Archaeology, National Identity and the Coup in Honduras: the Role of the Ancient Maya

Dario Euraque

November 3, 2009

Event Description

On June 28th, the duly elected President of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, was ousted in a coup denounced around the world. A little known story surrounding the coup concerns the illegal ouster of the director of Honduras’ Institute of Anthropology and History, the state agency charged with protecting, restoring, researching and promoting the country´s cultural heritage, including its ancient archaeological past. This aspect of Honduras´ national identity is often associated with the tourism drawn to the country’s world-famous ancient Mayan city in Copan, near the Honduras-Guatemala border.  This talk addresses the eerie question: what role did the Ancient Maya play in the aftermath of the coup in Honduras?


Dario Euraque received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1990, and joined the faculty at Trinity College the same year. In June 2006, he began a term of service as Director of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, on leave of absence from Trinity, intending to fulfill the term coincident with the presidential term of José Manuel Zelaya Rosales, scheduled to end in January 2010, and return to Trinity thereafter. In the aftermath of the coup d'etat in Honduras on June 28, 2009, Dr. Euraque, a specialist in the modern history of Honduras, became a participant in as well as witness to historical events that he will discuss in his talk.