Greetings from Copan!
My name is Miranda Saylor and I am a junior studying Art History and History. I am from Montclair, New Jersey. I transferred from Barnard College this year, and one of my reasons for coming to University of Pennsylvania was because of the Penn Museum. When applying to transfer, I was aware the museum’s impressive Mesoamerican Gallery and was very interested in studying the collection. In addition to my major, I love studying history, Spanish, and Latin America in general. I initially applied to be a part of the Maya 2012 exhibition team because it was a unique opportunity that combined all of these interests. Like Emily, I am also in Honduras right now, assisting with the documentation of the objects that will be transported to Philadelphia. Today, Dr. Loa Traxler, the curator of the exhibition, gave us a wonderful tour of the ruins, which was a great introduction to the site.
In addition to our involvement here in Copan, I am the coordinator of our blog. “Maya 2012 – From Copan to Penn” is meant to record the exhibition’s development, but from the unique insider perspective of students working together as a team as well as independently on our individual areas of study. I am also working on the outreach initiative for the exhibition as part of the Maya 2012 Community Advisory Board Committee. The final aspect of my independent study is the research component. Leading up to this trip, I have been reading about Maya civilization in present day Latin America. I hope to incorporate this research with content specific to this exhibition, whether that be ceramics or portrayals of kings and gods has yet to be decided. So far, working with this exhibition team has been a fantastic experience, and I am excited to see what the rest of this week has in store for us.