Archaeological resource management and the Nicaraguan trans-oceanic canal

November 19, 2014. University of Calgary Room ES 162. 7:30pm

Geoffrey McCafferty, University of Calgary

Archaeological work has begun in advance of the Nicaraguan trans-oceanic canal that will span the 300 km wide Central American country from the Caribbean to the Pacific, challenging the Panama Canal for economic dominance in the hemisphere.  Extensive cultural resources will be impacted by the project and associated development in a country that has been relatively ignored by archaeologists since the mid-19th century … with the exception of a 15 year project by archaeologists from the University of Calgary.  This illustrated presentation will address the history and goals of the Nicaraguan canal project, and describe how recent University of Calgary archaeologists have transformed the cultural history of Nicaragua.  Past projects have included excavations along the lake shore and on one of the prominent islands in the lake, areas that will be impacted by the canal, while focussing on a period when migrants from central Mexico allegedly conquered and colonized the region in order to monopolize cacao production.