Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut
Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Historical photo of textile machine

Dr. Iken Paap

Dr. Iken Paap

Amerindian Studies, Archaeology


+49 30 266 45 3202


+49 30 266 35 1550



1. Research Interests

  • Settlement Archaeology
  • Ceramics
  • Mesoamerica
  • Andean Region


2. Current Projects

Research Projects

Santa Rosa Xtampak: Chronology and interregional integration of a Classical Maya Center

Santa Rosa Xtampak (SRX, Mpo. Hopelchén, Campeche, Mexico) is considered, along with Edzna, one the most important center of the Classic Maya on the central Yucatán peninsula - an assessment that has so far been based exclusively on studies of the monumental architecture at the site. Inhabited since the Pre-Classic, Santa Rosa Xtampak site gained supra-regional importance in the Late and Final Classic (ca. 700-1000 AD). Since the 19th century it has been the subject of intensive studies on the still standing architecture (including a three-story palace, see title photo).

This site plays a key role in understanding the economic and socio-political structure of the Classic period in central Yucatan, but has hardly been the subject of archaeological excavations so far. As a basis for future research, a first stratigraphically sound study is to be conducted by means of systematic trenches in selected representative areas of the settlement - and by linking it to chronologies of pottery from other sites in the region. The project is directly linked to the holdings of the Ibero-American Institute, which preserves and makes accessible (among others) two sources on the history of the archaeology of Mexico and Santa Rosa Xtampak that are still relevant today: the legacies of Teobert Maler and Eduard Seler.

The project is carried out in cooperation with the Centro INAH Campeche. Co-Director: Antonio Benavides Castillo. Duration: 2020-2022. Funding: BKM. More information: https://arqueologiai.de/es/srx/

Colonial Language Materials from Highland Guatemala in the Holdings of the IAI

The Ibero-American Institute in Berlin houses extensive materials on Mesoamerican languages that were collected and acquired by Walter Lehmann (1878-1939) and Eduard Seler (1849-1922). Among these materials are included several hitherto unedited original manuscripts and unique handwritten copies of colonial dictionaries and doctrinal texts. The research objective of this project is the documentation, analysis and publication of the IAI’s colonial indigenous language materials from Highland Guatemala. Several K’iche’ and Kaqchikel dictionaries and texts will be edited and disseminated as part of a multi-year project on Highland Maya lexicography by Frauke Sachse (University of Bonn) and Michael Dürr (Free University of Berlin). The project falls into the field of missionary linguistics and will contribute to our general understanding of processes of colonial knowledge generation and the transfer of cultural concepts through missionary language planning. The project will digitise the relevant manuscripts and in the following stage, make the documents available as philologically accurate editions in book and article form. Duration: 2015-2018


3. Publications

Monographs and Editions

Articles and contributions in books


4. Curriculum Vitae

Since December 2010

Staff member of the Research and Publications Department at the Ibero-American Institute, editorial office of the journal INDIANA


Field director: Archaeological Project Uxul, Abt. für Altamerikanistik, Institute VII, Bonn University


Scholarship from the German Archaeological Institute (DAI - Research Cluster I)


Staff member, field director: Archaeological Project Xkipché, Institut für Altamerikanistik und Ethnologie, Bonn University


PhD, Bonn University. Dissertation: "Die Keramik von Khyinga, Mustang District, Nepal“ [The Ceramics from Khyinga, Mustang District, Nepal]


Staff member: Archaeological Project Xkipché, Institut für Altamerikanistik und Ethnologie, Bonn University


Master, Bonn University. Master's thesis: "Methodenkritik des Virú Valley Projects" [A methodological review of the Virú Valley Project]


Staff member: Nepal-German Project on High Mountain Archaeology, German Archaeological Institute - KAVA, Bonn


Studies at the Universities of Vienna and Bonn (Ethnology/Amerindian Studies, Prehistory, Romance languages and literature)

2021 || Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut Preussischer Kulturbesitz