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Analysis and Conservation of Archaeological Ceramics from the Site of Amapa, Mexico.


The site of Amapa is located near the western coast of Mexico, in the state of Nayarit. In 1959, a team from the University of California, Los Angeles completed archaeological excavations of the site, unearthing thousands of artifacts that dated from c. 350 BCE to 1450 CE, proving that Amapa was occupied for almost two millennia. Ceramics from Amapa have a great variety of types, functions, and decoration. Among the finds from UCLA’s 1959 excavations were 788 ceramic vessels and over 68,000 decorated pottery sherds. However, despite their abundance and variety, little is known about their constituent materials and methods of production. These factors, along with the burial conditions on-site at Amapa and in storage at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, have implications for the state of preservation of the ceramics. This research undertakes a study of the materials and techniques used both in the original creation and in the more recent conservation of these ceramics in order to aid in future conservation and exhibition of these materials.

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