Flower World - Mundo Florido, vol. 3

Music Archaeology of the Americas - Arqueomusicología de las Américas

Ancient Maya Musical Encore: Analysis of Ceramic Musical Instruments from Pacbitun, Belize and the Maya Subarea

Kong F. Cheong, Roger Blench, Paul F. Healy, and Terry G. Powis

Archaeological remains of ceramic musical instruments occur among pre-Columbian cultures across Mesoamerica. Sound artifacts recovered from the Maya subarea, for example, have provided an indication of the high order of musical sophistication for the ancient Maya. A brief review of the literature on the subject reveals artifacts unearthed from at least 40 sites. Investigation in 1986 and 1987 at Pacbitun, Belize, recovered a range of well-preserved ceramic musical instruments from Late Classic period elite and royal burials. Recent excavations in 2010 recovered an additional 12 artifacts. These will be described and discussed, as well as insights into their archaeological context, and a comparison will be made to similar artifacts found elsewhere in the Maya subarea.

Vestigios arqueológicos de instrumentos musicales de cerámica fueron hallados en las culturas precolombinas de toda Mesoamérica. Artefactos sonoros de la subárea maya por ejemplo revelaron el alto grado de sofisticación que la música debe haber tenido entre los antiguos maya. Una revisión breve de la literatura pertinente mostró que dichos artefactos han sido excavados en al menos 40 sitios. Las investigaciones llevadas a cabo en Pacbitun, Belice, en 1986 y 1987 descubrieron un buen número de distintos instrumentos musicales de cerámica bien preservados en entierros reales y de élite del período Clásico Tardío. Más recientemente, se encontró otra docena de artefactos sonoros más durante las excavaciones realizadas en 2010 en el lugar. En el artículo todos ellos son descritos y discutidos; además, se proporcionan datos sobre su contexto arqueológico y se comparan con artefactos similares descubiertos en otros sitios de la subárea maya.

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