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Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at 06:30

Ana García Barrios, featured guest of the Metropolitan Museum

Photo: Hugo Ikehara Photo: Hugo Ikehara Photo: Hugo Ikehara

The professor of the area of ​​American History at the Rey Juan Carlos University, an expert in Mayan culture, has provided the New York museum with her knowledge of some of the most relevant archaeological pieces and has participated in advising and inaugurating the exhibition Lives of the Gods. Divinity in mayan art.

Irene Vega

Investigations into issues related to the Mayan rain god Chaahk have led the Metropolitan Museum of New York to focus on Professor Ana García Barrios. At first, she has participated in conversations about the renovation of the Rockefeller room dedicated to Mesoamerican cultures where the Mayan pieces are. Due to her deep knowledge of Mayan religion and more specifically of the god Chaahk, the URJC professor has also been invited to be part of the sound and visual archive that the museum is creating with experts on some masterpieces. In this case, a sculpture of the rain god more than two meters high, unique in its style and category.

In the Rockefeller room there are some outstanding vessels delicately painted with scenes where one of the main protagonists is Chaahk, whose descriptions on the museum's website already mentioned the works of Professor García Barrios.

In addition, this November, the Metropolitan Museum has inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to Mayan art: Lives Lives of the Gods. Divinity in maya art of the Gods. Divinity in maya art.

Professional background: between Central America and Spain

For her research work, Professor Ana García Barrios has been traveling to Mexico and Guatemala for more than 30 years. As a student of American Anthropology at the Complutense University, she had the opportunity to go excavating with the Archaeological Mission of Spain in the pre-Hispanic Mayan city of Oxkintok, in Yucatán. There she began her career as an archaeologist and iconographer, an experience that has allowed her to work on relevant archaeological projects such as those carried out in the cities of Calakmul and Palenque.

In 2008, he defended his doctoral thesis, focused on aspects of the god Chaahk from an epigraphic and iconographic perspective, qualified with outstanding Cum Laude. “It was the first time that a monograph of a god from the Classic period (250-900 AD) had been produced”, highlights the researcher, who adds that “the work was not easy and opened a new path in the study of Mayan religion”. .

Since that year, Ana García Barrios has been part of the faculty of the Rey Juan Carlos University and is currently a tenured professor in the area of ​​American History. Her teaching focuses on indigenous and pre-Columbian America in the History Degree, as well as various subjects in the Tourism Degree. “I have combined her teaching with seminars on Mayan writing and art, as well as congresses related to tourism,” she says. He is also part of the editorial committee of international journals and of different high-performance research groups of both the URJC and the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), as well as teaching innovation projects of the URJC, the UCM and the Autonomous University from Yucatan. Likewise, she has three six-year terms, two for research and one for transfer for participating in the cataloging of museum pieces and as curator of exhibitions specialized in Mayan culture.

In her professional career, Professor García Barrios has generated more than forty scientific publications, including book chapters, articles and books, and has organized and attended both national and international conferences.


Professor Ana García Barrios next to the sculpture of Chaahk, in the Metropolitan Museum of New York | Photo: Hugo Ikehara