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Re-discovering the Copan Sub-Stelae Caches: A Collection Stewardship and Re-Identification Project

Author(s): Katherine Brunson ; Alexis Hartford ; Barbara Fash

Year: 2015

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Beginning in 2013, the authors have engaged in an archaeological collection stewardship project at the ceramic artifact repository in the Centro Regional de Investigaciones Arqueológicas at Copan, Honduras. Responding to a request from the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia to address a serious concern that the contextual information had become separated from hundreds of objects, we initiated a re-identification process to ensure the long-term care, access, and use of the ceramic collections. Focusing first on the famous Copan sub-stelae and altar caches, the authors established a protocol that can be carried forward to numerous other objects from excavated contexts. As a result of the work, the objects and their ritual context are being re-analyzed seventy-five years after their discovery in light of new technological breakthroughs. The work underscores the importance of collection stewardship coupled with archaeological training both for archaeologists and local institute managers.

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Re-discovering the Copan Sub-Stelae Caches: A Collection Stewardship and Re-Identification Project. Alexis Hartford, Katherine Brunson, Barbara Fash. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396913)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America