour on weekdays and every hour on weekends.
- Check the bus schedule on the VRS website or their app: https://www.vrs.de/en/.
- The bus stop is located just outside the arrivals terminal at the airport.
- Tickets, priced at 8.80 Euros (general rate), can be purchased from the driver or via the VRS App. Reduced fares are available for students with a valid ID.
- The entire journey takes approximately 31 minutes and is the most convenient way to reach Bonn.

Option 2: Train and Tram Connection
- An alternative route is to take a train and tram combination, but this may be slightly more complex.
- First, head to the airport's train station (underground) and find a train bound for Cologne (Köln).
- From Cologne, take a train to Bonn.
- Alternatively, you can go towards Siegburg/Bonn or Beuel and then transfer to a tram or bus that will take you to Bonn Central Station.
- Example routes include:
  - Tram S19 from the airport to Siegburg/Bonn, then transfer to Tram Line 66 (U-Bahn) to reach Bonn Central Station in approximately 46 minutes.
  - Regional train RB27 (direction Koblenz) to Bonn-Beuel, then take Bus Line 609 or Tram Line 62 to Bonn Central Station in around 40-46 minutes.
  - Regional train RB27 (direction Koblenz) to Cologne (Köln), then find the Regional Express RE5 train to Bonn Central Station in about 50 minutes.

When using the VRS App:
- The airport station is listed as "Flughafen Köln/Bonn Bf, Köln – Flughafen."
- The Central Station of Bonn is referred to as "Bonn Hbf / Bonn Hauptbahnhof."
- Tickets can be purchased within the app, from bus drivers, or at service points. Note that there are no ticket vending machines on trains, so always ensure you have a valid ticket to avoid a 60 euros fine.

Taxis are also available from the airport to Bonn Central Station, with fares typically starting around 60-70 euros (minimum).

For more information, visit: https://www.cologne-bonn-airport.com/en/parking-arrival/bus-rail-services.html

Arriving from Düsseldorf Airport (DUS) to Bonn

Getting to Bonn from Düsseldorf involves a combination of trains and trams, as there are no direct connections. Follow these steps:

1. Reach the airport railway station (Bahnhof Düsseldorf Flughafen) via the SkyTrain.
2. Look for a train heading to Bonn, such as the Regional Express RE5 (direction Koblenz). This train will take you directly to Bonn Central Station in approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.
3. Purchase your train ticket from the machines in the station or online via the VRS (https://www.vrs.de/en/) or Deutsche Bahn (DB) websites/apps (https://int.bahn.de/en/).

Alternatively, you can use the underground S-Bahn station (Düsseldorf Flughafen Terminal) and take Tram Line S11 to Cologne Central Station (Köln Hbf), which takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. From there, transfer to a train bound for Bonn, such as RB48 (direction Mehlem Bf) or RB26 (direction Koblenz), to reach Bonn Central Station in approximately half an hour. The total journey from Düsseldorf Airport to Bonn takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Check your connections in advance on the VRS or Deutsche Bahn websites/apps and make sure to purchase a valid ticket to avoid a 60 euros fine if checked on the train.

For more information, visit: https://www.dus.com/en/to-and-from/bus-and-train

Arriving from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Bonn

To reach Bonn from Frankfurt Airport (FRA), you can take fast trains (ICE or IC) that pass through the airport's train terminal. Here's how to do it:

1. Follow the signs to the airport's train terminal (Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbahnhof).
2. Purchase your train ticket in advance from the machines in the terminal or online via the Deutsche Bahn app/website (https://int.bahn.de/en/).
3. The journey to Bonn Central Station (Bonn Hbf) typically takes around 1 hour and a half, with possible layovers at Siegburg/Bonn. From Siegburg/Bonn, take Tram Line 66 to reach Bonn Central Station in approximately 25 minutes.

It's important to note that not all fast trains go through the center of Bonn, so you may have a layover/change at Siegburg/Bonn.

Alternatively, you can consider taking a Flixbus from FRA to Bonn. Check their tickets and timetable on their website: https://global.flixbus.com/. Keep in mind that Flixbus stops on the outskirts of Bonn, so you'll need to take a bus or tram to reach the city center.

Local Transport in Bonn

For public transportation in Bonn, we recommend purchasing single tickets or day passes, which range in price from 2.90 Euros to 9.90 Euros depending on the fare zones. Remember to validate your ticket to avoid fines and check the VRS website or app for current fare information and schedules.To use local transport in Bonn, ensure you have a valid ticket, as random checks occur, and fines of 60 euros are imposed for traveling without a ticket. Tickets can be obtained from bus drivers, ticket vending machines at stops (which can be set to English), or online via the VRS website/app (https://www.vrs.de/en/).

In addition to public transport, various micromobility companies, including Lime, Uber, and Nextbike, operate in Bonn, offering alternative transportation options such as bicycles and e-scooters.

Stay informed and prepared when using public transportation to make your journey to and around Bonn hassle-free.

Accomodation (Hotels and Hostels)


Bob W Beethoven, Bonngasse 7, 53111 Bonn
Beethoven Hotel Dreesen, Bonngasse 17, 53111 Bonn
BrauHotel Bonn, Brüdergasse 6, 53111 Bonn
Achat Sternhotel Bonn, Markt 8, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Europa, Thomas-Mann-Straße 7, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Aigner, Dorotheenstraße 12, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Deutsches Haus Bonn, Kasernenstraße 19-21, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Baden, Graurheindorfer Str. 1, 53111 Bonn
Domicil Hotel Bonn, Thomas-Mann-Str. 26, 53111 Bonn
prizeotel Bonn-City, Erzbergerufer 15, Zentrum, 53111 Bonn
Dorint Hotel Bonn, Berliner Freiheit 2, 53111 Bonn
Hotel 83, Sandkaule 3A, Zentrum, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Bonn City, Am Marthashof 1, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Belmont Classic, Oxfordstraße 12-16, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Motel One Bonn-Hauptbahnhof, Am Hauptbahnhof 12, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Motel One Bonn-Beethoven, Berliner Freiheit 36, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Colegium Leoninum, Noeggerathstraße 34, 53111 Bonn
Hotel Mercedes Garni & Appartements, Maarflach 17a, 53113 Bonn
IntercityHotel Bonn, Quantiusstraße 22, 53115 Bonn
Pension Colmant, Colmantstraße 8, 53115 Bonn
Tante ALMA's Bonner Hotel, Wallfahrtsweg 4, 53115 Bonn
President Hotel, Clemens-August-Straße 32-36, 53115 Bonn
Hotel Kurfürstenhof, Baumschulallee 20, 53115 Bonn

Budget Hotels

B&B Hotel Bonn-City, Vorgebirgsstraße 33, 53119 Bonn


Hostel 45, Kölnstrasse 45, 53111 Bonn
Max Hostel, Maxstraße 7, 53111 Bonn
BaseCamp Hostel Bonn, In der Raste 1, 53129 Bonn
Youth Hostel Bonn, Haager Weg 42, 53127 Bonn

General Booking Platforms


The Conference

Workshops (December 4th - 8th 2023)

Venue: Abteilung für Altamerikanistik, Oxfordstr. 15, 53111 Bonn (#1 on map)

Keynote lecture (Monday 4 December)

Regionalism and Unity: Exploring Intracultural Variation and Commonality in the Maya Region

Nikolai Grube (Department for the Anthropology of the Americas / Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn),  Harri Kettunen (University of Helsinki / Wayeb President)

Beginner's Workshop (December 5th - 8th)

An Introduction to Maya Hieroglyphs

Marie Botzet (Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn), Dimitrios Markianos-Daniolos (Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn) & Panos Kratimenos (Institute of Archaeology, University College London)


The Beginners’ Workshop will provide a general introduction to Maya epigraphy. It is open to anyone interested in the topic, and is especially ideal for people who have never worked with Maya inscriptions, although people with limited previous experience are also welcome. The workshop will cover various topics, including the history of decipherment, an overview of the corpus, and the inner workings of the writing system itself. Starting from the basics, the participants will learn about the principles of Maya hieroglyphic writing, the Maya calendar, and the structure of texts. Hieroglyphic inscriptions from different Maya cities will be studied, as a means of providing a general picture of the politics, beliefs, and individual actors of the ancient Maya world. By the end of the workshop, the participants will be able to read simple inscriptions, follow calendrical calculations, and identify key historical figures. The workshop will be conducted in English, but individual explanations will also be available in Spanish and German.

Instruction language: English. The instructors are also able to attend questions and comments in German and Spanish.
Admittance: 40 attendees (max.)

Intermediate Workshop (December 5th - 8th)

Regional variation in ceremonial discourse in Classic Maya inscriptions
Felix Kupprat (Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Alejandro J. Garay Herrera (Abteilung für Altamerikanistik, Universität Bonn) & Guido Krempel (Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn / CNCPC -INAH)
This workshop focuses on Classic Maya texts describing the different ritual activities and ceremonial practices of the lowland elites. As case studies, we will put emphasis on inscriptions from the sites of Tonina, Copan and Tikal, comparing them to select examples from other sites or regions. The main objective is to determine similarities and differences in ceremonial discourse, seeking out the parallels between the practices recorded at different sites, but also localized particularities and idiosyncrasies. Furthermore, we will discuss the issue of the Maya religion, which seems to have been quite homogeneous at the regional level, but at the same time extremely diverse with regard to particular patron gods in different sites and regions. Concerning ritual practices, we will describe distinct regional focuses for the three case studies, including calendrical, funerary and accession rites. The workshop is tailored towards participants with basic to advanced knowledge of Maya hieroglyphs and we encourage attendees to bring a personal device with WiFi connectivity to display online resources and PDF files (laptop, tablet, etc.) during the workshop.

Instruction language: English. The instructors are also able to attend questions and comments in German and Spanish.
Admittance: 25 attendees (max.).

Advanced Workshop (December 5th - 8th)

Mystery Texts

Nikolai Grube (Department for the Anthropology of the Americas / Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn), Christian Prager (Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn) & Elisabeth Wagner (Textdatenbank und Wörterbuch des Klassischen Maya, Universität Bonn)

Despite significant advances in deciphering Maya hieroglyphic writing, we can currently comprehend only about 60 percent of the attested over 1000 signs linguistically, whereby only 40 percent are deciphered with absolute certainty. Fortunately, these constitute the most frequently documented signs, allowing us a substantial linguistic understanding and the ability to translate a multitude of hieroglyphic texts. Nevertheless, within the extensive corpus of hieroglyphic inscriptions, we encounter texts that we grasp linguistically, yet their content remains enigmatic to this day. This mystery arises from four distinct factors: 1) certain signs elude decipherment, 2) terms from Classic Mayan are not preserved in modern Mayan languages and hence remain incomprehensible, 3) metaphors are only partially understood, 4) texts are constructed upon ontologies that continue to elude our understanding. In our workshop, we will present a selection of such “mystery texts” from throughout the Maya region to decipher them in collaboration with participants and collectively try to interpret their enigmatic contents.

Instruction language: English. The instructors are also able to attend questions and comments in German and Spanish.
Admittance: 25 attendees (max.)

Special Workshop (December 5th - 8th) (WORKSHOP IS FULL! NO MORE BOOKINGS AVAILABLE!)

Kaqchikel Maya Culture through the living art of weaving

Ana Lucía Sebaquijay (Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala) & María Francisca Elías Canás (ENBI Nim Naoj, San Martín Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango, Guatemala / Department for the Anthropology of the Americas, University of Bonn)


El tejer es una antigua técnica de expresión artística y, al mismo tiempo, la materialización de la memoria cultural y de la identidad maya. El tejido maya se remonta a tiempos precoloniales. Su supervivencia en el presente es un testimonio de la creatividad y resistencia de los mayas actuales. En el taller, los participantes se iniciarán en el arte de tejer Kaqchikel y, al mismo tiempo, conocerán aspectos importantes de la cultura Kaqchikel de hoy día. El taller se centra en el manejo del telar y en el aprendizaje de las técnicas básicas de tejido.

Instruction language: Spanish.
Admittance: The Special Workshop has reached full capacity!

Colloquium "Research in the Maya Area and Mesoamerica at the University of Bonn" (December 8, 2023)

Main Building (Hauptgebäude), Uni Bonn,  Am Hof 1 or Regina-Pacis-Weg 3, 53113 Bonn, FESTSAAL (#2 on map)

Bonn projects, researchers and doctoral students present current research and results. Download the PDF of the program.

Research at Bonn
Research at Bonn Venue
Research at Bonn II
Research at Bonn Program

Symposium (December 9th and 10th)

Campus Poppelsdorf Hörsaalzentrum (CP1-HSZ), Friedrich-Hirzebruch-Allee 5, 53115 Bonn, HÖRSAAL 2 (#7 on map)

List of speakers

Nikolai Grube & Harri Kettunen: Regionalism and Unity: Exploring Intracultural Variation and Commonality in the Maya Region

Juan Carlos Meléndez & Emiliano Ricardo Melgar: Lapidary Variations and Commonalities in Antiquity: An Overview of Ancient Maya Portable Greenish and Bluish Stone Mosaic Masks (CE 300 – 800)

Xin Lin 林忻 & Guo Peng Chen 陳國鵬: The Maya Commons

Catherine Nuckols: Within Arm’s Reach: Scribal Workshops and the Geographic Extent of Eighth-Century Maya Full-Figure Inscriptions

Lorraine A. Williams-Beck: Where an Area is More Than Land: Pre-Columbian Cultural Identity in the Chenes Region

Kathryn Reese-Taylor, Felix A. Kupprat, Armando Anaya Hernández, Debra S. Walker, F. C. Atasta Flores Esquivel, Joshuah Lockett-Harris, Matthew Longstaffe, Véronica A. Vázquez López, Valeria Montserrat Suasa Nuñez, Sophía Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Kyle Farquharson, Nicholas P. Dunning: Regional Identity as Reflected in the Settlement of the Bajo El Laberinto Area

Ivan Šprajc: Astronomical Orientations in the Lowland Maya Architecture: Common Trends, Regional Patterns, and Temporal Variations

Vera Tiesler: Regionalism Versus Unity: Exploring Head and Tooth Crafting Under the Backdrop of Mobility and Cultural Change in the Greater Maya Area

Caitlin Earley & Ulrich Wölfel: Global concepts, local expressions: Regional innovation in Chaculá ceramics and sculpture at the end of the Classic Period

Erin L. Sears: Making Ceramic Mayans within a Highland–Lowland Interaction Zone

Brent K.S. Woodfill: Dynamic Regional Relations and Local Identities at the Highland-Lowland Interface in Central Guatemala

Jarosław Źrałka, Juan Luis Velásquez, Vera Tiesler, Jakob Sedig, David Reich & Dorota Bojkowska: The same or different Maya? Diversity and homogeneity in the Ixil region during pre-Hispanic times

Victor Castillo: Kingdoms of the Highland Maya: A Reappraisal

Iyaxel Cojti Ren: Diversity and Integration in the Maya Highlands during the Late Postclassic Period

Mallory Matsumoto: Water and Baptism in K’iche’an Social Identity: From Postclassic to Colonial

Lolmay García & Brigittine French: Voces múltiples en las memorias históricas de los kaqchikeles y continuidades en procesos históricos de violencia en Guatemala

Kristell Pech Oxte: Formas de lo humano en la literatura maya contemporánea: análisis de obras de la península de Yucatán y Guatemala hacia un rastreo de lo similar y lo diverso en la naturaleza-maya

Nancy Alicia Martínez: Writing with Five Senses: Regional Variations in Contemporary Ts’íib

M. Charlotte Arnauld: Variation in Terminal Classic isthmic connections: Maya cities at the crossroad

Christa Schieber de Lavarreda: Tak’alik Ab’aj, Unidad Regional versus Diversidad local

Oswaldo Chinchilla: The Pacific Coast: Maya or Not?

Jan Szymański, Joachim Martecki & Gabriela Prejs: How Far Is Beyond? Social and Cultural Identities in the Preclassic Western El Salvador and Its Ties with the Maya Area

Philippe Nondédéo: Terminal Classic Occupation at Naachtun, Peten: An Example of Resilience and Sociopolitical Reorganization after Political Crisis

Filter Authors Tags