Nica News: Recent Archaeological Research in Nicaragua

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

In 1881, John Bransford observed that "nowhere in the Americas was there greater potential for archaeological research than in Nicaragua." Over 100 years later, that potential is being realized through numerous national and international research projects. Perhaps due to the relative stability of the country, and especially because of the openness to collaborative research, Nicaragua has become a popular destination for archaeologists. This symposium brings together Nicaraguan and international scholars to present their recent research. Potential topics include excavation reports, analyses, and new interpretations.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • The 2016 Season at El Rayo, Nicaragua: Civic-Ceremonial Structures, Tombs, and Feasting from the Bagaces to Sapoa Transition (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shaelyn Rice. Geoffrey McCafferty. Sharisse McCafferty. Dieuwertje van Boekel.

    Expanding on prior field seasons, the 2016 field school at El Rayo, with the support of the Institute for Field Research, continued the exploration of the unique Bagaces to Sapoa transition period site, located on the Asese Peninsula, Lake Nicaragua. This season focused of the excavation of four loci, continuing to explore previous questions regarding cultural activities in Pacific Nicaragua. Loci 2 and 4, which had been studied in previous field seasons were expanded, while new Loci 6 and 7...

  • About Face: A Head-On Examination of Pre-Columbian Social Identity (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Emilie LeBrell. Geoffrey McCafferty.

    A desire for art to reflect social identity is made apparent through prolific representations of human faces in Pre-Columbian ceramics. The ceramic art of Greater Nicoya and the surrounding regions demonstrates an intrinsic drive to communicate distinct group characteristics and illustrates the importance of individuals’ bodies as instruments of both personal expression and social relationships. Physical expressions of collective identity foster a sense of belonging and satisfy the human desire...

  • Ceramic Compositional Analysis from Chiquilistagua, Nicaragua (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jason Paling. Hannah Dutton. Justin Lowry.

    This paper discusses patterns of production and distribution of pottery recovered from the site of Chiquilistagua through the use of X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD) and Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) compositional data. Dominant types found in the Chiquilistagua assemblage include Usulatan, Espinoza, Segovia, Chavez Astorga, and Nejapa Roja. Occupational episodes at Chiquilistagua extend across the Tempisque and Bagaces ceramic spheres, which have been associated with widespread...

  • Contemplating Trade Corridors: Cost and Pathway Analysis Around Managua, Nicaragua (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Evan Sternberg. Justin Lowry. Jason Paling.

    Trade and inter-community connections are keys to understanding how the ancient region around the modern city of Managua, Nicaragua, interacted and participated in the larger Central American and Mesoamerican trade corridor. This paper will present potential interpretations of long distance and local connections through a cost and pathway analysis using ArcGIS. This study will incorporate recent research on obsidian and ceramic sourcing studies from the site of Chiquilistagua into the model of...

  • Exploring the Viability of Geochemically Sourcing Elaborate Metates Through XRF Spectroscopy (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew Abtosway.

    The Central American elaborate metate is a perplexing group of ground stone artifacts. Their function continues to be the subject of debate, with interpretations ranging from hallucinogenic and food preparation to ritual seating. It is difficult to deny, however, the substantial labor investment represented and likely symbolic significance. X-Ray fluorescence spectroscopy has proven an invaluable tool in the non-destructive geochemical sourcing of archaeological obsidian, providing insights into...

  • Interdisciplinary Investigations of the San Gabino Site, Chontales, Nicaragua (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lucy Gill. Natalia Donner. Irene Torreggiani. Antonio Barragán Montero. Alexander Geurds.

    Excavations at the site of San Gabino took place in 2015 under the auspices of Proyecto Arqueológico Centro de Nicaragua (PACEN), directed by Dr. Alexander Geurds. Discovered during a systematic surface survey of the Mayales River subbasin, north of the town of Juigalpa, the site was selected for stratigraphic excavation due to the chronological significance of its surface finds, in particular colonial-period glazed ware pottery. Colonial wares proved absent elsewhere during the survey, making...

  • New Investigations on the Northeast Coast of Honduras (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Markus Reindel. Franziska Fecher. Peter Fux.

    As part of the Central American Isthmus, Honduras adopted a special role in prehispanic America. Together with Nicaragua, the territory of modern Honduras functioned as a bridge between the culture areas of Mesoamerica and the Intermediate Area. In spite of that unique situation, archaeological investigations in Honduras have been focusing on the western, Mesoamerican part, especially on the Maya city of Copan. In contrast, cultural developments in the east remain largely unknown. With the goal...

  • Patrones Funerarios en 3 sitios del Departamento de Managua, Nicaragua (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ivonne Miranda Tapia. Jorge Zambrana.

    En esta ponencia discutimos un hallazgo muy importante para la arqueología de Nicaragua, en lo que respecta a patrones funerarios del Período Tempisque terminal y posiblemente Bagaces inicial. El hallazgo fue realizado a 18 kilómetros al sur de la ciudad de Managua, el mismo comparte algunas similitudes con otros sitios de la ciudad de Managua, pero con notables diferencias en lo que respecta a ensamblajes cerámicos y al mismo tiempo en los patrones funerarios en sí, por ejemplo, en Ticuantepe,...

  • Pots, People and Pacific Nicaragua: Misconceptions about Migrant Mesoamericans and Material Culture (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Larry Steinbrenner.

    The production of polychrome pottery in Pacific Nicaragua during the Sapoá and Ometepe Periods (AD 800-contact) has traditionally been attributed to various migrant cultural groups of vague Mesoamerican origin who were living in the region at the time of Spanish contact and who are usually assumed to have displaced the autochthonous inhabitants of Greater Nicoya. Supposed links between specific ceramic types and specific Mesoamerican groups that were originally based more on speculation than on...

  • A Seriation of Local Ceramics from Cosmapa Oriental, Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ashley Gravlin Beman.

    Many local ceramic wares in northwestern Nicaragua are, as of yet, undescribed. Excavations at the site of Cosmapa Oriental in the municipality of Chichigalpa, Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua were conducted by Dr. Clifford Brown of Florida Atlantic University in 2013. Analysis of the ceramic sample in 2015 revealed two occupational periods at the site: a Late Preclassic occupation related to cultures in El Salvador; and a Classic to Early Postclassic occupation, which include Las Vegas and...