EFE: Another 5,000 Pre-Columbian Pieces are Found on the Nicaragua Canal Route
Managua, March 11 (EFE).- Around 5,000 pre-Columbian pieces were found during an archaeological survey conducted over the last two months on the route through which the Grand Canal of Nicaragua is expected to pass, the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture (INC) reported today.
The co-director of the INC, Luis Morales Alonso, said at a press conference that most of these pre-Columbian pieces date back to the year 1430, a fact which was “corroborated by the carbon-14 (dating test),” he said.
"This is important for the knowledge and history of our country. This will be a turning point in the Nicaraguan archaeology," said the official.
The spokesman of the Nicaragua Grand Canal Commission, Telémaco Talavera, explained that the discovery was possible thanks to the "combination of specialists" and experts from the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua (UNAN).
A year ago, the Chinese concessionaire of the Nicaragua Interoceanic Canal, HKND Group, delivered to the Government 15,000 pre-Columbian archaeological pieces and some dating from the beginning of the 20th Century, found in the area of influence of the Canal, without carrying out excavations.
The company that gathered those relics, the British firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM), which conducted the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, recommended a phase with excavations to protect and preserve them.
According to the Nicaragua Grand Canal Commission, as a result of the archaeological studies on the route of the waterway more than 23,000 pre-Columbian pieces are expected to be recovered, in addition to the 20,000, for a total of at least 43,000 pieces.
According to the latest design, the Canal Project consists of a waterway that is 276 kilometers long and 230 to 280 meters wide, and includes two ports, an airport, two artificial lakes, two locks, a free trade zone and resorts, among others.
According to the company's estimates, the Canal would become operational five years after the commencement of the major works, i.e., excavation of the canal and construction of the west lock, scheduled to start in late 2016.
The project cost is estimated at about 50,000 million dollars, according to HKND Group.
Nicaragua expects its construction generates around 50,000 jobs and double the national gross domestic product (GDP).