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The Latin American archaeology collection represents artifacts dating before the time of European contact from sites spanning from Mexico south to Honduras (Mesoamerica), the intermediate area (Costa Rica south to Colombia and Venezuela), and the Andes of South America.

The Latin American ethnography collection features Andean folk art and every-day objects that document artistic traditions in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

Collections

Exhibits and Research on our Precolumbian Collections

Textile fragment representing an abstract winged deity Peru, Southern Highlands or Coast, Middle Horizon (A.D. 500-900)
Textile fragment representing an abstract winged deity Peru, Southern Highlands or Coast, Middle Horizon (A.D. 500-900)

Although not often used in exhibitions, sherd collections are an excellent resource for archaeological research. The Bullard archaeological collection has been thoroughly documented by Prudence Rice in her book, Macanché Island, El Petén: Excavations, Pottery and Artifacts (University of Florida Press 1987), and in publications by William Bullard, whose field notes are housed with the collection.

In addition, unprovenienced ceramic vessels, have served as a research resource in books such as Birds and Beasts of Ancient Latin America, an important study of Precolumbian animal imagery by Elizabeth Benson (University of Florida Press 1997). This publication accompanied an exhibition by the same title that toured nationally to California, Pennsylvania, and Florida between 1995 and 1998. The exhibition included Florida Natural History Museum pieces from the highlands of Bolivia and Peru, and the coastal regions of Peru, as well as artworks from the Harn Museum of Art, another important Precolumbian collection at the University of Florida.