EARTH University’s campus in Mercedes, Guácimo happens to be sitting on one of the most archeologically rich sites in the country. Committed to preserving the country’s archeological heritage, EARTH has collaborated with the National Museum of Costa Rica since the construction of the first buildings in 1989 to safely catalog, excavate, preserve and protect these artifacts of Costa Rica’s ancient civilizations.
EARTH recently received a grant from US AID’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (ASHA) to construct a new building that will be home to the Admissions and International Academic Relations Office. However, the building site is located on an area of campus that was identified as an archeological goldmine by a team from the National Museum during its original assessment in 1989. Before initiating construction, EARTH invited the National Museum to excavate any artifacts buried on the building site.
“This site was discovered in 1989, however it wasn’t excavated until now because of the construction plans,” explained Ricardo Vázquez, the Museum’s archeologist in charge of the dig. The preliminary study in 1989 found approximately 400 pieces dating back some 1200 to 1500 years in the area of the building site.
“This isn’t the only archeological site on campus; one that is very extraordinary is located close to the main entrance; it’s not as old as this one but it is a monumental discovery,” remarked Vázquez, who cautioned for the general public to protect and conserve the rich archeological history distributed throughout the communities surrounding EARTH.
Engineer Luis Carlos Ruiz, who supervises construction projects at EARTH, explained that the two-month excavation on the construction site is nearing its conclusion. In mid-September the team began extracting the first pieces, which will be restored and form part of the Museum’s collection.
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