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El 19 Digital: Scientists find more than 1,500 archaeological artefacts on the route of the Grand Canal of Nicaragua 2015-12-13 16:55

By: Kenneth Chávez

Photograph: El 19 Digital (Nicaragua)

A large team of scientists contracted by HKND Group found more than 1,500 archaeological artefacts in Brito (Rivas), part of the route where the pre-construction phrase of the Interoceanic Grand Canal has initiated.

Bill Wild, the Chief Project Advisor, explained that these historical pieces, dating back to 700 to 1550 A.D., were found by geographers and geologists hired by the Chinese concessionaire.

He explained that this archaeological survey in the area of Rivas has been one of the main requirements of the ESIA study, carried out by the British company ERM.

He indicated that this excavation work is being supported by students and professors from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN-Managua), and two of the best archaeologists of the country.

"It is pre-construction archaeology. What we do is performing a study in detail of this area, where artefacts have been identified. These artefacts will become part of the cultural heritage of Nicaragua," he said.

Photograph: El 19 Digital (Nicaragua)

The Chief Advisor affirmed that once the main excavations are carried out in this area for the construction of the Grand Canal, other important pieces will be collected.

The US scientist, Patrick Werner, said that in Brito area, the archaeological survey has been carried out on the superficies of 1.3 hectares, where 22 exploratory pits were dug.

"It is a scientific work, with survey of 3 centimeters per layer. We have found interesting things. Under 40 centimeters, we found essential pieces; pottery, sea stones, Luna polychrome," he detailed.

The historian and archaeologist said that these pieces could not have been rescued, if it were not for the execution of the construction of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Grand Canal, mega-project promoted by the government of President Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo.

"We are managing a team of prospectors, and we are conducting archaeological protection throughout the area. We have located 16 archaeological sites of high density, some are off the route of the Grand Canal and others within it," he affirmed.

The scientist found that most of these archaeological pieces are part of funerary sites, or where the Nicaraos or Chorotegas carried out burials.

Photograph: El 19 Digital (Nicaragua)

The professor from UNAN-Managua, Leonardo Lechado, who is also part of the research team, explained that exploration has been conducted in the mangroves part in Brito, where there are small hills and slopes, with a high density of archaeological material.

"There is a level of deterioration on these slopes. We have found pottery material, lithic artefacts, and shells. The chronology presented by the materials, reflect to us of 500 years before Christ, until 1550 after Christ, when the Spaniards came to these lands," he added.

Lechado expressed that being able to work on this project of the Grand Canal has been of utmost importance for many Nicaraguan professionals, taking into account the high costs to conduct these studies, and HKND is providing all the conditions.

Telémaco Talavera, from the national Interoceanic Grand Canal Commission, said these findings are important, as it is rescuing our history through the work with high scientific approach. 

"This is part of the comprehensive results of this great work of transformation, which is not only economic, social and engineering, but also cultural," he said.

Talavera stressed that during this pre-construction period of the Grand Canal, employment opportunities are being produced significantly in the area, thus, families in Brito are happy with this effort.

The spokesman of this megaproject informed that HKND will deliver these over 1,500 archaeological artefacts to the government of President Daniel Ortega, which will become part of the Historical and Cultural Heritage of Nicaragua.


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