Monday, March 22, 2010

My trip to the San Diego Museum of Man yielded many photos of the casts and their inscriptions of Quirigua monuments on display. These casts were made in 1914 under the direction of Edgar L. Hewett (then the director of the School of American Archaeology) for the Panama California Exposition that opened in 1915. The museum staff allowed me full access for two days to take photos of the inscriptions on the Zoomorphs, especially Zoomorph P (many thanks to director Kate Vogel and assistants Judith Green Wells, Kenneth Bordwell and security guard David Potter for their help). Although this monument has been closely studied in the past, the inscriptions along its south side have not been well documented due to erosion factors and lack of good photographs. The monuments are housed in a beautiful cathedral-like building complete with a dome top. The building's high ceilings and open gallery complement the lofty heights of the stelae on display. The collection also has a cast of Stela C that contains the most detailed account of Era Day events from the Late Classic Period. Delightfully, they also had casts of Palenque's Temple of the Cross and Temple of the Sun's inner sanctuary panels that also record short but important Era Day passages. These panels are located to the left and right walls of the museum's main entrance. Three Era Day passages under one dome-what luck!