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Ancient tomb found in Costa Rica

07-27-2010 08:59 BJT

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Plans to erect a building in Tres Rios, a town east of Costa Rica's capital, were put on hold indefinitely when workers found an indigenous burial site that archaeologists say is over 900 years old.

The property owner, a Belgian citizen, gave the National Museum complete access to the site. Let's see how their work is progressing.

According to museum authorities, this is the second time in the past decade that a finding of this caliber was made in the Central Valley area, which includes the capital, San Jose.

During the past 2 months, a group of archaeologists recovered the remains of 26 bodies and more than 100 pieces of pottery in various sizes, all in very good condition.

Preliminary results made public this past week showed that most of the pottery pieces were from the 10th or 11th century.

According to chief archaeologist Maritza Gutierrez, most of the tombs had at least two levels, which was normal for the area, but others have three and some even four.

Even though archaeologists have seen similar burial styles in Costa Rica, Gutierrez said this one is different due to the original combination of various elements.

Maritza Gutierrez, archeologist of National Museum of Costa Rica, said, "The importance of this place rests in the energy and the display of basic materials that follow the religious practices, beliefs, ideology of this social group and goes beyond this actual place. So far, we have found 26 individuals and 36 tombs. Some have two levels, most of the human burials and also the burial of offerings to the dead. We have found 103 offerings, are in the upper level but we also found human remains in the lower one."

The human remains belonged to adults and minors but Costa Rican archaeologists haven't yet determined their gender.

The human remains and the pottery will be send to the United States for further tests to establish their exact age.

The National Museum plans to move one of the tombs piece by piece and put in on display at the museum.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source:

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