Taking Ancient Maya Vases off their Pedestals: A Case Study in Optical Microscopy and Ultra Violet Light Examination
Author(s): Cara Tremain
Ancient Maya polychrome vases, especially those that are decorated with elaborately painted scenes, fill the display cases and collection drawers of museums and galleries around the world. Unfortunately, the majority of these are unprovenienced and many also lack clear provenance. Furthermore, modern restorations and/ or falsifications further muddy our understanding and blur the line between authentic and inauthentic. In order to learn more about these ceramics, and help to restore some of their life histories, detailed visual inspection and tactile examination is necessary. Situating such research within conservation departments is wholly appropriate because it allows for the application of specialized, non-invasive, equipment such as optical microscopy and ultra violet light. This paper discusses research undertaken by the author while a Smithsonian Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the National Museum of the American Indian, where more than 25 ancient Maya ceramics were investigated at the Cultural Resources Centre conservation department.
Cite this Record
Taking Ancient Maya Vases off their Pedestals: A Case Study in Optical Microscopy and Ultra Violet Light Examination. Cara Tremain. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443968)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20696