January 2000 Meeting of the Pre-Columbian Society

Speaker:  Dr. Elin Danien

Title:    But Where Do We Start?  Chama after Eighty Years

Summary:    The site of Chama, in the Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, was excavated in 1892 by Erwin Dieseldorff and in 1917 by Robert Burkitt, working for the University of Pennsylvania Museum.  Because of the magnificent polychrome pottery style named for the site, an understanding of Chama and its Pre-Columbian history can help fill in the regional picture of Late Classic Maya civilization.  In the Summer of 1999, together with Guatemalan archaeologist Vilma Fialko, Dr. Danien visited Chama.  Her talk touched on the problems of local inhabitants, the surprising size of the site, some conjectures, and some plans for future work. The talk was illustrated by slides and included a brief video.

Biographical Data:

Elin Danien is certainly well known to members of the Pre-Columbian Society.  She
is currently a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, where in 1981 she created the office of Coordinator of Public Programs.  In that role, she originated the Maya Weekend and organized it for its first fifteen years, through 1997.  She is a founding member and past president of the Pre-Columbian Society.

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