Long dead Nicoyans to live again via museum exhibit

The Museo Nacional is putting together an exhibit that will display for the first time objects from the El Silo archaeological site on the Gulf of Nicoya.

The site is a cemetery of residents from 800 to 1350 A.D., the museum said. Discovery was by chance when the operators of the Finca El Pochote brought in a backhoe to begin construction of a silo to store grain.

That is how the site got its name.

That was in 2004. There still is excavation going on at the site because there is a dwelling area that has not been explored, said the museum.

The main topic of the display, which opens Nov. 9 is the burial customs of what are being called the old Nicoyans The museum said that the show includes 85 objects, mostly ceramics. But there also are stone, obsidian, jadeite and gold objects. These include incense burners, platters, containers, hatchets and metals.

The museum is constructing a scale replica of the site with reproductions of the bone remains and objects located by excavators. “The montage exemplifies the original circular forms of ten graves and their central ossuary, being this the first time this type of circular design is ever found,” said the museum on its Web site.

“Evidence shows that in some graves several persons were buried together,” it added. “On the other hand, the treatment given to the dead was diverse, possibly related to hierarchy, trade, gender, and other.”

The exhibit will run until April 17. The Web pagecontains a number of images.

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