This article focuses on two narratives that claim that a pre-Hispanic pyramid at Chichén Itzá is the biblical Tower of Babel. One “Mayan Babel” is represented in a series of stories told by rural Maya speakers in Yucatán, the other in an unpublished manuscript written by an Anglo-American trucker. Though both of these stories reflect traditions that were marginalized by academic archaeology, they reflect very different experiences with the ruins as either physical objects or textual creations. This in turn has important implications for the politics of contemporary attempts to turn archaeology into a terrain that is inclusive of diverse stakeholder perspectives.
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Research Article| October 01 2014
Fernando Armstrong-Fumero; A Tale of Two Mayan Babels: Vernacular Histories of the Maya and the Limits of Inclusion. Ethnohistory 1 October 2014; 61 (4): 761–784. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00141801-2717858
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