The San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands, California has a display of ancient artifacts from Central America: the countries south of Mexico and north of South America. From an archaeological perspective, Central America is also called the Mesoamerican Frontier and the Southern Maya Periphery.
In her entry on Central America in The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, Carleen Sanchez writes:
“Central American societies—seen as lacking in highly stylized art, sculpture, and mystery—are often typified as the poor cousins of their more advanced northern and southern neighbors. Nevertheless, prehistoric societies in this region demonstrate significant variability in social organization, religion, and material culture, reflecting a commingling of varying degree of Mesoamerican, South American, and indigenous cultural developments.”
Due to the Mayan influence in this region, some displays use Mayan chronology: Preclassic (2000 BCE to 250 CE); Classic (250 CE to 900 CE); and Postclassic (900 CE to 1521 CE).
The pottery shown above dates to the Early Classic Period. Shown above is Preclassic pottery which is either Guanacasté or Nicoya. Shown above is a ceiba tree from the Postclassic Shown above are two Postclassic pieces. The figures shown above are from the Middle to Late Classic period. The figures shown above are from the Late Preclassic to Early Classic period. The figures shown above are from the Classic period. The stone artifacts shown above are from the Nicoya Peninsula. They are dated to 100 BCE.
Shown above is a Preclassic Talgua jar. The pieces shown above are from the Late Classic. Shown above is a bowl from the Classic period. Shown above is a bowl from the Late Preclassic or Early Classic period. Shown above is a bowl from the Late Preclassic or Classic period.