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Araceli Rojas

Araceli Rojas Martínez Gracida studied Anthropology and Archaeology in Mexico. In 2007, she won a position to conduct a PhD research hosted by the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

For that project she documented the social context and uses, rituals and worldview symbolisms associated with a 260 day-calendar handled by the Mixe people of Oaxaca. This work is one of the very few existing ethnographies which pursued integration with the local community and learning of the indigenous language. Her PhD thesis was awarded first prize in a national competition and was published in 2014.

From 2011 to 2013 she performed as Lecturer in the faculty of Archaeology, at Leiden University, and from 2013 onwards as Assistant Professor. In 2017, she was a Visiting Fellow at the International Research Consortium “Fate, Freedom and Prognostication. Strategies for Coping with the Future in East Asia and Europe” at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany. In this same year, she won a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant (IF), Horizon 2020, for her project “Oracles of the Other World: Using Ethnography to Study Depictions of Human Remains in Mexican Precolonial Codices”. This project was carried out at the Institute of Iberian and Ibero-American Studies, faculty of Modern Languages, University of Warsaw.


List of publications:

Peer-reviewed articles

  • 2020 Un calendario de 260 días entre los ayöök de Oaxaca. Antropología. Revista Interdisciplinaria del INAH 6. INAH, México.
  • 2019 with Hernández Sánchez, G., Writing and Ritual: the transformation to Mixteca-Puebla ceramics of Cholula. Americae European Journal of Americanist Archaeology, 4: 47-70. ISSN: 2497-1510. Online: http://www.
  • 2017 “El agua en el cerro del Rayo: Nueva evidencia sobre la presencia y manejo del agua en Monte Albán” Revista Española de Antropología Americana, 47: 15-42. DOI 10.5209/REAA.61968
  • 2016 “Casting Maize Seeds in an Ayöök Community: An Approach to the Study of Divination in Mesoamerica” Ancient Mesoamerica, 27(2):461-478. DOI: 10-1017/S0956536116000304.
  • 2016 “Reading Maize: A narrative and psychological approach to the study of divination in Mesoamerica” Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies, 15(43): 224-246. ISSN: 1583-0039.
  • 2013 “Time and Wisdom: A Sacred Calendar Among the Ayöök People of Oaxaca” Indiana 30: 219-245. ISSN: 03418642.


  • 2014 El tiempo y la sabiduría: un calendario sagrado entre los ayöök de Oaxaca. Oaxaca: CONACULTA, Gobierno del Estado de Oaxaca, Fundación Harp Helú. ISBN: 978-607-7713-89-0.

Book chapters (peer-reviewed)

  • 2020 with Beccan Davila, N., “Studying Ancient Water Management in Monte Albán, Mexico, in order to Solve Water Issues, Improve Urban Living, and Protect Heritage in the Present” in Hein, C. (ed.) Adaptive Strategies for Water Heritage, Past, Present and Future. Springer.
  • 2019 “Codex Yoalli Ehecatl as a Book to Interpret Dreams,” in Jansen, M., Llado-Buisán, V., and Snijders, L. (eds.) Mesoamerican Codices, New Scientific Approaches and Interpretations. Leiden: Brill.
  • 2017 “The Story Behind the Lienzo: The life and work of Manuel Martínez Gracida” in König, V. (ed.) On the Mount of Intertwined Serpents: The Pictorial History of Power, Rule and Land on Lienzo Seler II. Petersberg: Imhof Verlag: 63–71. ISBN 978-3-7319-0486-1.
  • 2017 “Wintsë’ëkë: el calendario sagrado y los actos de respeto a la Tierra entre los ayöök de Oaxaca, México,” in Dapuez, A. and Tola, F. (eds.) El arte de pedir: antropología de dueños y suplicantes. Córdoba: Universidad Nacional de Villa María, Eduvim: 59–86. ISBN 978-987-699-346-3. 978-987-699-345-6.

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