Ancient burial site found in Tres Rios, Costa Rica

1. Pan from street to wall protecting construction site
2. Wide of indigenous burial site found during initial works
3. Mid of what appears to be a niche
4. Stone with a stick to mark location
5. Mid of various tombs
6. Archaeologist measuring location of pottery piece
7. Close up of pottery piece on the mud
8. Archaeologist cleaning the piece
9. Mid of another tomb
10. Close up of book used by archaeologist, reading: (English) “The Human Bone Manual”
11. Mid of two members of the team cleaning tomb in search of bones
12. Archaeologists removing a skull from the tomb and wrapping it in tin foil
13. Set up shot of chief archaeologist Maritza Gutierrez
14. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish) Maritza Gutierrez, archaeologist of the National Museum of Costa Rica:
“The importance of this place rests in the energy and the display of the basic materials that follows the religious practices, beliefs, ideology of this social group and goes beyond this actual place. So far we have found 26 individuals and 36 tombs. Some have two levels, most of the human burials and also the burial of offerings to the dead, we have found 103 offerings, are in the upper level but we also found human remains in the lower one.”
15. Mid of archaeologists’ hands removing a fractured skull from the tomb
16. Various of other members of the team removing different bones from the tombs
17. Pan of the National Museum, anthropological ward, where similar findings are exposed
18. Various of showcases of other archaeological findings
Plans to erect a building in Tres Rios, a town east of Costa Rica’s capital, were put on hold indefinitely when workers found an indigenous burial site that archaeologists say is over 900 years old.
The property owner, a Belgian citizen, gave the National Museum complete access to work on the site of 900 square metres (9,687 square feet).
According to museum authorities, this is the second time in the past decade that a finding of this calibre is made in the Central Valley area which includes San Jose, the capital.
During the past 2 months, a group of archaeologists has recovered the remains of 26 bodies and more than 100 pieces of pottery in various sizes, all in very good condition.
Preliminary results made public this past week showed that most of the pottery pieces were from the 10th or 11th century.
According to chief archaeologist Maritza Gutierrez most of the tombs had at least two levels, which was normal in the area, but others have three and some even four.
Even though archaeologist have seen similar burial styles in Costa Rica, Gutierrez said this one is different due to the original combination of various elements.
The human remains belonged to adults and minors but Costa Rican archaeologist haven’t yet determined their sex.
The human remains and the pottery will be send to the United States for further tests to establish their exact age.
The National Museum plans to move one of the tombs piece by piece and put in on display at the museum.

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