Rabbit scribe from the Princeton vase, K511 - photo copyright Justin Kerr

English/Spanish Terminology
by Alex Lomónaco

This collection of terms is the result of more than three decades that Alex Lomónaco devoted to the translation and writing of texts on anthropology, archaeology, pre-Hispanic architecture, ethnology, popular arts, pre-Hispanic art, history, historic archaeology, travels and travelers, cultural heritage, preservation, conservation and restoration in Latin America, between her many trips and different countries of residence. As years went by, she came to accumulate a large amount of what she referred to as "jumbled" materials, while the time and the resources to make of them a useful tool, not only to facilitate her own work but also as a reference for interested students, teachers, and scholars, seemed forever unattainable.

Alex began compiling the Terminology for the FAMSI website in September, 2004. From the initial upload of 52 entries, Alex's Terminology has grown to the present "tome" of more than 6600 items. Many terms included have a number of corresponding local variations. In Argentina, for example, the word used to describe one specific type of sedimentary bedrock is "tosca", while in México the most frequently used term for this is "tepetate". Cases like this are numerous and they have been reflected in the best possible way.

In Alex's initial introduction to the Terminology she stated her belief that this material should be made available to all because, "the proper use of language is one of the ways to preserve cultures and the men and women who have created them". She also wrote of her appreciation to Nicolás Schávelzon L., "my co-author and indefatigable assistant, who among other things, happens to be my son".

It is with great sadness that we convey news of Alex's untimely passing in early December, 2007. Her translations, in both English and Spanish, are highly commended by scholars around the world. Thank-you Alex! Your expertise in the cultural histories of Mesoamerica and your cheerful attitude are parts of your legacy for all to cherish.

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