Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed
This bilingual collection features activities, publications, and videos for middle and high school students as well as scholars and life-long learners on Central American archaeology and history through ceramics from 1000 BC to the present.
For thousands of years, Central America has been home to vibrant civilizations, each with unique, sophisticated ways of life, value systems, and arts. The ceramics these peoples left behind, combined with recent archaeological discoveries, help tell the stories of these dynamic cultures and their achievements. Cerámica de los Ancestros examines seven regions representing distinct Central American cultural areas that are today part of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Spanning the period from 1000 BC to the present, the ceramics featured, selected from the National Museum of the American Indian's collection of more than 12,000 pieces from the region, are augmented with significant examples of work in gold, jade, shell, and stone. These objects illustrate the richness, complexity, and dynamic qualities of the Central American civilizations that were connected to peoples in South America, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean through social and trade networks sharing knowledge, technology, artworks, and systems of status and political organization.
This collection features the past exhibition, Cerámica de los Ancestros: Central America's Past Revealed, a collaboration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Latino Center.