This online sampling is based on original Smithsonian research organized into key archeological zones: Maya Region, Ulúa River Region, Lempa River Region, Greater Nicoya Region, Greater Coclé,Greater Chiriquí, Central Caribbean. The figures on the map represent the people of a region explored in Cerámica de los Ancestros research project. Together, they offer tantalizing glimpses of the diverse peoples who once lived in Central America. Click here to interact with map.
Centroamericanos -have a growing presence throughout the United States, yet representation of their cultural and social legacies in Latin American scholarship has remained largely marginalized by earlier focus on the political dominance, riches, and the epic drama of Mesoamerican and Andean empires.
Spiritual life within the household and the community were highly developed, reflected in the images seen on serving vessels recovered in other places in El Salvador.
Page 31 Revealing Ancestral Central America, Exhibition Catalogue,2013.
Viewing these objects closely, you will see scenes from parenthood, representations of male and female leaders, images related to magic and power, as well as depictions of important plants and animals.
Visit the 3D Base Camp to learn more about the artifacts and regions.
Authority was accompanied by the manipulation of symbols used to represent and exercise power.
Image: Greater Coclé (Conté style) footed plate with human-crocodile design. Page 46 Revealing Ancestral Central America, Exhibition Catalogue, 2013.
These objects testify to the complexity of long-lived
governments and social systems, and to the importance and sophistication of the art and science in the communities where they were made. Page 7, Revealing Ancestral Central America, Exhibition Catalogue, 2013.
Most of these objects were acquired in the early-mid 20th Century by a mix of amateur archeologists, explorers, businessmen, and ultimately, collectors based in the United States.
This exhibition is a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.