National Geographic Society - Smithsonian Institution Expedition to Panama (1951)

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Description

In 1951, the National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institution partnered in an expedition to Panama to investigate archaeological sites between the Canal Zone and the border of Costa Rica. Taking advantage of the dry season, the expedition worked from February to April in the under explored Atlantic coast region of Panama. Departing on Jan 2 from Newark, the group arrived in Panama City on January 17th and began their journey westward. By March, the group had visited a number of sites along the Rio Cocle del Norte, the largest stream of Western Panama. Major collecting sites included La Peguera, Cascajal, La Pintada, and Mojarra. The group was led by Matthew W. Stirling, Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology, at the Smithsonian Institution. He was accompanied by archeologists Marion Stirling, Robert Rands, and National Geographic Photographer Richard H. Stewart. Dr. Alexander Wetmore and Watson M. Perrygo joined the expedition at a later date to study and catalog the region’s birds. Collecting of pottery and ancient stone weapons were made at a dozen sites during the trip. Portions of the collections were sent to the Smithsonian, with other pieces remaining to Panama’s National Museum.

Date Range

1951 - 1951

Topic

  • Archaeology
  • Animals
  • Birds
  • Ornithology

Place

  • La Pintada
  • Panama
  • Mojarras
  • Cascajal
  • Canal Zone
  • Río Coclé del Norte

Form/Genre

Expedition name