Cobble Circles and Standing Stones: Archaeology at the Rivas by Jeffrey Quilter

By Jeffrey Quilter

Writing within the first individual with a stability among casual language and educational conception, Quilter concludes that Rivas was once a ceremonial heart for mortuary rituals to bury mainly elite at the Panteón. by utilizing his narrative method, he presents the reader with debts of discoveries as they happened in fieldwork and the advance of interpretations to give an explanation for the traditional refuse and cobble structure his workforce exposed. As his tale progresses amid the appeal of the Costa Rican panorama, study plans are adjusted and infrequently thoroughly overturned as new discoveries, frequently serendipitous ones, are made. Such altering conditions bring about new insights into the increase and fall of the folk who equipped the cobble circles and raised the status stones at Rivas 1000 years in the past.

during this full of life story of archaeological event within the tropical wooded area, Jeffrey Quilter tells the tale of his excavation of Rivas, a very good ceremonial middle on the foot of the Talamanca Mountain variety, which flourished among a.d. 900 and 1300, and its fabled gold-filled cemetery, the Panteón de los angeles Reina. starting with the 1992 box season and finishing with the final excavations in 1998, Quilter discusses Rivas’s developers and clients, theories on chiefdom societies, and the day-by-day interactions and surprises of contemporary archaeological fieldwork.

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Additional info for Cobble Circles and Standing Stones: Archaeology at the Rivas Site, Costa Rica

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We found lots of spindle whorls (weights to aid in spinning thread) and ceramic disks, whistle and ocarina fragments, and the usual dense concentrations of stone tool remains and ceramics. These cobble concentrations may have been a combination of work areas and refuse dumps. They would have afforded a fine place to sit, on the terrace edge, looking out over the valley, and prevailing winds would have blown the smoke of fires near the structures away from anyone sitting in the area. The cobbles would have created a relatively dry surface, or at least a quick-draining one, as a place to spin thread and work on other tasks while conversing.

Whether one favors evolutionary categories perhaps depends on one’s theoretical interests. The issue is hotly debated. I have tried to pick projects in which I could clearly add to basic knowledge about what happened in the past—research that can contribute to building or clarifying cultural chronologies and to delineating regional culture history. But I also have tried to do research that can contribute to larger theoretical questions, too. I didn’t go to Rivas to prove that it was a chiefdom or to disprove it.

It thus seemed that work in this area would be useful as a means to collect data for comparison with Murciélago, as part of our developing a record of late period chiefdoms in the Southern Zone. Although we could pinpoint any find to less than a millimeter on the grid system, we usually worked in excavation units measured in meters. To more efficiently identify any unit, we followed a convention of referring to it by its southwestern corner. Thus a 1 x 1 meter size unit that had coordinates at S1/E9, S0/E9, S0/E10, and S1/E10 would be known as S1/E9.

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