David Stuart

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College of Fine Arts


Dr. David Stuart is the Linda and David Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing/Chair in the Department of Art and Art History.

Dr. Stuart’s interests in the traditional cultures of Mesoamerica are wide-ranging, but his primary research focuses are the archaeology and epigraphy of ancient Maya civilization.

Dr. Stuart has conducted field research at numerous archaeological sites in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and remains actively engaged in several large-scale excavation projects in the Maya area. His early work on the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphs led to a MacArthur Fellowship in 1984.  

Dr. Stuart’s publications include “Ten Phonetic Syllables” (1987), which laid much of the groundwork for the now accepted methodology of decipherment. In 2003 he published a volume in the ongoing series, “Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions,” devoted to drawings and photographs of sculpture from Piedras Negras, Guatemala.

Dr. Stuart is also the director of the Mesoamerica Center (formerly CHAAAC) at the university, which fosters multidisciplinary studies and produces publications on ancient American art and culture.