Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Nikolai Grube

Nikolai Grube.jpg
© Barbara Frommann

Academic profile

Nikolai Grube focuses on the structure of Mesoamerican societies, pre-Columbian Maya societies in particular. The strongly stratified pre-Hispanic societies of Mesoamerica were characterized by asymmetrical dependencies between different social groups. The power and wealth of the aristocracy were based on the control of land ownership, labor and tribute throughout Mesoamerica.

8 additional published anthologies, 110 papers and numerous reviews. Approx. 150 national and international lectures and presentations, 25 completed, 18 ongoing doctorates, 55 Magister, 15 Master and 13 Bachelor theses as supervisor/ first reviewer.

Habilitation and Venia legendi in Ethnology and Ancient American Studies

Ph.D. in Ancient American Studies, Ethnology and Ancient Oriental Studies, University of Hamburg, Germany

M.A. in Ancient American Studies, Ethnology, Indology, University of Hamburg, Germany

since 2004
Professor for the Anthropology of the Americas and Cultural Anthropology, University of Bonn, Germany

Director of the "Center for the History of Ancient American Art and Civilization", University of Texas, Austin, USA

Professor of the "Linda and David Schele Chair on the Art and Writing of Mesoamerica"

Lecturer, Institute of Ethnology, University of Bonn, Germany

Research Associate and Consultant of the Special Exhibition "The World of the Maya" at the Roemer and Pelizaeus Museum, Hildesheim, Germany

Honorary doctorate of the Instituto Politénico Nacional, Mexico

"Benedictus Polonius" award of the University of Warsaw, Poland

Honorary Citizen of Guatemala City, Guatemala

Heisenberg-Stipendiat der DFG

Scholarship of the German Research Foundation for Postdoctoral Qualification (Habilitation)

since 2010
Board member of the BMBF competence network ("Area Studies" in Germany) "Ethnicity, Citizenship and Belonging"

since 2007
Member of the International Center for Philosophy NRW, Bonn, Germany


Deputy Spokesperson of the DFG Research Training Group (GRK 1878) "Archaeology of Premodern Economies"

  • Franco-German University (DFH)
  • North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences (Academy Project) (2014–2027)
  • BMBF [Ministry for Science and Education] (collaborative project) (2010–2014)
  • DFG [German Science Foundation] (4 funded projects) (since 2004)

Total sum of approximately € 9 million.

  • Scientific advisor for the exhibitions "The Maya" (Hildesheim 1992, Vienna 1993, Mannheim 1993, Cologne 1994), "The Maya: Divine Kings of the Rain Forest" (Rosenheim 2002, Hildesheim 2003), "The Secret of the Royal Cities" (Assen 2016, Speyer 2016, Alicante 2017)
  • Co-editor of "The Early Americas" series: History and Culture (since 2012)
  • Co-editor of the journal "Estudios de Cultura Maya" (since 2008)
  • Co-editor of the "Acta Mesoamericana" series (since 1996)
  • Co-editor of the magazine "Mexicon: Journal of Mesoamerican Studies" (since 1985)
  • 2016. "Löcher in der Stein-Zeit. Höhlen als zeitlose Gegenwelten bei den Klassischen Maya." In Höhlen, Kultplätze, Sakrale Kunst. Kunst der Urgeschichte im Spiegel sprachdokumentierter Religionen, edited by Gerhard Bosinski and Harald Strohm, 109–141. Boston: Brill.
  • 2014. With Kai Delvendahl. "The Monuments of the 8 Ajaw House. New Evidence on the Calakmul-Uxul Relationship." In A Celebration of the Life and Work of Pierre Robert Colas, edited by Christopher Helmke and Frauke Sachse, 75–95. Munich: Anton Sauerwein.
  • 2012. Der Dresdner Maya-Kalender. Der vollständige Kodex. Freiburg im Breigau: Herder.
  • 2010. "Das Gottkönigtum bei den Klassischen Maya." In Herrscherkult und Heilserwartung, edited by Jan Assmann and Harald Strohm, 19–47. Munich: Wilhelm Fink.
  • 2009. "Die Kulturen des Alten Amerika." In WBG Weltgeschichte. Eine globale Geschichte von den Anfängen bis ins 21. Jahrhundert. Band 1: Vom Beginn bis 1200 v. Chr., edited by Albrecht Jockenhövel, 412–441. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft
  • 2008. With Simon Martin. Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens. Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya. London: Thames & Hudson.
  • 2007. "Reading Between the Lines. Hieroglyphic Texts from Chichén Itzá and its Neighbors." In Twin Tollans. Chíchén Itzá, Tula, and the Epiclassic to Early Postclassic Mesoamerican World, edited by Cynthia Kristan-Graham and Jeff K. Kowalski, 207–251. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
  • 2006. With Maria Gaida. Die Maya. Schrift und Kunst. Cologne: DuMont.
  • 2004. "Akan – The God of Drinking, Disease and Death." In Continuity and Change. Maya Religious Practices in Temporal Perspective. 5th European Maya Conference, University of Bonn, December 2000, edited by Daniel Graña-Behrens et al., 59–76. Munich: Anton Sauerwein.
  • 1990. Die Entwicklung der Mayaschrift. Grundlagen zur Erforschung des Wandels der Mayaschrift von der Protoklassik bis zur spanischen Eroberung. Acta Mesoamericana 3. Berlin: Von Flemming.
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