I have visited El Caño Archaeological Park about 3 times, let’s say that something like every 10 years, whenever I go I see it differently.
It is located in the Coclé province, in the Natá district, El Caño community.
On my first visit, I was surprised because it had a grave excavated, and they had left it as is, one could appreciate the skeletons along with their belongings.
On my second visit, the belongings were no longer in the grave, those that remained had them elsewhere with more security.
And this third visit, it turns out that there are only the skeletons, however, they have excavated another tomb, that of a warrior chief, he had many belongings, including gold jewelry and precious stones.
Unfortunately, El Caño Archaeological Park has had robberies.
Despite all, it has advanced and now they have more knowledge of this indigenous.
How were the indigenous people bury?
The indigenous people were buried with their belongings, their working tools, and although several skeletons are found in a tomb, it turns out that they did not die together.
After burying them they covered them with enough earth, in such a way that they made some small hills and on them, they built their houses and lived there.
In the tomb of the warrior chief, there are 26 other warriors of higher rank, these if they were sacrificed or committed suicide to accompany the warrior chief in his next life.
On the other hand, this area is flooded (in the past and in the present), living on these artificial hills protected them from floods.
These indigenous people inhabited these lands for the year 1,200 AD, these lands are considered a necropolis.
Types of burial
The indigenous people had 2 types of burial, the primary burial, which was buried in bone and meat.
Secondary burial, which leaves the body outdoors to be eaten by birds and then only the bones are buried.
This latter is due to the belief that by eating meat and flying, birds allowed their souls to rise faster.
Life-size basaltic columns, are stones brought from the mountain range, especially from 3 mountains that are around the Archaeological Park.
This place was used as a calendar, clock, sacrifice ceremonies and playground.
In this place, there were also 37 monumental sculptures, 26 idols, 2 altars and 2 columns decorated with reliefs.
Unfortunately, these pieces are in the Museum of the American Indian in New York.
This is because the American gentleman, Hyatt Verrill, made some excavations for the year 1926 and sent the pieces to that museum.
It was not until 1973, when a sugar company carried out work on the site for planting sugarcane, the discovery was made known and the company decided to donate 8 hectares of land.
Inhabitants are known to trade with other indigenous people of America through barter.
Stones such as emerald have been found, which are not from Panama.
In addition, to learn about the life of these indigenous people, you can also do a picnic in the place and spend the afternoon with friends or family.
- Tuesday to Saturday.
- 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
However, if you are near, stop by and ask if you can meet it, if there is no booking, they will probably let it pass.
How to get to El Caño Archaeological Park?
It is easy, take a bus until Nata, then take a transport to the El Caño Community.
From there take the street that passes next to the San Lorenzo Church, from there it is approximately 2km.
You have to walk since there is no transport to the Archaeological Park.
You can also go in your own car, the road is in very good condition, you can use Google Maps.