Professor Ivan Šprajc, PhD

One of the Conference highlights will be the keynote lecture of professor Ivan Šprajc (PhD).

More details coming soon!

Short Biography:

Ivan Šprajc graduated in archaeology and ethnology at the University of Ljubljana (1982), obtained his M.A. degree in history and ethnohistory at the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia in Mexico (1989), and his Ph.D. in anthropology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (1997). From 1992 to 2001 he worked as a researcher at the Mexican Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (INAH), being also a member of the prestigious Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (1995-2001). Currently he is head of the Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies, of the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Šprajc's interests have been focused on Mesoamerican archaeology and archaeoastronomy. Since 1996 he has directed eleven field seasons of archaeological reconnaissance in the hardly accessible and archaeologically unexplored central lowlands of the Yucatán peninsula. The information collected on some 80 formerly unknown archaeological sites, including several major urban centers with remains of monumental architecture, sculpture and hieroglyphic inscriptions, is of foremost importance for the understanding of settlement patterns, territorial organization and political history of the Maya in the Preclassic and Classic periods (c. 500 B.C. – A.D. 900).

In the field of archaeoastronomy, Šprajc has accomplished extensive research on the concepts about the planet Venus in the Mesoamerican world view, particularly on its rain, maize and fertility symbolism and its observational bases. Another original contribution has been his research of the astronomical significance of architectural orientations. Having measured and analyzed hundreds of alignments in various Mesoamerican regions, he has offered novel interpretations of this aspect of architectural and urban planning.

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Selected publications

Šprajc, I., 2018. Astronomy, architecture, and landscape in Prehispanic Mesoamerica. Journal of Archaeological Research 26 (2): 197–251.

Šprajc, I., 2016. Lunar alignments in Mesoamerican architecture. Anthropological Notebooks 22 (3): 61–85.

Šprajc, I., 2016. LiDAR, GIS und Orthofotografie: Methoden der Fernerkundung in der Maya-Archäologie. In: Maya: Das Rätsel der Königsstädte, München: Historisches Museum der Pfalz Speyer - Hirmer Verlag, pp. 52–53.

González-García, A. César - I. Šprajc, 2016. Astronomical significance of architectural orientations in the Maya Lowlands: A statistical approach. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9: 191–202.

Sánchez Nava, Pedro Francisco – I. Šprajc, 2015. Orientaciones astronómicas en la arquitectura maya de las tierras bajas. Colección Arqueología, Serie Logos, México: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.

Šprajc, I., ed., 2015. Exploraciones arqueológicas en Chactún, Campeche, México. Prostor, kraj, čas 7, Ljubljana: Založba ZRC. (

Šprajc, I., 2015. Astronomical correlates of architecture and landscape in Mesoamerica. In: Clive L. N. Ruggles, ed., Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, New York: Springer, pp. 715–728.

Šprajc, I., 2015. Alignments upon Venus (and other planets) - identification and analysis. In: Clive L. N. Ruggles, ed., Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy, New York: Springer, pp. 507–516.

Šprajc, I., ed., 2008, Reconocimiento arqueológico en el sureste del estado de Campeche, México: 1996-2005, BAR International Series 1742 (Paris Monographs in American Archaeology 19), Oxford: Archaeopress.

Šprajc, I., 2001. Orientaciones astronómicas en la arquitectura prehispánica del centro de México. Colección Científica 427, México: Instituto Nacional de Antropologí­a e Historia.

Šprajc, I., 1996. La estrella de Quetzalcóatl: El planeta Venus en Mesoamérica. México: Editorial Diana.