Drums in the Deep: Archaeological Context and Contemporary Acoustics of Ceramic Drums Recovered from Late Classic El Perú-Waka’, Guatemala
Author(s): Keith Eppich
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2021: General Sessions" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Ceramic drums appear in Classic Maya art, being carried in the hand or nestled between the legs of Native American musicians. However, they have received scant, if quite detailed, attention in the scholarly literature. This presentation seeks to expand our knowledge of these ancient musician instruments using a number of complete and partial drums recovered from the ruined city of El Perú-Waka’. Located in the northwest of Guatemala, El Perú-Waka’ existed for the 13 centuries of Classic Maya civilizations with an exceptional and vibrant potting tradition. One of the products of this potting tradition were cylindric ceramic drums. Archaeologically, such vessels seem associated with large offerings or feasting contexts, sharing context with ocarinas and polychrome serving ware. This presentation examines the form, construction, and surface treatment of such vessels together with their contextual association. Furthermore, it examines the potential sounds that ancient musicians would have produced on such vessels, especially as ceramic drums produce different notes that wooden ones. Lastly, the paper places the drums in their sociocultural context within the past, attempting a partial explanation for their form, function, usage, archaeological context, and acoustics.
Cite this Record
Drums in the Deep: Archaeological Context and Contemporary Acoustics of Ceramic Drums Recovered from Late Classic El Perú-Waka’, Guatemala. Keith Eppich. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 467403)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Ceramic Analysis • Maya: Classic • Music • Social and Political Organization
Mesoamerica: Maya lowlands
min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 32022