Indigenous Stone Spheres Will Help Cultural Memory of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is to present next February at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) the nomination of the stone spheres as world heritage, reported the Costa Rica National Museum.
For Costa Rican sculptor and “godfather” of the candidate, Jorge Jimenez Deredia spherical sculptures created by the Boruca Indians between 400 and 1,500 in the south of the country, are part of a rich legacy that most Costa Ricans and the world known next to nothing about.
According to the sculptor, the spheres are “a symbolic representation of a political and spiritual power” that is a legacy “very specific to Costa Rica”, whose memory was “erased” during the Spanish colonization.
Costa Rican Archaeologists have found that these sites were located originally in places of importance to the indigenous, the most stylized and large of the stone spheres in the most important sites.
They have perfection in roundness of 95% and ranging from 10 inches in diameter up to 2.57 meters, with a maximum weight of 15 tons.
“The sphere is a concept of integrity, and horizontal integration of society. Such are the characteristics our ancestors, but the Costa Ricans do not know where they come from,” said Deredia.
The artist exhibited in 2009 at the Roman Forum and the Coliseum sculptures inspired by various indigenous areas, as part of its exhibition “Deredia: The Path of Peace”.
According to the sculptor, these works include a way to “create a contemporary expression” of the world view of the indigenous people of Costa Rica.
The World Heritage nomination has been brewing since 2000 and according Deredia with data that has been collected it can be said that in Costa Rica there was “an important culture” that the world should know about.
The stone spheres were discovered in 1939 in an old 10-hectare banana farm called Finca 6 in the town of Palmar Sur, Puntarenas province (South Pacific).
Many of these sculptures were removed from their original sites, destroyed or damaged by the myth that inside hid treasures.
National Museum director, Christian Kandler, told EFE that UNESCO only receives nominations in the first two months of each year, so that the objective of Costa Rica is to present the nomination in February.
For this, the museum hired the Italian restorer Emiliano Antonelli, who this week completed a ten-day visit to the archeological sites where the areas to inspect their status.
Antonelli analyzed 25 stone spheres, discovered about 200, and determined that thirteen are in poor condition, seven in fair condition and five in good condition.
The main damage is exfoliation, erosion and biological attacks plants and microorganisms caused by high temperatures, humidity, exposure to rain and sun.
In the coming months the National Museum hopes to establish a restoration project areas based on the results of the study by the Italian, who form part of the application package to UNESCO.
The museum director said the bid also includes initiatives to recover archaeological sites located on private land, and the openness of which are held by the state.
If there are still sites aligned with stone spheres in their original position, it is believed to be related to the equinoxes and solstices.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica