Past Exhibitions

Ancient Bodies: Archaeological Perspectives on Mesoamerican Figurines

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Michelle Rich was leading an archaeological excavation of monumental funerary pyramids iat El Perú-Waka’, Petén, Guatemala, when they discovered a ruler's tomb (Burial 39) that contained the remains of a ceremonial figurine scene. This rare find, the meticulous documentation by the archaeologists, and the rigorous conservation of these figurines, provide an important frame of reference for interpreting individual figurines in LACMA's collection. This figurine scene from burial 39 and a selection of art works from LACMA's collection are on display in the exhibition Ancient Bodies: Archaeological Perspectives on Mesoamerican Figurines.

In this video, Diana Magaloni, Director of the Program for Ancient Americas at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Michelle Rich, Post-Doctoral Mellon Fellow in the Art of the Ancient Americas Department, talk about the excavation, explain what the figurine scene portrays, and discuss what we can learn from this find.