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Pottery Study in the Maya Area 55

  • Mary Butler (a1)
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The Maya Area is of outstanding archaeological importance because its early inhabitants achieved the highest civilization in pre-Columbian America. The early Maya and Mexicans surpassed other highly developed pre-Columbian American cultures because they possessed a form of writing and an intricate calendrical system. While the question of priority and derivation of culture in the Mexican-Maya area is still a moot one, there is no doubt that the Maya developed writing, representational art, and the sciences of mathematics and astronomy to a degree of excellence far beyond that attained by the Mexicans.

The Maya lived, before the Conquest as today, in Yucatan and the country south of it. We have little evidence concerning the archaic or earliest peoples of this region. We know that in the southern part there was such a cultural substratum, identified by modelled figurines and distinctive pottery.

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55

This paper is not a comprehensive study of pottery work in the Maya area. It is a discussion of the importance of such work, and a consideration of some aspects of the methods used. It represents a section of the unpublished Introduction to the writer's report on Piedras Negras Pottery (Piedras Negras Preliminary Papers, No. 4, University Museum, Phila., 1935), which made the latter acceptable to the Anthropology Department of the University of Pennsylvania as a doctoral dissertation.

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55 This paper is not a comprehensive study of pottery work in the Maya area. It is a discussion of the importance of such work, and a consideration of some aspects of the methods used. It represents a section of the unpublished Introduction to the writer's report on Piedras Negras Pottery (Piedras Negras Preliminary Papers, No. 4, University Museum, Phila., 1935), which made the latter acceptable to the Anthropology Department of the University of Pennsylvania as a doctoral dissertation.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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