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Steve, one of the things that we've been

talking a lot about is, you know, that
when we think of archaeology it's
inevitably you know, someone in the field
digging, walking, picking up, discovering
and then.
You know that there's a long, in fact an
even longer amount of time and effort,
and, sweat equity was it?
You put it, into what happens next.
So what do you do with what you find?
>> Well what you do is first you have
to clean it off.
You've got to get it cleaned up.
On, in some sites such as a Maya site, you
are going to get ceramics, for instance,
by the ton.
>> Ton.
>> And some are not well preserved if
they were located right on the surface.
There's a lot of acidic.
Activity there in the humus.
But once you get more deeply buried.
Particularly if it's sealed under a
The preservation is such that they almost
look recently broken.
And so what we'll do is, we'll take these
ceramics they'll be carefully noted as to
their provenance, as to where they came
And we'll clean them up and bring them
back to the lab where they'll be
There's usually drying racks outside and
then they have to be bagged up.
And this is a camp that has to
disassemble itself at the end of every
field season.
And the objects then have to be
transported, in many cases in this case,
hundreds of miles up to our lab which is
in a, a rather more pleasant place in
highland Guatemala.
>> I've been there.
It's very nice.
Yeah, yeah.
>> [CROSSTALK] And so this image behind
us is showing us a colonial building.
>> Mm.
>> A beautiful structure right in the
middle of the great city of Antigua.
Not far from Guatemala City, but a very
nice place to hang out.
>> When I worked in Armenia, we stayed
in a pig farm.
>> Well.
>> I mean, this is beyond that.
There, there're nice restaurants and
cappuccino bars very close by.
And you can see here, some of the
processing going on.
People are working very hard.
>> Mm-hm, yeah.
>> Which is what I like to see as a
They're trying to connect the objects
that have been seen, and washed, and
processed, and photographed, and drawn to
the records that were made in the field.
And ultimately, they have to be made, all
crunched into a yearly report which is,
has to be in Spanish, many hundreds of
pages in length, that is then shipped to
the Guatemalan government, and
distributed to colleagues.
Online, usually as some sort of a
electronic report.
>> Oh, good, okay.
So it's almost instant turn around of
data, then.
>> Yeah, and in the old days, you would
do a monograph, and it might come out.
>> Right, right.
>> But these days the, the pace has
picked up enormously, and the
They won't let you go back to dig, unless
you can account for what you did in the
last season.
>> Really!
So they can.
>> Which is appropriate, because it
means that you've discharged at least
part of your ethical obligations.
And then beyond that of course, there are
the books, there are the articles there
are these other levels of you might say
intellectual processing that eventually
lead to a point in which you decide, well
we've probably published this site.
And then maybe only then can you go to
work at another one.
And so these projects aren't ones you
undertake lightly.
You should not be digging continuously, I
think it's very important to pace them.
They have a rhythm and a life of their
>> Well I'm glad to hear you say that
though, at least in the parts of the
world I work in there, some
archaeologists do just keep going.
I mean and, and because there aren't
those checks and balances, so
>> And what I've discovered with the
bigger projects in my area and another is
it gets to a point where members of the
project pass away before they get all the
project results analyzed.
So I think it's very important to take
little digestible bites and not to sit
down to a
>> But it's still a lot of work it
looks like I mean.
>> It is an enormous amount of work.
And we also bring in specialists.
There are conservators who have skills that
they acquire through many years of
practice and training that we simply
don't have.
And so the slide behind us is showing for
In one case it's a mirror, it's probably
a mirror for divination that was used by
the king, and the tomb we were looking at
>> That came from the tomb.
>> That came from the tomb and it's
made out of a material that we don't
fully understand but the mirror itself
was cut out of hundreds of pieces, little
tessori, we call them of hematite or
naturally occurring iron.
>> Good lord.
>> It's cut out, it's polished and it
creates a reflective surface for the king
to look at himself and also probably as I
said, they are used in divination.
Now this is the only example of a
hieroglyphic text we have from the tomb.
>> Okay.
>> The tiny little fragments you can
see on the edge there.
Bottom lower left.
>> Yeah.
>> And very frustrating because we know
there were glifs there.
We also know that we can no longer read
They're not in great shape.
>> Not with any kind of enhancement or
>> No, no, they're just, they're so

>> And then over to the side we're

looking at one of the jade masks that
came out of the tomb.
And this is also being put together.
In this case by a conservator whom we had
flown down for this purpose.
The conservators often have to come from
other locations.
They have to be internationally based
because there aren't enough local experts
with these kinds of abilities.
>> Right, there's kind of an
international network it seems to me.
>> Now what is available locally is
there's some very, very talented
reconstruction artists who will gingerly
and with care make these pieces
capable of being presented in national
And many of the objects from the tomb
that we discovered.
Will I expect eventually be on display
for the entire country.
Should they wish to come to the national
And this is one such artist, who is
carefully picking in, again under our
close supervision.
Piecing in some of the
missing bits of color.
And this object is, will soon be on
display in the national museum in
Guatemala City.
>> What proportion of your finds would
you say will ever go on display?
>> A tiny percentage will ever go on
>> Where's the rest going to live?
>> The rest will live in a series of
storage facilities, because we are not
allowed generally to take objects out of
the country.
There is no splitting of finds as would
have been true in archaeology in the
And so it also is a useful reminder that
we're no longer this colonial enterprise
that goes and collects material and
brings it back to the developed world.
But rather these objects belong to the
Guatemalan people and they should stay in
their country.
>> Thank you.

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