Keynote Address – October 13th – 5:30pm

Isthmo-Colombian Archaeology and Mesoamerica:
A Perspective from Central America’s “Deep South”

by Dr. John W. Hoopes
Greenleaf Distinguished Chair in Latin American Studies, Tulane University

Las Mercedes 2

An “alligator man” from Las Mercedes in eastern Costa Rica

The prehistory of the Istmo-Columbian Area, an essential part of Middle America located between eastern Honduras and northern Columbia, has received less scholarly attention than regions to the north. However, significant advances in the archaeology of Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama reveal that this was a significant area of innovations in technology, ideology, art styles, long-distance exchange, and social organization whose effects resonated with patterns in Mesoamerica over thousands of years. This presentation will provide an introduction to Isthmo-Colombian archaeology as a context for understanding dynamic interactions between the peoples of southern Central America and their neighbors to the north as expressed in works of jadeite, gold, ceramics, and stone sculpture.