Introduction to the Archaeology of Tikal, Guatemala

Introduction to the Archaeology of Tikal, Guatemala: Tikal Report 12

William R. Coe
William A. Haviland
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 112
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vkd6f
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  • Book Info
    Introduction to the Archaeology of Tikal, Guatemala
    Book Description:

    This volume offers a full review of the work of the Tikal Project of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Topics include initial motivations and theoretical concerns, procedures and standards used in excavation, a complete inventory of all excavations undertaken, a list of anticipated publications, and a Project bibliography.

    eISBN: 978-1-934536-34-6
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. xi-xi)
  5. I BACKGROUND
    (pp. 1-5)

    A quarter-century indeed lies between Tikal’s initial confrontation and today, when large segments of all that a program there came to see and learn now move forcefully towards publication. An interlude of perhaps astonishing length, it could scarcely have been foretold in January 1956 upon a Guatemalan Air Force plane halting on a rudimentary strip to unload material and personnel of an incipient Tikal Project. An explanation of the circumstances of the passing years alone might justify this report, the twelfth in a series principally serving to divulge Tikal’s archaeological makeup. But more germane are one, the fabric of the...

  6. II PERSONNEL
    (pp. 7-10)

    Collectively multinational and diverse in backgrounds and incentives, to say nothing of goals, the Project’s staff members properly merit recognition. We can do no less here than to list alphabetically their names and to specify the year or years in which the field participation of each occurred. Omitted, however, is a seasonal breakdown such as winter or summer, the major periods of Tikal activity. (Also suppressed is change in surname after initial appointment.)

    Principal duties are indicated, at least approximately so, in terms of an elementary classification of Project tasks; note key following listing. Additionally stipulated is the field number...

  7. III FUNDING
    (pp. 11-12)

    Two million dollars reasonably approximates the Project’s income and expenditure, exclusive of academic salaries, over the fourteen years of its active being. Close to one-half of this amount represents direct subvention by the Government of Guatemala and, additionally, its calculated cost of underwriting the aerial transport of personnel, laborers and material within the country. The other half resulted from private donations, grants by national and private foundations, and supplementary support provided by endowed funds of The University Museum.

    Crucial to the entire operation were the efforts and effectiveness of individuals dedicated to raising funds and to stimulating contribution whether the...

  8. IV SITE RESTORATION
    (pp. 13-22)

    As already noted, the Project from its start had actually but one binding contractual stipulation aimed at Tikal’s physical appearance. In effect, either the Project preserved to the eye what its excavations were to uncover of a non-portable nature (i.e., constructed features), or the responsible cuttings were to be backfilled. Implicitly these alternatives insured that the site’s future state would not resemble a well-detonated minefield. (A reasonable restraint and a minimal one at that, it was to have unforseen consequences mentioned ahead.) In any case, the Project decidedly had among its aims the site’s touristic development since, basically, anything less...

  9. V FIELD INVESTIGATIONS
    (pp. 23-41)

    While scarcely a startling claim, research at Tikal was conducted in the guise of programs conditioned by topical and thematic concerns. Their formulation came about according to all sorts of circumstances rather than by prescient, homogenous plotting early on. Programs implemented by excavation especially resist scrupulous definition today. In general, however, promptings were of a conventional nature, not only responding as they did to the obvious constituent realities of Tikal, but bolstered by a foreknowledge of its elementary cultural setting. Much of analytic value was available simply by inspection—art and architecture notably so—yet a sophisticated appreciation of Tikal...

  10. VI PROCEDURES IN FIELD AND LABORATORY
    (pp. 42-54)

    By and large, field reports neglect an explicit statement of the underlying principles of data-gathering whether under the conditions of excavation or a processing facility, be this called a “laboratory,” a “finds hut” or whatever. Although much can usually be pieced together in a field report with relevancy to system—which is to say, comprehensive procedural coherency—its choice among others and, then, its own origins altogether form matters rarely assessable. With respect to the controls imposed at Tikal, they were born early from prediction of (1) its complicated accretive constructional makeup and, moreover, its stratigraphic realities heavily conditioned by...

  11. VII PUBLICATION
    (pp. 55-66)

    In spite of its retrospectively diverse interests, this minorTikal Reportserves most intentionally to introduce those scheduled to follow it within a conscientiously designed series. By now, two decades have passed since the last one was issued, namely, the map of the site's central portion (TR. 11). Herewith the Project confidently begins again and does so not neglectful of the frequent inquiries in recent years concerning its lapse in substantive publication. One senses that such publication ought to be prompt and full in matters of data and conclusions, yet, where an undertaking of this kind is implicitly allowed a...

  12. APPENDIX A: OPERATIONS AND THEIR SUBOPERATIONS: BRIEF FIELD DEFINITIONS, YEARS OF, AND ASSIGNMENT WITHIN THE SERIES OF TIKAL REPORTS
    (pp. 67-93)
  13. APPENDIX B: BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE TIKAL PROJECT 1956-1982
    (pp. 94-100)