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COLLECTION Identifier: 58-38 ‡63-33

Expedition to Altar de Sacrificios records


The records contain original field records pertaining to the Peabody Museum Expedition (directed by Professor Gordon R. Willey) to Altar de Sacrificios, a lowland Maya site located on the Rio Pasion in the southwestern portion of the Department of Peten, Guatemala .


  • 1959-1963 (bulk)



1.5 linear feet
The papers contain original field records, including field notebooks, catalogue number ledgers, negatives and subsequent analyses of ceramics.

Biographical / Historical

The Peabody Museum Expedition to Altar de Sacrificios, a lowland Maya site on the Rio Pasion, in the southwestern portion of the Department of Peten, Guatemala, was directed by Bowditch Professor Gordon R. Willey from 1959 to 1963. The Expedition was undertaken "to fill in a part of this southern Peten geographic gap in our knowledge of lowland Maya archaeology." (Willey1973:5). Research areas included: epigraphy, ceramic analyses, settlement patterns, influences of Teotihuacan and the Toltec, and chronology. Principal investigators included: Dr. Willey, A. Ledyard Smith, Richard E.W. Adams, John A. Graham, Frank B. Saul, W.R. Bullard, Jr., and John Ladd. The results of the expedition were published (see references below). Type collections, primarily of ceramics, from the site may be found in the Museum's artifact collections (accessions 58-38; 63-33).

Physical Location

Peabody Museum Archives

Immediate Source of Acquisition

58-38 63-33

These records may be viewed as an extension of accession files 58-38 and 63-33.

Related Peabody Museum Collections:

  1. #58-38: receipts, financial records, 1958; correspondence;paper by Frank Saul re: osteobiology; negatives; memos .
  2. #63-33 notes re: type collections, cataloguing, and collections sent out foranalysis.
Published References:
  1. Willey, Gordon R. and Al. L. Smith. The Ruins of Altar de Sacrificios, Department of Peten, Guatemala: An Introduction. Peabody Museum Paper vol. 62. no.1. 1969.
  2. Smith, A. Ledyard. Excavations at Altar de Sacrificios: Architecture, Settlement, Burials, and Caches. Peabody Museum Paper vol. 62. no. 2. 1972.
  3. Adams, R.E.W. The Ceramics of Peabody Museum . Paper vol. 62. no. 2 .Peabody Museum Paper. vol.63. no.1. 1971.
  4. Saul, F.P. The Human Skeletal Remains of PeabodyMuseum . Paper vol. 62. no. 2 : An Osteobiographic Analysis. Peabody Museum Paper.vol. 63. no. 2. 1972.
  5. Willey, Gordon R. The Artifacts of Altar deSacrificios. Peabody Museum Paper. vol. 64. no. 1. 1972.
  6. Graham, J.A. The Hieroglyphic Inscriptions and Monumental Art of Altar de Sacrificios. Peabody Museum Paper. vol. 64. no. 2.
  7. Willey, Gordon R. The Altarde Sacrificios Excavations: General Summary and Conclusions. Peabody Museum Paper.vol. 64. no. 3. 1973.

General note

Collections records may contain language, reflecting past collecting practices and methods of analysis, that is no longer acceptable. The Peabody Museum is committed to addressing the problem of offensive and discriminatory language present in its database. Our museum staff are continually updating these records, adding to and improving content. We welcome your feedback and any questions or concerns you may want to share.

Processing Information

Processed by V. Swerdlow; 6/10/1987 edited by Patricia H. Kervick, Associate Archivist; August 2009
Link to catalog
Altar de Sacrificios: Records of the Peabody Museum Expedition: A Finding Aid
Peabody Museum Archives

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Museum Archives Repository

The Peabody Museum Archives contains primary source materials that reflect the Museum’s archaeological and ethnographic research and fieldwork since its founding in 1866. Archival collections contain photographs, documents, papers, and records of enduring value that were created or collected by the Museum, its individual affiliates, or other related entities. The collections also document the history or provenience, as well as the creation of many of the Museum’s artifact collections. To learn more about research visits at the Peabody Museum, please see

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