Altar de Sacrificios Cylindar Vase - K30088 THE MESOAMERICAN POTTERY COLLECTION
by Inga E. Calvin

Studying ancient pottery gives us information about stylistic forms, decorative design motifs, iconographic elements and epigraphic information. When this information is combined with data from archaeological excavations, researchers can begin to understand the function of the pottery and the meaning to the people who created and used it.

This fully-searchable pottery database integrates photographic images with maps, plans and the excavation contexts of PreColumbian vessels from Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador. Most of this information comes from academic reports, journals and interim excavation notes. All of the ceramics are curated by museums in the United States, Guatemala, Mexico or El Salvador.

Additional materials will be added regularly and Dr. Calvin invites data from similarly provenianced excavations.

The use of these photographs and data are limited to noncommercial, educational and personal use. All users must cite the author and source of the data with the URL The author does not warrant that the use of any of data will not infringe on the rights of third parties. Data presented in this may be held under copyright by others and the use of such data requires the prior permission from the copyright holder.

We suggest that first time users or anyone not familiar with FAMSI datasets, begin with the explanation of How to use the Mesoamerican Pottery Database.

Explore the Mesoamerican Pottery Database

Supplementary Materials

Dissertation:  Between Text and Image: An Analysis of Pseudo-glyphs on Late Classic Maya Pottery from Guatemala (59.7 MB)

Proyecto Fotográfico las Cerámicas Mayas con Seudo-Glifos (4.55 MB)

Rollout Photography of Polychrome Pottery from El Salvador

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