Ancient and Colonial Yucatan 

Study Abroad Course

Dr. Antonio de la Cova

Office: Sycamore Hall 043
Hours: 11AM-Noon  M-W
Phone: 855-4745

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Provides a survey of ancient and colonial Yucatan in close conjunction with an intense study abroad week, visiting Maya archaeological sites and colonial buildings in three states of the Yucatan peninsula.

COST: Students will pay approximately $700 for round-trip airfare from Indianapolis, and triple hotel lodging with breakfast for one week, in addition to normal tuition for a four-hour credit course. The course will be limited to no more than ten students.

READINGS: You are expected to read the texts assigned to this course, and the articles and links on the Mayas which appear at mayas.htm The texts available in the bookstore are:

Jaime Suchlicki. Mexico: From Montezuma to the Fall of the PRI. (2001)
Michael D. Coe. The Maya. Thames and Hudson, 1999.

GRADING: Your grade will consist of writing an academic journal (40%), a research paper (40%), and giving a final presentation (20%) to our academic community.

RESEARCH PAPER: Choose your own topic related to this course. Eight to ten pages in body length, typed, double-spaced, with standard margins. Include at least two citations from the Latin American Studies web page. A late paper will lose ten points. Turn in a paper copy and one on disk or by e-mail.

ACADEMIC JOURNAL: Will comprise of your class lecture notes and daily annotations during the study abroad week in Mexico. It will analyze and evaluate your learning experiences in Yucatan, as they relate to the course lectures and the reading assignments. The journal will be periodically evaluated overseas for its academic content, and must be turned in as a final typed version.

CLASS SCHEDULE: Wednesday, March 6, 13, 20, 27, in preparation for intense study abroad week in Mexico. Then on Wednesday, April 24, in preparation for final presentation in May.

March 6 - Readings: The Maya, Chapts. 1-3; Mexico, pp. 1-52. Documentary: God, Gold and Glory.
March 13 - Readings: The Maya, Chapts. 4-5; Mexico, pp. 53-106. Documentary: Independence to the Alamo
March 20 - Readings: The Maya, Chapts. 6-8; Mexico, pp. 107-156. Documentary: Battle for North America.
March 27 - Readings: The Maya, Chapts. 9-10; Mexico, pp. 157-203. Documentary: Revolution and Rebirth.

Saturday, April 6  - Arrive in the afternoon at Cancun International Airport, in the state of Quintana Roo at 5:25 PM. Check into the hotel in Cancun and partake in the nightlife and culture.

Sunday, April 7 - Rise at 6:30 a.m. daily. After breakfast, drive to Coba Maya archaeological site, take a lengthy nature walk, climb the pyramid, and view ball courts and stelae. Interact with indigenous natives. Prof. de la Cova will describe Maya society and warfare. At noon, lunch at Tulum ruins, watch the Totonac Voladores Indian ceremony, tour the site, and swim at the Tulum beach. Return to Cancun for dinner and folkloric show.

Monday, April 8 - Travel in the van 200 miles to Merida, in the state of Yucatan. Visit the Maya archaeological sites at Ekbalam and Chichen Itza. Mexican cuisine lunch. Prof. de la Cova will lecture on the Toltec civilization while exploring the temples, plazas, observatory, skull platform, and sacred cenote in the area. Leave at 5:30 p.m. for Merida. Check into Holiday Inn, enjoy outdoor terrace dinner and Mariachi band.

Tuesday, April 9 - Visit the Spanish colonial buildings in downtown Merida Plaza, including the Casa de Montejo (1542), Cathedral (1556), and the Municipal Palace (1735). Prof. de la Cova will talk about Mexican economy and politics. After lunch, a visit to the Anthropology and History Museum and later the public market, for bargain shopping, social interaction, and Spanish-language skills.

Wednesday, April 10 - Visit the Maya ceremonial centers at Oxkintok, Uxmal and Kabah. While exploring the sites, Prof. de la Cova will describe Maya engineering and architecture. Lunch at Uxmal. Dinner at the Holiday Inn terrace will feature various musical groups.

Thursday, April 11 - Visit the Maya ruins at Edzna, in the state of Campeche. Prof. de la Cova will talk about indigenous agriculture and sports. Lunch in the city of Campeche, on the coast, and a visit to the colonial Fort San Miguel fortress and museum. Prof. de la Cova will lecture on Mexican independence.

Friday, April 12 - Drive to a 19th century Henequen Hacienda at Ruinas de Ake and Izamal, a city painted in yellow, with the tallest Maya structure in Yucatan. Lunch at El Toro Restaurant. The huge Franciscan convent was built with Maya stones on a pyramid base in 1553. Prof. de la Cova will discourse on cultural and religious syncretism.

Saturday, April 13 - Drive 200 miles back to Cancun for the return flight to Indianapolis at 6:45 PM.