Image - Cacao Pod Vessel - K6706 © Justin Kerr FAMSI © 2007:
Maria Elena San Román Martín

The Palenque Ceramics: Activities Report, First Phase
Interim Report
Vea este informe en Español.

Research Year:  2002
Culture:  Maya
Location:  Palenque, Mexico
Site:  Archaeological zone of Palenque

Table of Contents

Work Methodology
Analysis Method
Classification System
Sources Cited


Many aspects of my proposal have changed from the initial position to this moment as I begin to detail the results obtained from the project’s first phase. Aspects relative to the methodology and certain lines of investigation have been modified and vastly enriched a first approach to the work of Dr. Robert L. Rands. The major objectives that inspired my proposal, however, remain unaffected, and even, reinforced: get to know the details of the investigations performed by Dr. Rands on the ceramics of Palenque and their adjacent areas and to learn the methodology applied to his analysis; to contrast the new data obtained from the study of the material coming from residential units with the ones analyzed by Dr. Rands to date; and, to establish academic ties between Dr. Rands and the team of investigators who, directed by archaeologist Arnoldo González Cruz and coordinated by the National Institute of Anthropology and History, (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia), are dedicated at present to the analysis of the Palenque Ceramics. This first phase of the project has constituted the initial collaboration that has had very positive results and promises to be very fruitful in the future.

At present, I continue to be part of the team of archaeologists hired by the National Institute of Anthropology and History to work in the "Palenque Archaeology Project," with my principal responsibility being the analysis of ceramic material originating from the excavations of residential units. It is worthy to mention the advances achieved in the past work season that impelled us to seek the advise of Dr. Robert Rands, who not only has shared part of his information with us, but has also supervised my classification and contributed suggestions and critic that have enriched the development of the investigation considerably. A good part of the ideas expressed in this report constitute the results of such collaboration and I wish to extend my gratitude to all those that have made it possible.

Again I must allude to the atypical nature of my project with the purpose of justifying the preliminary content of the present report. This consists of a description of the activities that Dr. Rands and I carried out jointly, in both his Maryland laboratory and the archaeological camp for Palenque, as well as an explanation of the preliminary premises on which we are divided. The precise data of our work sessions, on the other hand, will be properly detailed in a final report that will include the combined conclusions relative to the analysis methodology, as well a proposal for classification of the ceramics in the study.

Lastly, I would like to mention a concern derived from my close collaboration with Dr. Rands and easy access to the wealth of information that has been generated throughout his fifty years of investigation. Much of his previous work has been part of my learning process and, consequently, has become an integral part of my knowledge about the ceramics of Palenque and my own investigation. Obviously, I want to emphasize the credit that Dr. Rands deserves for his enormous contribution to the study of the Palenque ceramics, as well as his precision in the registry of the data that he is currently sharing with me.

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Submitted 07/06/2004 by:

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