The Silencio Archaeological Site: Curing of a Sphere

The Silencio Archeological Site: Curing of a Sphere Sitio arqueológico El Silencio: Curación de una Esfera

One morning in May, collaborators of the National Museum of Costa Rica, residents of Osa and representatives of the indigenous community of Boruca met at El Silencio Archaeological Site to visit the largest sphere discovered so far.

In 1992 the existence of the El Silencio sphere was recorded for the first time. In 2012, its excavation and full study was carried out, said the archaeologist Mr. Francisco Corrales of the National Museum.

With its 2.5 meters in diameter, it is millenary and ailing, due to the inclemency of the climate that causes alterations in its natural color, cracks and the loss of material. The Mexican Dr. Isabel Medina González, restorer and expert in archeology specializing in cultural heritage and museums and her assistant Valeria Villalvazo, are part of a team of 11 specialists. They are conducting an exhaustive study to diagnose wounds, collect data and make decisions for the treatment and preservation of this historical vestige.

The Silencio Archeological Site: Curing of a Sphere Sitio arqueológico El Silencio: Curación de una Esfera

Among the Costa Rican specialists in archeology and protection of the National Museum of Costa Rica, the restorer Alfredo Duncan, the archaeologists Javier Fallas, Adrián Badilla and Francisco Corrales stand out.

Doña Isabel stressed that the condition of this monumental sphere must be gradually improved. One of the first measures was the placement of sand around it to prevent water from accumulating. During 20 days in situ, the specialists measured the humidity, alkalinity, depth of the wounds, hardness or porosity in the gabbro stone with state-of-the-art methods that allow the bio-colonization of small algae and micro-organisms. They took 3D images of the sculptures to digitalize them by the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (Lanamme) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

After the visit to El Silencio the group visited Finca 6 and finally drove up to the indigenous village of Boruca, where Doña Margarita waited for them to present a large sphere that is located in front of the village museum.

By Dagmar Reinhard

INFO: Museo Nacional - – Parque de las Esferas

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