Christian Prager


Studied Anthropology of the Americas, Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, and Classical Archaeology at the University of Bonn. Doctoral dissertation in the subject area „Ethnology with particular focus on Anthropology of the Americas“ about Classic Maya conceptions of their gods (2013). Research assistant with and project coordinator of „Text Database and Dictionary of Classic Mayan“ of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts since 2014. Founding member of Wayeb, the European Association of Mayanists, and editor of the scholarly journal Mexicon. Project epigrapher with the Pusilha Archaeological Project under the direction of Geoffrey Braswell from 2000 to 2010, and co-organizer of multiple conferences about Maya writing and culture. Collaborated on project with Frauke Sachse and John Weeks from 2004 to 2009, resulting in publication of three colonial Maya calendrical manuscripts from the Guatemalan Highlands (2009).

Areas of Interest

Cognitive study of religion (how cognitive mechanisms influence the innovation and transmission of religion); cultural transmission (how people acquire cultural knowledge, store it in their memory, and communicate it); the ethnology of religion, with focus on phenomenology and the history of Mesoamerican religion, particularly pre-Hispanic and colonial Maya culture; Classic Maya time mechanics and conceptions of time; Maya writing and iconography as a system and its function as a medium of cultural memory; documentation and publication of written and pictorial sources on Classic Maya culture; conquest-era and colonial history of the American continent, especially Yucatan; the history of the discipline and the biographies of its experts; methods and techniques of digital humanities

Publications (selection)

Prager, Christian

  • 2011 Connecting Cultural Stability and Experience of Landscape: A Cognitive Approach in the Study of Tree Symbolism with Special Reference to Mesoamerica and Prehispanic Maya Culture, in „Past Minds: Studies in Cognitive Historiography“, edited by Luther Martin and Jesper Sörensen. Equinox Press, London
  • 2010 Die kognitionswissenschaftliche Erforschung von Religion. In: Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 135: 219-232
  • 2010 A Reading for the Xultun Toponymic Title as B’aax (Tuun) Witz ‚Ajaw „Lord of the B’aax-(Stone) Hill“. Mexicon 32(4):74-77 (with Elisabeth Wagner, Sebastian Matteo and Guido Krempel)
  • 2009 Maya Daykeeping: Three Calendars from Highland Guatemala. University of Colorado Press. 221 pages. Boulder: University Press of Colorado [Authors: Frauke Sachse, John M. Weeks and Christian Prager]
  • 2009 Notes on the Correlation of Maya and Gregorian Calendars. In: „Maya Daykeeping: Three Calendars from Highland Guatemala“, F. Sachse, J. Week & C. Prager, pp. 176-184. Boulder: University Press of Colorado
  • 2005 B’olon Yokte‘ K’uh: Maya Conceptions of War, Conflict, and the Underworld. In: Peter Eeckhout and Geneviève Le Fort (eds.), Wars and Conflicts in Prehispanic Mesoamerica and the Andes: Selected Proceedings of the Conference organized by the Société des Américanistes de Belgique with the Collaboration of Wayeb (European Association of Mayanists), Brussels: 16-17 November 2002; pp. 28-36. Oxford: John and Erica Hedges. (BAR International Series) (with M. Eberl)
  • 2004 A Classic Maya Ceramic Vessel From the Calakmul Region in the Museum zu Allerheiligen, Schaffhausen, Switzerland. Human Mosaic 35: 31-40
  • 2004 The Rise of Secondary States in the South Eastern Periphery of the Maya World: A Report on Recent Archaeological and Epigraphic Research at Pusilha, Belize. Ancient Mesoamerica 15:219-233.
  • 2002 Enanismo y gibosidad: las personas afectadas y su identidad en la sociedad maya del tiempo prehispánico. In: Vera Tiesler (ed.), La organización social entre los mayas prehispánicos, coloniales y modernos. Memoria de la Tercera Mesa Redonda de Palenque; pp. 35-68. México, D.F.: INAH, UADY