Barbara W. Fash

Director, Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Program, co-Director, Meso Lab and the Santander Program for Research and Conservation of Maya Sculpture

Poster for the Cien Años exhibit, Copan ca. 1915, photographer unknown.

Barbara Fash oversees and implements CMHI and Meso Lab projects, and is series editor for CMHI publications, including forthcoming fascicles on Yaxchilan stelae and the Copan Hieroglyphic Stairway. Her areas of interest include archaeological illustration, sculpture documentation and analysis, archaeological conservation, 3-D scanning, library and archival preservation, water management, and ceramic production, at the sites of Copan, Honduras, and Teotihuacan, Mexico. She co-directed the Proyecto Arqueológico Rastrojón Copán (2007–2014) with William Fash and Jorge Ramos, and continues to co-direct museum and community-based projects in Copan Ruinas with the Santander Program’s COEDMAC project, Conservation, Education, and Development for Archaeological Museums in Copan. Barbara served as Lecturer and student thesis advisor in Harvard summer field schools (1995–2010) and has contributed to 14 major exhibits, including the design and implementation of the Copan Sculpture Museum. She curated the Peabody Museum exhibitions, "Distinguished Casts: Curating Lost Monuments at the Peabody Museum," and “Fragile Memories: Archaeology and Community, Copan, Honduras, 1891-1900,” which is installed at the Town Hall in Copan Ruinas and available online.

Drawing of the Copan peccary skull, by Barbara Fash.

Currently she and William Fash are working with the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia on the creation of a new archaeology museum. Her illustrations appear in numerous books, including: W. L. Fash, Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya (1991, 2001); G. Willey, R. Leventhal, A. Demarest and W. Fash, Jr. Ceramics and Artifacts from the Copan Residential Zone (1994); C. F. Baudez, Maya Sculpture of Copan (1994), as well as Peabody Museum graphics. She has taught archaeological illustration to Harvard undergraduates and for the Peabody Museum education program.

B.A. (1992) Studio Art, Northern Illinois University 
M.A. (2007) Museum Studies, Harvard University

Selected Publications

The Copan Sculpture Museum: Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone (English and Spanish editions Peabody Museum Press; 2011)
Precolumbian Water Management: Ideology, Ritual and Power, co-editor with Lisa Lucero (2006)


  • Hoja de Laurel de Oro, Honduras (2008)
  • Order of the Mat, Guatemala (2015)
  • Society of Antiquaries, London