New Advances in the Conservation of Monuments at Piedras Negras, Guatemala


In 2016, a pilot project began for the conservation of sculpted monuments including stelae, altars, and panels at the site of Piedras Negras, Guatemala. Since then, a team in conjunction with the international Proyecto Paisaje Piedras Negras-Yaxchilan has constructed new platforms with roofs to house the monuments, protecting them from further weathering, moisture, and biological agents. The results of the implementation of the innovative system—platforms of powdered lime and local stones, wooden supports made from local pucte trees, and semi-translucent polycarbonate roofs—are currently being monitored with respect to relative humidity and temperature. In 2017, notable reductions in microorganism and plant growth were observed.

Excavations and three-dimensional photogrammetric modeling are augmenting the data available for some well-known monuments, which will contribute to a new database of in situ and removed monuments and fragments in Guatemalan and international museum collections. Furthermore, archival research on Piedras Negras Stela 5, on loan from Guatemala to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has revealed new information about the illicit removal of monuments from the site and their subsequent appearance on the art market in the United States and Europe.

Cite this Record

New Advances in the Conservation of Monuments at Piedras Negras, Guatemala. James Doyle, Griselda Pérez Robles, Edwin Pérez Robles. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444304)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20966