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Accessions to the British Museum (Bloomsbury)

Nature volume 142, page 698 (15 October 1938) | Download Citation



AMONG the accessions to the British Museum (Bloomsbury) reported at the meeting of the trustees on October 8 (the first meeting to be held after the recess) were a number of antiquities from Central America, part of the collection made by the late Mr. T. W. Gann, and bequeathed by him to the Museum. They were accepted by the trustees in May last, but this selection has been received at the Museum only recently. The more important specimens are a number of carved jades, including figures of men and animals, coming mostly from Copan in Honduras. The best example is a magnificent green jade plaque with figures carved in relief. It is said to be the finest known example of carved jade from Central America. It was found at Teotihuacan in Mexico, but is thought to have come originally from Quiriqua in Honduras. By its style it is assigned to the Old Empire of the Maya, and dates probably from the fifth century A.D. In addition the bequest includes a number of fantastically shaped flints of unusual size. Some of these range up to seventeen inches long. There are also a number of painted stucco heads, with elaborate headdresses and some beautiful examples of the Mayan painted pottery. Another accession to the American collections obtained by purchase is an archaeological collection from Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador, while an anonymous loan consists of a notable series of antiquities from mexico, which includes a remarkable series of funerary urns in human shape from Oaxaca. The Museum has now received its share of the antiquities found by Sir Leonard Woolley and Mr. M. E. L. Mallowan on their respective expeditions in Northern Syria, which were conducted under the auspices of the Museum jointly with the School of Archaeology in Iraq. Grants have been allocated for the renewal of both these expeditions in 1938-39.

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