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Comparative NINE Analysis: The Place of Rivas in Central American Archaeology Relations within the Subarea: Rivas and Guanacaste, Costa Rica1 Recent stratigraphic information on northwest Costa Rica derives largely from the work of C. F. Baudez (1962), especially his doctoral dissertation "Recherches archeologiques dans la vallee du Tempisque , Guanacaste, Costa Rica" (1967), and M. D. Coe (1962a, 1962b). The latter worked at several coastal locations of the Nicoya Peninsula, while the former concentrated on the Tempisque region further inland. Both noted similarities between their assemblages, and aligned their provisional ceramic sequences (Baudez and Coe 1962). Baudez has produced a full exposition of the Tempisque work (1967); the final report on Coe's excavations in Tamarindo and Santa Elena has recently been completed (Sweeney 1975). Two recent surveys on Costa Rica prehistory in general have included major sections on Guanacaste (Stone 1977; Ferrero 1978). Lothrop (1926),Norweb (1964), and Baudez (1967:192) haveall stated the significance of the artifact similarities between southwest Nicaragua and northwest Costa Rica, and, assuch, the tworegions are included under the same Greater Nicoya Archaeological Subarea heading. The ceramic periods and phases established for Guanacaste closely parallel those of Rivas. On the earliest, Zoned Bichrome horizon, we find Coe's singular Chombo phase from Chahuite Escondido and Monte Fresco phase from Tamarindo. Baudez's lone Catalina phase appears to be similar also to the Nicaraguan Zoned Bichrome Period which, in Rivas (unlike Guanacaste), is divided into two phases: Aviles and San Jorge. 1 Research by Haberland on Ometepe Island has not yet been published in full; however, in a recent article (Haberland 1978:Fig. 12.1) the Ometepe sequence is outlined in full. At the present, only several preliminary statements have been published (Haberland 1963a, 1963b, 1966). The earliest phases from Ometepe, termed Angelesand Dinarte, maywell prove to be pre-Zoned Bichromecomplexes dating back as far as 1200 B.C. (Haberland 1978:410). 311 312 Archaeology of the Rivas Region, Nicaragua The Early Polychrome Period for Guanacaste ismade up of the Santa Elena phase (in Santa Elena), the Matapalo phase (in Tamarindo), and the San Bosco phase (in Tempisque). The latter was originally subdivided into two phases designated San Bosco A and San Bosco B (Baudez 1962). Later, the earlier phase was renamed Ciruelas, and designated a separate period. In Rivas the Early Polychrome Period is divided into two phases—San Roque and Palos Negros. All regions have a Middle Polychrome representation named, respectively, the Doscientos, Tamarindo, and Palo Blanco phases. In Norweb's (1964) preliminary report he suggested three Rivas phases for the period; our subsequent reanalysis has eliminated the last phase and, instead, retained the Apompua and La Virgen designations. Coe (1962a) noted a Late Polychrome presence at Chahuite Escondido which he labelled the La Cruz phase. It was subdivided into La Cruz A and B phases. Baudez, in his preliminary study, had not noted a positive Late Polychrome component in Tempisque. Later, however, a more complete study did reveal such a horizon, which he subsequently called the Bebedero phase (1967). In Rivas, two phases, Las Lajas and Alta Gracia, succeed one another, and compose the Nicaraguan Late Polychrome Period. In attempting to analyze the cross-regional similarities for the subarea we were dealing largely with Baudez's (1967) complete study for Tempisque, but have had to rely on only preliminary studies published by Coe (1962a; Coe and Baudez 1961; Baudez and Coe 1962) for Tamarindo and Santa Elena. Nevertheless, there are some striking similarities for the subarea as a whole which can be readily recognized in the preliminary articles. Not only do the phases and periods closely align, but the ceramic types are, in many instances, identical to one another. It is possible, as a consequence, to see fluctuations through time of the interrelationships between regions within the subarea itself, as well as with regions farther afield. Baudez (1967:193-96) has analyzed the similarities of the Tempisque assemblages with those of Coe and Norweb's preliminary reports. Since the publication of the Tempisque report, Lange (1969, 1970, 1971a, 1971b, 1977, 1978) and colleagues (Lange and Murray 1972; Lange and Scheidenhelm 1972; Murray 1975; Lange and Accola 1979) have conducted a large number of surveys and excavations near the Costa Rica-Nicaragua border, and our analysis of the Rivas materials has been undertaken as well (Healy 1974b), filling in the cultural picture for southern Nicaragua and northwest Costa Rica. Both of these studies suggest that the ties between Rivas and Guanacaste are close in...


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