Constellation Similarity Assertions
Satterthwaite, Linton, 1897-1978
Piedras Negras is a Maya site in Guatemala particularly noted for the beautifully sculpted stelae and hieroglyphic inscriptions it has yielded. The site, located in the northwestern corner of the Department of Petén, Guatemala, along the Usumacinta River, which forms in this area the border between Guatemala and Mexico, was discovered in 1894 by a Mexican lumber man, and brought to the attention of Teobert Maler, a pioneer archaeologist and explorer of the Ancient Maya. Maler visited the site in 1895 and 1899 under the auspices of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, but conducted no excavations. His work consisted of disinterring and photographing the large carved stelae and other monuments. His report was published in 1901 as Volume II, No. 1 of the Memoirs of the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. Thereafter the site was visited several times, beginning in 1921, by Sylvanus G. Morley for the purpose of recording glyphic inscriptions. Morley took many photographs and notes and made many drawings of the glyphs. His assistant, Oliver Ricketson, made a map of the site, which was later superseded by the map of University of Pennsylvania Museum.
Between 1931 and 1939 the University of Pennsylvania Museum conducted extensive excavations at this site. J. Alden Mason, Curator of the American Section, went to Guatemala in 1930 to select the site and obtain an excavation permit that would allow for the removal on loan to the Museum of half of the monumental sculpture uncovered by the expedition. Mason's visit also served to make renewed arrangements with Robert J. Burkitt, who was also excavating in Guatemala for the Museum at this time (see separate Record Group). Mason made some artifact collections on this trip, which are documented in the records. In December of the same year Mason visited the site again as a member of the Museum's aerial survey of Petén and Yucatan.