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PhD Defence

The Mesoamerican codex re-entangled

Tuesday 25 October 2016
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden

A biography of the Mesoamerican codices

This thesis is concerned with the study of the less than twenty remaining precolonial Mesoamerican codices. By considering these rare and fragile pictographic and hieroglyphic books from the cultural biography perspective, many different aspects of these books can be studied. The biography of these books begins with their production and continues during their life as sacred objects within Mesoamerican cultures. From the perspective of the late medieval European conquerors, these books had a very different meaning, which caused the destruction or physical alteration of these sacred objects.

The few codices still in existence were almost forgotten in the European institutes that kept them in their collections. Only after these documents had been multiplied through the production of facsimiles, could they be reinterpreted by researchers and regain some of their meaning. The biographies of these books co ntinue t o grow as they get increasingly entangled with modern technology. A clear example of this is seen in the study of the palimpsest of the codex Añute or codex Selden, which is included in this work.


  • Prof. M.E.R.G. Jansen


PhD defences are free; you do not have to register.

PhD dissertations

PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally after the defence through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

Press contact

Inès van Arkel, Scientific Communications Adviser, Leiden University
+31 71 527 3282

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