Tuesday, July 20, 2010

European miscellany

Just got back from a two week vacation in France and Spain. I don’t take vacations, so I’m not sure I did it right, but I had some archaeological and historical experiences that might interest the ghostly (i.e., nonexistent) readers of this blog.

1) The Museo de América in Madrid is lovely and interesting and worth a visit if you’re an Americanist archaeologist.

2) The Archive of the Indies in Seville is remarkably accessible, and the archivists seem very helpful, so don’t hesitate to plan research there. I’ve always wanted to study the documentary sources there, and I certainly have lots of important historical issues to work on (Mayapán, Otzmal, Chinandega, etc.).

3) We visited the Cueva de la Pileta near Ronda, Spain. It seems to be one of the few Paleolithic cave painting sites open to the public. Pretty interesting! Lovely cave, quite apart from the paintings. The guide said it had the full Upper Paleolithic sequence, from Aurignacian through Magdalenian. The Atapuerca team is supposed to be soliciting permission to excavate there in the future.

4) We also visited the Roman site Acinipo nearby. The road has washed out, and we had to park the car in the middle of nowhere and hike a distance to get in. Like the road, the ruins are not well-maintained. There’s virtually no explanatory signage, and the few monuments that have been consolidated or restored are starting to deteriorate.

5) The new anthropological museum in Paris, the Musée de Quai Branly, is fantastic! The design is incredibly innovative, the display and lighting remarkable. The Mesoamerican collection is surprisingly good, being particularly strong on the Huasteca.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tips. (also...you do have readers)