Campus: CSU Long Beach -- June 05, 2002
Research by Cal State L.A.'s Anthropology Team is Featured
on the Cover of Science News Magazine
Cal State L.A. faculty members-cave archaeologist James Brady and art
historian Manuel Aguilar-along with undergraduate Sergio Garza and graduate
student Shankari Patel, made the front page of Science News (May 18,
2002, vol. 161, no. 20). Their research of Mayan caves was the source
of a cover story by Bruce Bower, entitled "Openings to the Underworld:
The ancient Maya may have dug caves with spiritual abandon."
The article makes reference to the following research presentations
made by Cal State L.A.'s anthropology team at the 67th Annual Meeting
of the Society for American Archaeology: "Origin caves and cosmology:
A man-made Chicomoztoc complex at Acatzingo Viejo," "The implications
of artificial caves for our understanding of cave function," "Caves
and pilgrimage on Cozumal Island," and "Balam Na Cave 4: Its
implications for understanding preclassic cave mortuary practice."
Professor Brady heads the group of researchers who are probing the ancient
Maya's sacred landscape. Through their fieldwork, Brady has come to
realize that this group's belief system invested "immense supernatural
power in caves and the mountains that surround them."
According to Science News, "In their view, a supernatural terrain
permeated pre-Columbian religious life from central Mexico through much
of Central America and still inspires faith in many native groups
occupy the focal point of this archaeological project. In initial research,
Brady discovered that some of the largest Maya outposts of the Classic
period, which lasted from A.D. 200 to A.D. 900, were strategically oriented
on and around natural and humanmade caves."
Published since 1922, Science News, an award-winning weekly newsmagazine,
presents significant research in all science fields for general readers
Contact: Margie Yu, Public Affairs Specialist (323) 343-3047.