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Gold, Jade & a New Type of Pottery from Panama, Collected on the Joint Expedition to Cocle

DATES April 11, 1932 through May 08, 1932
  • January 1, 1934 Announcement was made in the press yesterday of the splendid finds of gold work discovered in Panama in the province of Cocle. These expeditions have been carried on by a Group of Archaeologists from the Peabody Museum in the years 1930, 1931 and 1933, under the direction of H. B. Roberts and S. K. Lothrop.

    The Brooklyn Museum shared in the work in the season of 1931 and for their help received over 100 items found during the season. This collection is chiefly composed of jewelry and pottery. The jewelry consists of bead necklaces, earrings, nose rings, arm bands, and breast plates. Some are cast by the lost wax process and others beaten out in the sheets with the designs produced by a repousse technic, Notable objects include a gold cover for the teeth, a gold mace head or the end of a staff, a golden greave for the leg, two hollow gold staffs, two golden chisels and several of the flat gold discs used for breast plates. The designs employed in the decoration represent jaguars, eagles, serpents, crabs, crocodiles and composite monsters usually inspired, it would seen, by their religious significance.

    The pottery competes with the old work in interest and shows the influence of metal designs. A distinctive feature of this pottery is the purple color used in the decoration.

    This originates from the department of Vara uas, Panama, and apparently the purple pigment was applied after firing. Nearby pottery from Nicoya, Costa Rica, is decorated with a peculiar lustrous manganese paint.

    The Brooklyn Museum share of the rich finds in Costa Rica and Panama has been installed by Dr. Herbert J. Spinden, curator of the Department of Ethnology, and now, fully labeled, is open to public view.

    Photographs nay be procured at the Museum and for additional information refer to Dr. Spinden.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1931 - 1936. 1934, 003-4.
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