UMass Dartmouth alumnus, Acushnet native to discuss history-making archaeological discovery April 13

Dr. Bruce Bachand's uncovering of the oldest known pyramid tomb in Mesoamerica has generated international attention

Dr. Bruce Bachand's uncovering of the oldest known pyramid tomb 
in Mesoamerica has generated international attention 

UMass Dartmouth alumnus and Acushnet native Bruce Bachand, an archaelogist at Brigham young University, will discuss his history-making discovery of the oldest known pyramid tomb in Mesoamerica on April 13 in the university's Woodland Commons at 6:30 p.m. This will be Dr. Bachand's first U.S. presentation of his internationally celebrated discovery. Dr. Bachand, who graduated from UMass Dartmouth in 1993, was introduced to Mesoamerican archaeology in an undergraduate seminar in 1992. 

The event is open to the public and admission is free. 

Professor Bachand recently told the Heritage Key website: "The significance of this discovery is twofold: the location of this tomb on top of the pyramid and the unparralleled rarity, splendor and intricacy of the associated objects. It's the most elaborate tomb I know of for this time period that actually contained bodies...we can now learn something about the occupants from their bones." 

The title of Dr. Bachand's lecture will be be  Zoque: A Forgotten Culture's Contribution 
to the Origins of Mesoamerica. Dr. Bachand will explain how he and his team uncovered a tomb inside a pyramid belonging to a king or high priest who died about 2,700 years ago. Three other bodies -- a woman also of high social status, a baby and young male adult -- were also found in the tomb inside the pyramid in the Chiapa de Corzo archaeological site in Chiapas district in southern Mexico. 

The discovery is the earliest evidence of a Mesoamerican pyramid used as a tomb, rather than as a temple. The remains of the man, thought to be aged about 50 years and decorated in precious stones, were found with the body of a one-year old child lying on his chest. Nearby were the remains of a younger male adult about 20-years-old. He will discuss how this find is affecting Mesoamerican archaeology, Mexico's view of its past, and perhaps even the lives of modern-day Zoque people who continue to reside in the states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Oaxaca. 

Light refreshments will be served. A shuttle bus will be available from Parking Lot 7. The lecture is sponsored by the Claire T. Carney Library Associates and the UMass Dartmouth Sociology, Anthropology and Crime & Justice Studies Department. 

To learn more about Dr. Bachand's discovery, visit 

For additional information, please contact: 
Paige Gibbs - or 508-999-8886 
Matthew Sylvain - or 508-999-8682 

News and Public Information