San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Experts at National Museum discover pre-Columbian sculpture in Limón

Excavations conducted this month by Costa Rica’s National Museum in the Atlantic region of Guácimo resulted in several findings, including a large sculpture of the type known as “chacmool.”

Myrna Rojas, head of the museum’s Department of Anthropology and History, said the excavation season this year began in mid-January, and the chacmool was found the first week of February.

“The discovery of this piece shows that despite the terrain conditions and the impact over the years, this area shows great research potential,” Rojas said.

Museum experts also found three tombs, one of which is apparently of a child. The tombs showed signs of being partially raided by “huaqueros” (tomb raiders), said museum archaeologist Ricardo Vázquez, who headed the investigations.

He also explained that the excavation’s main goal is to gather more information on the building dates of the architectural works found on the surface.

Near the excavated structures, the large sculpture, or chacmool, which gets its name because it has a bowl in the abdominal area of ​​the figure, features sculptures evoking the Post-Classic period of Mesoamerica, according to museum experts.

“The piece is among the finest of its kind that have been documented in the central part of the Caribbean slope,” Vázquez said.

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