Central American Artifacts (Photo Diary)

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).

Costa Rica

 photo P1120322_zpstdiiac3m.jpg The pottery shown above dates to the Early Classic Period.  photo P1120330_zps8uosieo3.jpg Shown above is Preclassic pottery which is either Guanacasté or Nicoya.  photo P1120341_zpskvcbbf5b.jpg Shown above is a ceiba tree from the Postclassic  photo P1120343_zpspocgsbss.jpg Shown above are two Postclassic pieces.  photo P1120396_zpszqjtyf0h.jpg The figures shown above are from the Middle to Late Classic period.  photo P1120400b_zpsjxpatgju.jpg The figures shown above are from the Late Preclassic to Early Classic period.  photo P1120400c_zpsegskxuon.jpg The figures shown above are from the Classic period.  photo P1120403_zps2tp0au4n.jpg The stone artifacts shown above are from the Nicoya Peninsula. They are dated to 100 BCE.


 photo P1120329_zpswv9puz9q.jpg Shown above is a Preclassic Talgua jar.  photo P1120345_zpsmwuc83h5.jpg The pieces shown above are from the Late Classic.  photo P1120354a_zpsdl1s9hq7.jpg Shown above is a bowl from the Classic period.  photo P1120355b_zpssjhvieyk.jpg Shown above is a bowl from the Late Preclassic or Early Classic period.  photo P1120358_zpse0schnnf.jpg Shown above is a bowl from the Late Preclassic or Classic period.

El Salvador

 photo P1120344a_zps2die4lpz.jpg The piece shown above is Early Postclassic.  photo P1120352_zpsuph0i5wr.jpg The plate shown above is from the Classic period.


 photo P1120344b_zps2ynpumdz.jpg The frog figurine shown above is Maya from the Late Postclassic.  photo P1120347_zpsezmuizfj.jpg Shown above is a Late Classic container from the Petén region.  photo P1120357_zpsaarilrr2.jpg Shown above are Early Classic bowls from the Petén region. San Bernardino County Museum

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