August 10, 2021

EP. 225 — Who Was Keeping It Real In Ancient Mesoamerica? with James Doyle

Join Jonathan and archaeologist James Doyle as they explore early Mesoamerican arts, cultures, and communities on this week’s Getting Curious. Listen in to learn about the numeral and writing systems that connected Mesoamerican societies thousands of years ago, the significance of commodities like jade and marine shell, and the ways in which Mesoamerican traditions continue today.

James Doyle is an assistant curator in the Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. James is on Twitter @JamesDoyleMet and on Instagram @jamesdoylenyc.

Want to learn more? Check out some of James’ writing for the Met, including:

Ancient Maya Sculpture

Ancient Maya Painted Ceramics

Olmec Art

Find out what today’s guest and former guests are up to by following us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

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Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.


Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness & James Doyle JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness and every week I sit down for a 40 minute conversation with a brilliant expert to learn all about something that makes me curious. On today’s episode, I’m joined by James Doyle, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I ask him: Who was keeping it real in Mesoamerica? Welcome to Getting Curious, this is Jonathan Van Ness. This is such an exciting episode. Our guest is incredible. The subject is amazing. Nothing new there on either front. Welcome James Doyle, who is an archeologist specializing in ancient Mayan art and architecture. He is currently the assistant curator for Art of the Ancient Americas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. James, welcome. JAMES DOYLE [00:00:42] Thank you so much, Jonathan, for having me. JVN [00:00:44] Yes. Ok, so, you know, I don’t want you to sprain your neck, but you might when I ask my first few questions, bec

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