Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
William R. Coe , Curator American Section of The University Museum, ran the excavation site at Tikal Guatemala, which was active from 1956-1970. At this time the Museum wished to maintain a site in Guatemala, specifically a place which could be dated to the post-classic Mayan period. Tayasal was the ethnohistoric capital of the Itza family (as in Chichen Itza) seen by Cortez in 1525 while traveling in the Peten area of Guatemala which fell to the Spanish in 1697 and disappeared from the records. When the Itza were driven out of the area in Classical times, they were also driven out of the Chichen Itza area. They returned and built a town somewhere around Lake Peten. Excavations at Tayasal occurred during the summer of 1971, and in a sense are a continuation of work at Tikal. H. Stanley Loten, Architect, Carlton College, was named as Field Director. William R. Coe served as Project Director, with Robert J. Sharer, Pitzer College, as Ceramic Consultant and set up the lab in the field. Diane Z. Chase (1957-), Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania and Arlen F. Chase (1953-), Ph.D. candidate University of Pennsylvania wrote his dissertation on the Tayasal Project. The Chase's were at the site during the summer of 1977, and again for a brief time in 1979 to finish work for Arlen Chase’s dissertation.
Most of the records are from the summer of 1971, with some records from the Chase’s returning to the site in 1977. While the goal of the 1971 dig was to find post-classic evidence, most evidence that was found dated to the classical period. For this reason the 1971 dig was not seen as successful in meetings its goals, and although it was recognized that the site would require further investigation in subsequent seasons, the University did not return to the site. Most of the 1971 records sat unfinished with no final analysis completed nor a final site report written. In the fall of 1976, Arlen Chase submitted a preliminary dissertation proposal to analyze post-classic materials found in the Central Peten region. When he realized that it would be impossible to separate the pre-classsic and classic information from the post-classic, Chase decided to prepare the final publication of the Tayasal Project records from the 1971 excavation for his dissertation
The field work records from the Tayasal project contains notebooks, drawings, notecards, correspondence and images. There are also oversized plans, maps and drawings.
The correspondences are arranged chronologically from March - August 1971. Also included in the file is the project proposal written by William R. Coe. The notebooks are organized by author, via their "T" code. There are two notebooks where the author is unknown; the film record and the catalog. The drawings came out of a binder which divided them into the sections that they are now divided by in the folders. They seem to be organized by structure and operation numbers, yet not all of them have both numbers. This method of organization is unclear, yet we maintained the original order in which the Archives acquired these drawings.
The notecards are arranged by operation and lot numbers. The majority of the cards date from the summer of 1971, while there are a few cards from the Chase's expedition in 1977. The photos from the Tayasal project are seperated from the collection and stored in the photo archives.
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
0.3 Cubic feet