Santa María de la Antigua del Darién was the first city that the Spanish founded in the “Tierra Firme” of America in 1510. It became the capital of the territory of Castilla del Oro until the founding of Panama City. A few years after the transfer of the capital to Panama, Santa María de La Antigua was gradually abandoned until in 1524 it was assaulted and burned by the indigenous people.
The archaeological project in the place where Santa María de la Antigua del Darién was located, promoted by the Colombian Ministry of Culture and the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History (Icanh), since 2013, has allowed to delimit the space of the city and it has brought to light housing floors, cobbled courtyards, streets, a blacksmith’s workshop and fragments of indigenous and European material culture.
The project has also revealed an important pre-Hispanic phase prior to the founding of the Spanish city. Based on these investigations, Santa María de la Antigua del Darién has been declared a site of cultural interest in 2015 and a National Archaeological Park in 2016. This book presents the results of a rigorous archaeological investigation in the Colombian northwest that was conducted with the stratigraphic method and unites extensive work with the community with a multidisciplinary approach.
Alberto Sarcina is an Italian archaeologist, with extensive experience in field work and an expert in stratigraphy and archaeological documentation. Since 2013 he is responsible for the archaeological investigation of the Santa María de la Antigua del Darién site (Colombia). He is professor of excavation methodology and works for the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History.