The archaeology of the western Coclé province of Panama
This study is a report on an archaeological survey and excavations undertaken in the Coclé province of Panama, between the Santa Maria and Coclé rivers, from October, 1969 to April, 1970. Five sites were excavated and forty-three collected from the surface. A four-phased sequence of polychrome pottery is established according to the stratified position of sherds in the excavated units and statistical analyses of the surface samples. Transitional forms between the four major Polychrome Groups are suggested and other polychrome types whose relative age is less clear are described. Non-polychrome pottery is analysed and the categories assigned an approximate relative age. Meal refuse excavated at three sites is described and a list included of all the animal bones, shells and plant remains identified to date. Artifacts in bone and stone are described. The archaeological chronologies of all the sites excavated in western Coclé by the author and other investigators is assessed and an approximation made of the relative ages of some of the surface-collected sites. The ideas of S.K.Lethrop concerning the chronology of the Sitie Conte and "Coclé" culture in general are reconsidered. A reconstruction is attempted of the pattern of life from 5000 B.C. to the Conquest according to available archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence. A survey is made of the relationships between the surveyed area and regions outside the frontiers of Coclé, incorporating much data that is unpublished. The emphasis in the descriptions and analyses is on the horizontal development of culture throughout the Pacific littoral of Panama east of Chiriqui and not on isolated regional developments. A gazeteer of all known archaeological sites is included, with precise topographical locations where possible.