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Pre-Columbian Studies

The Pre-Columbian Studies program at Dumbarton Oaks was founded in 1963 to support the study of the art and archaeology of the ancient Americas. This research encompasses cultures that thrived in the western hemisphere from northern Mexico to southern South America, from the earliest times to the sixteenth century.


Dec 01, 2017 - Dec 01, 2017

Imaginary Aztec: Three Views of Mesoamerica’s Central Places

Pre-Columbian Studies Public Lecture, Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University
Mar 16, 2017 - Mar 16, 2017

Everything That Shines Is Gold . . . but Does It Matter? The Conceptual Relevance of Amazonian Archaeology

Pre-Columbian Public Lecture | Eduardo Neves, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Feb 16, 2017 - Feb 16, 2017

Mirrored Reflections: Spanish Iconoclasm in the New World and Its Reverberations in the Old

Director’s Office Public Lecture | Thomas B. F. Cummins, Harvard University

Digitized Rare Books

Access full digital facsimiles of select titles in the Rare Book Collection.

Pre-Columbian Collection

The Pre-Columbian Collection includes objects created during three thousand years of history in Mesoamerica, the Andes, and the Intermediate Area of Latin America. Its holdings of over seven hundred objects include stone sculpture, ceramics, architectural panels, small metal objects, and textiles. Selected objects are on display in the Pre-Columbian Pavilion designed by Philip Johnson.