"Golden Chief" Tomb Treasure Yields Clues to Unnamed Civilization
"Spectacular find" includes gold, jewels, and a small army of likely sacrifices.
(Also see National Geographic magazine's new "Golden Chiefs of Panama.")
"It's really a very spectacular find. ... probably the most significant" for this culture since the 1930s, when the nearby Sitio Conte site, also in central Panama, yielded a wealth of gold artifacts, anthropologist John Hoopes said.
Until now, Sitio Conte provided the only major evidence of the golden-chiefs culture, which can be traced from about A.D. 250 to the 16th century, when Spanish conquerors arrived on the scene.
Dating to between A.D. 700 and 1000, the new artifacts were excavated about two miles (three kilometers) from Sitio Conte, at a site called El Caño.
El Caño's field of stone monoliths and sculptures had drawn treasure seekers in the