Professor Karl Taube

Karl Taube received his PhD in Anthropology from Yale University and is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. He has done extensive archaeological and linguistic fieldwork in the Yucatán and has participated on archaeological projects in Chiapas, Mexico, coastal Ecuador, highland Peru, Copan, Honduras, and in the Motagua Valley of Guatemala. He is currently serving as the Project Iconographer for the San Bartolo Project in the Petén of Guatemala. Professor Taube has broad interests in the archaeology and ethnology of Mesoamerica and the American Southwest, including the development of agricultural symbolism in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica and the American Southwest, and the relation of Teotihuacan to the Classic Maya. Much of his recent research and publications center upon the writing and religious systems of ancient Mesoamerica. Among his publications are The Major Gods of Ancient YucatanAztec and Maya Myths, and Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks.  He has published extensively on the Olmec, including studies concerning the Olmec gods of rain and maize and the symbolism of jade and well as sourcing “Olmec blue” jadeite in Guatemala.

Tours Led by Karl Taube

  • Hidden Mexico: El Tajin to Cantona to GuanajuatoHidden Mexico: El Tajin to Cantona to Guanajuato
    July 16 - 30, 2021 | Karl Taube Travel from the Gulf Coast lowlands to Mexico’s Central Plateau, and along the way see nine UNESCO World Heritage sites - Tlacotlalpan, El Tajin, Sanctuary of Atotonilco, the Padre Tembleque Aqueduct, El Camino Real Tierra Adentro, and the historic colonial cities of Puebla, Querétaro, San Miguel de Allende, and Mexico City. Added highlights are the rarely visited archaeological sites of the Bajía region.
  • Mexico Tour: In the Path of the Ancient OlmecMexico Tour: In the Path of the Ancient Olmec
    July 7 - 16, 2021 & March 19 - 28, 2022 | Karl Taube Much of the imagery still present in modern Maya iconography had its genesis in Olmec art. Travel from Villahermosa to Chalcatzingo to visit the birthplaces of that art, where the colossal heads and finely carved sculptures emblematic of the Olmec style were found. Also enjoy the spectacular Olmec artifacts on display in the Anthropology Museums of Villahermosa, Xalapa and Mexico City!