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Chalchuapa, El Salvador excavation records

1111

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
Creator:
Coe, William R., 1926-
Creator:
Sharer, Robert J., 1940-
Title:
Chalchuapa, El Salvador excavation records
Date [inclusive]:
1954-1970
Call Number:
1111
Extent:
5 Linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
The records of the excavations at Chalchuapa, El Salvador include correspondence, administrative records, field notes, photographs, manuscripts and reports. The bulk of these materials originate from the 1954 excavation by William R. Coe and the 1966 analysis by Robert J. Sharer, as well as the 1969-1970 re-excavations.
Cite as:
[Item name]. Box [Box number]. Chalchuapa, El Salvador excavation records. Penn Museum Archives. Accessed [Date accessed].
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Located in the transitional region between the Maya highlands and the Pacific coastal plain, the archeological site of Chalchuapa is one of the largest sites in this area consisting of a total of 145 structures (both large and small). This site is defined by a series of separate mound groups that include (from South to North): Tazamul, Casa Blanca, El Trapiche, and Pampe. In addition, at least three other cultural areas have been identified including Lago Cuzcachapa, Laguna Seca, and Las Victorias. Lago Cuzcachapa and Laguna Seca yielded cultural deposits and evidence for ceremonial activity, while Las Victorias consists of Olmec boulder-sculptures.

The origin of this project began with A.V. Kidder’s site survey of the El Trapiche and Casa Blanca mound groups in 1953. Kidder’s goal at this time was to encourage a chain of “archaeological connectives” from the heart of the Maya region, traveling through its peripheral Southeastern regions, and down into the non-Maya regions of Southern Central America. After conducting this survey, Kidder reported the possibility of Preclassic occupation at Chalchuapa that may have been related to the Middle and Late Preclassic stages found at the nearby Maya center of Kaminaljuyu.

Then in 1954, this project was taken up by William R. Coe, of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, who proceeded to conduct preliminary research focusing on the mound grouping El Trapiche. Although Coe was able to corroborate Kidder’s report of a Preclassic occupation at Chalchuapa, his artifact findings were confiscated by the El Salvador government and analysis of these artifacts was prevented for over a decade.

It was in 1966 that Robert J. Sharer, with Coe’s support, was finally able to recover these artifacts and begin their long overdue analysis. In addition to his lab work, Sharer also conducted four months of archaeological excavation at the El Trapiche mound grouping in 1967. It was the synthesis of the 1966 lab work and the 1967 excavation that comprised Sharer’s Ph.D. dissertation. Some important evidence found as a result of the 1967 excavation of El Trapiche was the presence of both Early Preclassic and Late Preclassic occupation at the site as well as a layer of volcanic ash covering certain late Preclassic monuments. The latter finding is significant because it provides possible evidence for a major volcanic event, occurring in the Late Preclassic, that may have had a considerable impact on the settlement at Chalchuapa and the surrounding region.

After the completion of Sharer’s 1968 dissertation, it was concluded that additional research would be necessary in order to fully explore the nature of Preclassic occupation at the site. The result was the formation of the Chalchuapa Archaeological Project in 1967 with William Coe as Project Director, Robert Sharer as Field Director and with the support of the University Museum. In the 1968 field season preparatory work was conducted at the previously untested mound grouping of Casa Blanca in the form of site survey and test pit excavation. The information gathered was the used in the subsequent 1969 field season.

In 1969, five months were spent excavation the mound groups at El Trapiche and Casa Blanca as well as the cultural deposits at Lago Cuzcachapa and Las Victorias. In addition, continued surface survey and test pit excavation was conducted throughout the site. In 1970, the final year of the Archaeological Project, much of the field season was occupied with lab analysis, while minimal excavations were also conducted at Lago Cuzcachapa and Laguna Seca.

Below is a list of the abbreviations used in the notes for this expedition.
Bustamante (area)
Casa Blanca (group)
Chalchuapa (areas in general region without designation, town)
El Beneficio (area)
El Cementerio
Lago Cuzcachapa (area)
La Lagartija (area)
Laguna Seca (area)
Las Victorias (group)
Pampe (group)
San Martin (group)
Tazamul (group)
El Trapiche (group)

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives,  2003

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Bianca Buccitelli, Barbara Roberts

Use Restrictions

Although many items from the archives are in the public domain, copyright may be retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. The user is fully responsible for compliance with relevant copyright law.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • University of Pennsylvania. Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Correspondence
  • Field notes
  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Photographs
Geographic Name(s)
  • Chalchuapa (El Salvador)
Personal Name(s)
  • Coe, William R., 1926-
  • Sharer, Robert J., 1940-
Subject(s)
  • Archaeological expeditions
  • Excavations (Archaeology)

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence.

Box

[Correspondence], 1952-1953.

1

[Correspondence] 1 of 2, 1954.

1

[Correspondence] 2 of 2, 1954.

1

[Correspondence], 1955-1963.

1

Permissions & Official Correspondence, 1966-1970.

1

[Correspondence], 1964-1967.

1

[Correspondence], 1968–June 1969.

1

[Correspondence], July 1969–June 1970.

1

[Correspondence], July 1970 – 1972.

1

[Correspondence], 1973-1978.

1

[Publication Correspondence], 1971-1974.

1

[Publication Correspondence], 1975-1977.

1

Administrative Records.

Box

[Proposals for 1968].

1

[Proposals for 1969-1970].

1

[Research & Publication Standards].

1

[Project Info & Student Applications, 1969].

1

[Pay Record 1969].

1

Field Notes.

Box

[Bolinas 1968].

1

Casa Blanca, 1968.

1

Casa Blanca 1 of 2, 1969.

1

Casa Blanca 2 of 2, 1969.

2

Chalchuapa, town, 1969.

2

El Trapiche 1 of 2, 1954.

2

El Trapiche 2 of 2, 1954.

2

El Trapiche, 1967.

2

El Trapiche Field Drawings 1 of 2, 1966-1967.

2

El Trapiche Field Drawings 2 of 2, 1966-1967.

2

[El Trapiche visit], 1968.

2

El Trapiche 1 of 2, 1969.

2

El Trapiche 2 of 2, 1969.

2

Lago Cuzcachapa, 1967.

2

Lago Cuzcachapa, 1969.

2

Notes & Profiles for Lago Cuzcachapa 1970; Laguna Seca 1970.

2

[Laguna de Chalchuapa, Las Victorias, Pampe 1954].

2

Las Victorias, 1969.

3

Miravalles, 1968.

3

Peñate, 1969.

3

Peñate Field Drawings, 1969.

3

Surface Survey, 1969.

3

[Miscellaneous].

3

Lot Bag Inventories, 1954.

3

[Object Catalogue], 1954.

3

Final Artifact Counts.

3

Final Ceramic Counts.

3

Chalchuapa Loans.

3

Pottery Vessel Drawings.

3

Pottery Sherd Drawings, 1966-1967.

3

Pottery Sherd Drawings, 1969-1970.

3

Pottery Type Descriptions.

3

Ceramic Analysis Notes 1 of 2.

4

Ceramic Analysis Notes 2 of 2.

4

Ceramic Analysis 1 of 3, 1954.

4

Ceramic Analysis 2 of 3, 1954.

4

Ceramic Analysis 3 of 3, 1954.

4

Ceramic Analysis 1 of 2, 1968-1970.

4

Ceramic Analysis 2 of 2, 1968-1970.

4

Thermoluminescence Samples.

4

Ceramic Album.

4

Artifact Drawings.

4

Organic Material, 1954, 1967.

4

Bone Analysis, 1967, 1969.

4

Radiocarbon Analysis, 1967, 1969.

4

Volcanic Ash Analysis.

4

Operation and Lot Cards.

Box

Operation and Lot Cards, 1954.

5

Operation and Lot Cards - Surface Survey, (SS), 1969.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - Casa Blanca, (CB), 1968-1969.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - Chalchuapa, (CH), 1969.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - Laguna Cuzcachapa, (LC), 1969-1970.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - Laguna Seca, (LS), 1970.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - Las Victorias, (LV).

6

Operation and Lot Cards - Peñate, (PN), 1969.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - El Trapiche, (TR) 1 of 2, 1969.

6

Operation and Lot Cards - El Trapiche, (TR) 2 of 2, 1969.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - Casa Blanca, (CB), 1970.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - Chalchuapa, (CH), 1970.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - Museum, (MU), 1970.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - El Beneficio, (EB), 1970.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - El Cementerio, (EC), 1970.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - La Lagartija, (LL), 1970.

7

Operation and Lot Cards - Surface.

7

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation.

Box

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Casa Blanca (CB).

7

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Laguna Cuzcachapa (LC) 1 of 3.

7

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Laguna Cuzcachapa (LC) 2 of 3.

8

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Laguna Cuzcachapa (LC) 3 of 3.

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Laguna Seca (LS).

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Peñate (PN).

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Surface.

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - Chalchuapa (CH).

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - El Cementerio (EC).

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - El Beneficio (EB).

9

Catalogue [Artifact] Cards by Operation - La Lagartija (LL).

9
Box

[Catalogue of Caches, Burials, Monuments].

9

[Catalogue of Artifacts by Type] 1 of 2.

9

[Catalogue of Artifacts by Type] 2 of 2.

10

[Catalogue of Photographs].

11

Photographs.

Box

Photograph Catalogue [El Trapiche], 1954.

12

Photo Record (all seasons).

12

Contact Prints, 1966.

12

Contact Prints, 1967.

12

Contact Prints, 1968.

12

Contact Prints, 1969.

12

Contact Prints 1 of 3, 1970.

12

Contact Prints 2 of 3, 1970.

12

Contact Prints 3 of 3, 1970.

12

Manuscripts and Reports.

Box

Preclassic Investigations at Chalchuapa, El Salvador, 1967.

12

A Preliminary Report of the 1969 Archaeological Program at Chalchuapa, El Salvador, 1969.

12

Información de las Investigaciones del Proyecto Arqueologico en Chalchuapa, 1969.

12

The Prehistoric Artifacts of Chalchuapa, El Salvador, 1970.

12

The Prehistory of Chalchuapa, El Salvador, 1973.

12

Cultural Processes and Change at Chalchuapa, 1974.

12

[Lago Cuzcachapa & Laguna Seca].

12

Excavation of Structure C-1, 1973.

12

Chalchuapa Geology.

12