Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive;

Mesoamerican | Polychrome vase | Kerr Archive;

As you’ve probably heard, people across the world have been worrying that the world will end on December 21, 2012, influenced by some recent interpretations of Popol Vuh, a 16th-century narrative about the origins, traditions, and history of the Maya nation. Thankfully, NASA scientists recently debunked this and other apocalyptic predictions.

But don’t let the fact that the world is not about to end damper your interest in Mayan artifacts! The Artstor Digital Library features more  than 500 fascinating photographs of Pre-Columbian artifacts from Justin Kerr and Barbara Kerr that shouldn’t be missed. The collection consists of still and rollout photographs of vases, plates, and bowls from the various cultures of Mesoamerica. The rollouts—which show the entire surface of an object in a single frame—were made by photographer Justin Kerr with a camera he designed and built. The objects in the collection depict a variety of everyday Mayan activities and religious concepts, and stem from archaeological sites, museums, and collections throughout Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, the United States, Canada, and Europe. View the collection here.

Want more? Check out Carnegie Institution of Washington Photographs of Mayan Excavations (Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University), which documents archaeological excavations throughout Central America; Ferguson-Royce: Pre-Columbian Photography (University of Texas at Austin), which includes thousands of photographs of many of the major Pre-Columbian sites in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras; and the Moreen O’Brien Maser Memorial Collection (Skidmore College), which provides documentary evidence for sites that have been more fully excavated and/or damaged due to environmental and human degradation since being photographed by the Masers more than 50 years ago.

See you on December 22!

Maya | Zoomorph B, south end | Quirigua; Izabal; Guatemala | Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology