Collaborative Research on Maya Ceramic Vessels at LACMA


This paper features the Maya Vase Research Project, a collaboration of LACMA’s Conservation Center and the Art and the Ancient Americas Program, which is studying Classic-period Maya ceramics in the LACMA collection. The project’s first phase was to perform digital technical imaging, comprised of photography in different regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, starting in the visible and expanding from X-rays to the Infrared, including ultraviolet visible induced fluorescence. Digital rollout photography also was done in the visible and infrared ranges, which in combination yield false-color infrared images. The research team examined the objects and technical images to determine avenues for further analysis, particularly concerning hand-building and decorative techniques. For example, conservation scientists use multiple analytical tools (e.g. XRF, FTIR, SEM, and cross-section) to examine pigments and stucco. Our research combines such study of materials and techniques with art historical, epigraphic, and archaeological analysis, considering, for instance, artists’ choices of materials and manufacturing techniques in relation to the objects and images they created. We also explore how this evidence may shed light on artistic process and collaboration, relations with other media such as mural painting, and artistic innovation and exchange between the Maya region and Teotihuacan.

Cite this Record

Collaborative Research on Maya Ceramic Vessels at LACMA. Megan ONeil, Charlotte Eng, John Hirx, Diana Magaloni, Yosi Pozeilov. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431428)


Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17580