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Digital defense Alberto Sarcina

Thursday 18 June 2020
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De la gloria al olvido - Estudio arqueológico de la primera ciudad española en la Tierra Firme de América: Santa María de la Antigua del Darién

This work summarizes six years of archaeological research at the site where the first European city was founded on the continental land of America, Santa María de la Antigua del Darién. An experience in the Colombian northwest that, through a rigorous archaeological investigation conducted with the stratigraphic method, unites extensive work with the community and a multidisciplinary approach.

Santa María de la Antigua del Darién was the first city that the Spanish founded in the "Tierra Firme" of America in 1510. It became the capital of the territory of Castilla del Oro until the founding of Panama City. A few years after the transfer of the capital to Panama, Santa María de La Antigua was gradually abandoned until in 1524 it was assaulted and burned by the indigenous people.

The archaeological project in the place where Santa María de la Antigua del Darién was located, promoted by the Colombian Ministry of Culture and the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (Icanh), since 2013, has allowed to delimit the space of the city and it has brought to light housing floors, cobbled courtyards, streets, a blacksmith's workshop and fragments of indigenous and European material culture.

It has also revealed an important pre-Hispanic phase prior to the founding of the Spanish city. Based on these investigations, Santa María de la Antigua del Darién has been declared a site of cultural interest in 2015 and a National Archaeological Park in 2016.

Santa María Antigua (image courtesy of Alberto Sarcina)
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