Pueblos, Palenques, and Dual Organization in Sixteenth Century Costa Rica

Author(s): R. Jeffrey Frost

Year: 2015


Contact era Spanish descriptions from central Costa Rica through western Panama offer compelling evidence that many indigenous settlements throughout the region were arranged as two spatially discrete parts, implying that these societies were similarly organized as two social groups. Documentary sources further indicate that there were at least three regionally distinct spatial arrangements of villages. Spatial patterns of settlements recorded in these documents closely resemble those identified in late pre-Columbian archaeological sites from throughout the region. I present and evaluate documentary and archaeological evidence to propose new interpretations of political and ethnic boundaries throughout southern Costa Rica and western Panama at the time of Spanish contact.

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Cite this Record

Pueblos, Palenques, and Dual Organization in Sixteenth Century Costa Rica. R. Jeffrey Frost. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398337)

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Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

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