Elisabeth Wagner


Studied Anthropology of the Americas, Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Ethnology, and Classical Archaeology at the University of Marburg, the University of Cologne, and the Free University of Berlin. Graduate degree [Magister] in Anthropology of the Americas from the Free University of Berlin with thesis „Personal Names and Relational Glyphs in the Inscriptions of Chichen Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico“ (1996). Visiting Student at Trier University of Applied Sciences (Idar-Oberstein campus) in Gemstone and Jewelry Design. Freelance artist (stone sculpture and gemstone engraving). Doctoral candidate in Anthropology of the Americas at the University of Bonn (dissertation topic: Structure 10L-18, Copán, Honduras: Reconstruction and Iconographic Analysis of the Sculptural Program of a Classic Maya Funerary Temple). Editor in the department News and Research Notes for the scholarly journal Mexicon (ISSN 0720-5988). Research assistant with focus on epigraphy and iconography for the project „Text Database and Dictionary of Classic Mayan“ of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts since 2014.

Areas of Interest

Epigraphy and iconography for cultural-historical interpretation of pre-Hispanic sources on Maya culture; Maya writing and iconography as a sign system; captions and the iconic origins of Maya writing and other Mesoamerican writing systems, and their underlying cultural concepts; the iconographic program of architectural and building sculpture; the relationship between text and image; craft techniques and workshop organization in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica; techniques of stone extraction and processing, stone sculpture, and wood carving, and especially the processing of jade; architecture and building techniques; documentation and publication of written and pictorial sources on Classic Maya culture.

Publications (selection)

Wagner, Elisabeth

  • 2014 The Sculptured Frieze of Structure A-6-2nd, Xunantunich, Belize. In: Helmke, Christophe, and Frauke Sachse (eds.), A Celebration of the Work and Life of Pierre Robert Colas, pp. 97-146. Acta Mesoamericana 27. Verlag Anton Saurwein, München
  • 2013 A Possible Hieroglyphic Reference to Yax K’uk‘ Mo‘ at Caracol, Belize. Mexicon, XXXV (2): 31-32. (with Christian Prager)
  • 2010 A Reading for the Xultun Toponymic Title as B’aax (Tuun) Witz ‘Ajaw “Lord of the B’aax-(Stone) Hill”. Mexicon, XXXII (4): 74-77 (with Christian Prager, Sebastian Matteo and Guido Krempel)
  • 2006 White Earth Bundles – The Symbolic Sealing and Burial of Buildings among the Ancient Maya. In: Pierre R. Colas, Geneviève LeFort & Bodil Liljefors Persson (eds.), Jaws of the Underworld: Life, Death, and Rebirth among the Ancient Maya, pp. 57-70. Acta Mesoamericana 16. Verlag Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben
  • 2006 Ranked Spaces, Ranked Identities: A View from Late Classic Copan on Local Hierarchies, Community Boundaries, and the Question of an Emic Notion of the Maya Cultural Sphere. In: Frauke Sachse (ed.), Maya Ethnicity – The Construction of Ethnic Identity from the Preclassic to Modern Times, pp. 143-164. Acta Mesoamericana 19. Verlag Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben
  • 2005 Nudos, bultos, muertos y semillas: algunas observaciones en torno al título bolon tz’ak(bu) ajaw. Ketzalcalli 2005, 1: 28-47
  • 2000 An Alternative View on the Meaning and Function of Structure 10L-22a, Copán, Honduras. In: Pierre R. Colas, Kai Delvendahl, Marcus Kuhnert and Annette Schubart (eds.), The Sacred and the Profane: Architecture and Identity in the Maya Lowlands, pp. 25-50. Acta Mesoamericana 10. Verlag Anton Saurwein, Markt Schwaben
  • 1999 The Hieroglyphic Inscription of the „High Priest’s Grave“ at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico. Mexicon, XXI (3): 61-66
  • 1995 The Dates of the High Priest Grave („Osario“) Inscription, Chichen Itzá, Yucatán. Mexicon, XVII (1): 10-13. (with Daniel Graña-Behrens and Christian Prager)