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Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum

by Fundacion El Cano
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Preserve the El Cano Archaeological Park & museum
Dr. Hervas working with students on measurements
Dr. Hervas working with students on measurements

The Fundación El Caño team continued working in the field until the third week of March. In March, FEC team member Dr. Miguel Ángel Hervás joined the rest of the team in El Caño. He worked with the students giving them training on the proper way to take measurements and coordinates of the site and any relevant findings. He also showed them the proper way to diagram the site they are working on accoring to scale.

FEC team member Alexa Hancock worked with Katherinne, a student at the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí (UNACHI), on teeth that were on display in the museum from tomb T7. Katherinne is conducting a study on all the teeth from tomb T7 for her thesis.

The field season had to close early due to the Coronavirus affecting the Republic of Panamá. By the end of March, the Fundación El Caño team moved to working from home. All members are contibuting to a publication documenting the first ten years of the foundation´s investigation of the El Caño necropolis, covering 2008-2018. The team is continuing to work on this project and intend to have it ready and published by the end of this year.

Work is also continuing on the project to create a virtual representation of the El Caño Archaeological Park and Museum. This will enable the public to visit the museum exhibits and tour the site in an online virtual environment. Worcester Polytechnic Institute assigned a team of four students to the project. Virtual meetings have been held with the students and Footprint Possibilities, Inc. Footprint Possibilities, Inc. works to organize and seek funding for local Panamanian community efforts. These range from construction to educational opportunities and events that engage the community with the environment, children, cultures, health and education. They serve as the local point of contact for U.S. based student organizations wishing to work in Panama and were resposnible for connecting Worcester Polytechnic Institute with Fundación El Caño. A benefit of this project is, in the event the students are unable to travel to Panamá they will still be able to complete it from the United States as it is primatrliy a technical and software based project.

Even though the team cannot work in their office in the City of Knowledge, the laboratory and collection is still periodically cleaned and checked on by FEC president Dr. Julia Mayo to ensure the atifacts are safe and being kept in good condition.

Dr. Hervas showing how to diagram to scale
Dr. Hervas showing how to diagram to scale
Working on tomb T7 teeth
Working on tomb T7 teeth
Checking on the collection of artifacts at lab
Checking on the collection of artifacts at lab
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Excavation begins by the causeway
Excavation begins by the causeway

On January 10, 2020, Dr. Julia Mayo met with the new minister of the Panama Tourism Authority, Iván Eskildsen, and members of his team in the El Caño Archaeological Park. The Tourism Authority has been an ongoing partner and supporter of the work being done by Dr. Mayo and Minister Eskildsen pledged continued support to improve and preserve the museum and park.

The Fundación El Caño team began the 2020 field season on February 17th. They will be at the El Caño Archaeological Park through the end of March. The focus of the season is an excavation around the causeway of river rock that was used by the Coclé to access the necropolis from the Rio Grande. So far signs of a small structure, possibly a stand for a ritual fire, was uncovered. This year four students enrolled in Panamanian and European universities are working with the team of archaeologists.

In its March volume,  the magazine Latin American Antiquity will publish the results of one of our investigations which has served to explain the nature of the mortuary practices behind multiple burials at the El Caño site, Panama (archaeological tradition of "Gran Cocle", ca. 700-1000 AD). In the article, we test the hypothesis that these burials were the product of sumptuous funerals held after the death of the Rio Grande rulers and that these funerals included human sacrifices among other practices.  You can access the publication from this link: https://www.cambridge.org/…/09B511BAA3013845B5CB3DCB199E43A5.

 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute has agreed to work with the foundation on a new   project. The project involves students designing a complete virtual tour of the park and museum so the public can learn about the site even if they cannot travel there in person. This project will be ongoing throughout 2020.
Abner Alberda taking measurements
Abner Alberda taking measurements
Dr. Julia Mayo and Minister Ivan Eskildsen
Dr. Julia Mayo and Minister Ivan Eskildsen
Dr. Julia Mayo with students and team members
Dr. Julia Mayo with students and team members
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Ambassadors at El Cano museum
Ambassadors at El Cano museum

Since September, the two teams of four students each from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have completed their two projects involving the El Caño Archaeological Park. The projects consisted of the creation of a program of self-guided tour visits for English and French speakers and a study of the park's flora.

The students presented their projects and results to their WPI advisor, James Chiarelli, and to sponsors Rick Montanari of Footprint Possibilities, Inc. and Dr. Julia Mayo of the El Caño Foundation. At the end, all materials were delivered to Dr. Mayo.

As a result of the work completed by the students, the Fundación El Caño team has better data related to the flora in the park. Additionally, there is now an online self-guided tour of the park and museum in the Android store availble in English and French. The tour application will soon be availble in the Apple store. The students also provided a tri-fold map with an abbreviated version of the information that is in the application to be availble for visitors who do not have a smart cellular phone.

The National Secretariat for Science (SENACYT), Technology and Innovation publishes an magazine titled "IMAGINA".  Edition 11 showcased the exhibition that Fundación El Caño prepared for the Archaeological Museum of El Caño and utilized the iconic artifact known as "The "Bird Man" for the cover. "The Bird Man" is an interesting and beautiful gold pendant discovered in the tomb T2 of the Necropolis of El Caño.

Fundación El Caño participated in an event organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Directorate of Protocol and State Ceremonial, Tourism Diplomacy "The Cutarra Experience". Fundación El Caño received 16 ambassadors from different countries, all stationed in Panama. Dr. Julia Mayo conducted a tour of the museum and park for them. These events help disseminate the information concerning the progress being made in El Caño.

The January 2020 edition of "Journal of Archaeological Science" includes the article "Golden artefacts, resin figurines, body adhesives and tomb sediments from the pre-Columbian burial site El Caño (Gran Coclé, Panamá): Tracing organic contents using molecular archaeometry". This article was authored by several members of the Fundacion El Caño team and partners.

Self Guided Tour, Android store
Self Guided Tour, Android store
IMAGINA magazine
IMAGINA magazine
WPI students flora study team
WPI students flora study team
WPI students self-guided tour team
WPI students self-guided tour team
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Worcester Polytechnic students in El Cano
Worcester Polytechnic students in El Cano

Fundación El Caño was approached by the non-profit organization Footprint Possibilities, Inc., to coordinate a project with students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. We articulated a desire to create a manner to allow non-Spanish speakers to do a self-guided tour of the park and museum. Worcester Polytechnic Institute agreed to take on the project and assigned four students to it.

The students have been working since March on creating a minimum of a map indicating points of interest with accompanying text. The ultimate goal is to create an on-line application self-guided tour in English and French,

We are looking forward to being able to provide non-Spanish speaking visitors aa fully interactive and educational experience.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute also agreed to assign four students to conduct a study of the plants in the park. The purpose of the study is to allow Fundación El Caño to determine if and how the ecology of the area has changed over the last millenium.

The students arrived in Panama August 21st and having been working at the park on their projects. On September 7th, a prototype of the self guided tour application was tested in the park by visitors. Once finalized the tour will be availble in English and French.

Self guided tour app prototype being tested
Self guided tour app prototype being tested
Museum Self guided tour prototype test
Museum Self guided tour prototype test
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Ribbon cutting ceremony
Ribbon cutting ceremony

  On April 12, 2019, the newly renovated El Caño Archaeological Museum was inaugurated as a result of funding from the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT), National Cultural Institute (INAC) and private donations. The Fundación El Caño team curated exhibits containing some of the artifacts recovered from the first six tombs they excavated at the necropolis. For the first two weeks, the exhibits included the original gold artifacts. However, due to security concerns, the gold artifacts had to be replaced by replicas created by Francis Galarza, Nicolás Caro and Panama Bay Jewelers. The remaining, non-gold, original artifacts continue to be on public display.

  On May 17, 2019, in collaboration with the Technological University of Panama, INAC, SENACYT, and Fundación El Caño, an educational visual display was added. This consists of a large interactive touch screen which visitors, especially children, can use to experience El Caño in a unique and fun way.

Fundación El Caño has also created an area where visitors can relax and enjoy a beverage or snack and purchase a souvenir of their visit.

  Fundación El Caño has partnered with the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts, on two projects. Students have begun working on creating a self-guided tour for non-Spanish speaking visitors to El Caño. A second group of students has begun a plant study to identify the plants currently in the park. The Fundación El Caño team can then compare the plants that are in the park against remnants and seeds found in the tombs to determine how the ecology has changed in the last 100 years.

  Work continues to raise funds to continue improvements and repairs in the park. The team has also begun to plan for excavations in the 2020 dry season. Sponsorships and funds for that endeavor are also needed.

Dr. Mercedes Guinea of FEC with members of INAC.
Dr. Mercedes Guinea of FEC with members of INAC.
Touring the exhibits
Touring the exhibits
Dr. Julia Mayo speaking during the ceremony.
Dr. Julia Mayo speaking during the ceremony.
The interactive educational display.
The interactive educational display.

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Organization Information

Fundacion El Cano

Location: Clayton, Panama - Panama
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Fundacion El Cano
Project Leader:
Alexa Hancock
Clayton, Panama
$7,238 raised of $90,000 goal
 
64 donations
$82,762 to go
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