What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Precolonial Sites in Chontales, Central Nicaragua?


The Proyecto Arqueológico Centro de Nicaragua (PACEN), directed by Alexander Geurds, has recently conducted archaeological research in Chontales, Central Nicaragua. The main focuses of the study include the identification of the different types of settlements, understanding site and mound morphologies, as well as re-defining the regional pottery sequence. Therefore, the authors of this paper carried out a systematic full-coverage high intensity survey of a 52 square kilometer area, a complete mapping of the 46 mounded sites found, as well as stratigraphic excavations to diachronically and synchronically interrelate the different settlements.

In this paper, we discuss the various distinctive traits that conform precolonial sites in Central Nicaragua, looking at archaeological remains, environment, and geomorphology as inherently interconnected analytical elements. Settlements are discussed as an intertwined combination of specific soil types, hydrology and landscape features, as well as particular architectural features and material culture. The analysis of the different sets of combinations of all these characteristics, which conform the quintessential ontology of the sites, will shed light on how we can define prehispanic settlements in the research area.

Cite this Record

What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Precolonial Sites in Chontales, Central Nicaragua?. Natalia Donner, Alejandro Arteaga Saucedo, Kaz van Dijk, Alexander Geurds. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430916)


Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15792