Chinina, Panama. First evidence of pre-hispanic raised fields in Central America


Aerial photography has been known as an extremely useful tool of archaeological prospection for nearly one century. In recent years however it gained increasing importance by two reasons: First the availability of high quality aerial photographs via internet made it quite easy to start archaeological surveys even in remote areas. Second archaeological perspectives on past human societies changed in recent decades. Modern ecological problems caused an increasing interest in landscape archaeology.

In Panama paleoecological studies were carried out by Dolores Piperno and her team, already since the 1980's. The results of this research contributed to understand American agricultural development especially related to the manipulation and domestication of plants. However, despite this important role of Panamanian data for the overall discussion of the development of agriculture in tropical environment, there has been not data on agricultural practice and land use pattern.

For the first time fossil fields structures have been identified in online aerial photographs in late 2010. This was a result of a systematic searching inspired by a previous project dealing with colonial period rising questions concerning the change in landscape dynamics.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Chinina, Panama. First evidence of pre-hispanic raised fields in Central America. Juan Martin, Rainer Schreg, Tomás Mendizábal, Dolores Piperno, Richard Cooke. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396155)


Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;