pre-columbian america

Finds from the Bay Islands, Honduras 

The College’s collection of around 70 Pre-Columbian artefacts are from an excavation carried out in 1937 under the direction of Walter Guinness, Lord Moyne. 

The Bay Islands were originally occupied by the Paya Indians who were virtually wiped out by European settlers after Christopher Columbus discovered the islands in 1502. Little is known of them except what can be deduced from the archaeology of the region. Unfortunately, both Lord Moyne’s expedition and subsequent excavations in 1939 by the Cambridge archaeologist Richard Feacham failed to produce any stratified evidence of chronology or context. Our objects are now thought to belong to the Transitional Selin and Cocal Periods (800-1530 AD). 

The collection was given to the College by the then Governor of the Cayman Islands, Sir Alan Cardinall (F, 1900-05), a former pupil. Most of the 3000 pieces which Moyne shipped back to England are now in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge.  

Honduran Page Figures Excavated by Moyne 1936

Figures excavated by Moyne in 1937

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