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.