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Contact: Christine Payton JAN. 29, 2008
(337) 482-6397, payton@louisiana.edu
 
‘RIVER OF GOLD’ AT PAUL AND LULU HILLIARD UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM
 
BATIn the early 20th century, the Rio Grande de Coclé River altered its course, exposing the remains of one of the most influential and spectacular ancient cemetery sites in Central America, Sitio Conte. The exquisite treasures discovered at Sitio Conte include gold work pieces from the archaeological site, and are traveling to Lafayette, Louisiana for an exclusive showing at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum. The exhibition also includes works of art that reflect aspects of this lost culture depicting how gold items were used to represent status.

In 1940 archaeologists and anthropologists under the sponsorship of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology began an excavation of the Sitio Conte cemetery site located 100 miles south of Panama City on the banks of Rio Grande de Coclé. Led by renewed archaeologist J. Alden Mason (1885-1967), the excavation uncovered a major burial site of an ancient chief that produced an abundance of gold relics from the ancient civilization.

Embossed plaques, nose ornaments gold-sheathed ear rods, pendants, bells, bangles, beads, ceramics, precious and semi-precious stone, ivory and bone are all presented in the exhibition. The master goldsmiths of Sitio Conte, working with the simplest tools, developed a sophisticated and advanced repertoire - repoussé, lost - wax – casting, metal alloying, depletion gilding – that allowed them to create these exquisite goldwork.

This is a rare opportunity to not only see beautiful examples of gold jewelry and artifacts, but come to understand the significance of the excavation and its findings. The exhibition was organized by Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette, Louisiana is Acadiana’s architectural landmark and the largest art museum between Houston and New Orleans. The Museum features a variety of changing exhibitions and a continuing schedule of lectures and programs. Come enjoy the Museum and the beauty of University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus just blocks away from the galleries, shops, and famous restaurants of downtown Lafayette and the Oil Center.

Hours:

Tuesday –Saturday 10 a.m.to 5 p.m.
Sunday and Monday- Closed

General Information:
http://museum.louisiana.edu or call 337-482-2278
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Document last revised Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:53 AM

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