This listing expired on June 29, 2014. Please contact for any updated information.
Proyecto Arqueológico Sitio Drago

Location: Panama

July 6, 2014 to August 9, 2014

Session dates: 
Single session

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, June 29, 2014

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



UCLA, Patronato Panama Viejo & the Institute for Field Research

Project Director:

Dr. Thomas A. Wake, UCLA; Dr. Tomás E. Mendizabal, Patronato Panama Viejo

Project Description

Panama’s Caribbean Bocas del Toro Province was assumed to have been settled only 1400 years ago and to have remained isolated throughout its brief prehistory.  Recent research has uncovered much evidence to the contrary.  This project seeks to provide a broader range of information to better evaluate the region’s settlement history and developing social complexity.  To date the Proyecto Arqueológico Sitio Drago has uncovered evidence of a much older settlement history and illustrated evidence of contact with cultures hundreds of kilometers away.  The 2014 field season will focus primarily on excavation and data recovery from a mortuary area in the central part of Sitio Drago.  Previous excavation has uncovered an area adjacent to 5 burials that is rich in artifacts and faunal remains indicative of some sort of ritual feasting activity.  We will continue working in this area and gather data to better understand the nature of the proposed ritual behavior and social structure at the site.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full program

Minimum age: 
18 years old

Experience required: 
No previous experience is required

Room and Board Arrangements

Student housing is located in Boca del Drago, Isla Colón, Bocas del Toro, Panamá. Student housing consists of a large rented vacation house, 50 m from a white sand beach and 20 m from the main road.  The house contains 2 indoor showers and 4 indoor toilets.  Two outdoor showers are also available.  A maid will clean the bathrooms and public areas of the house once a week.  Students will be responsible for maintaining cleanliness and organization at all times.  A reverse osmosis water filtration system will provide pure drinking water at the student house.
Project staff and students will eat three meals each day together at Restaurante Yarisnori, on the beach in Boca del Drago.  The restaurant is inspected and approved by Panamanian health authorities and provides filtered, drinkable water.  All meals are prepared fresh by the kitchen staff each day.  Special dietary needs can be adequately addressed as the restaurant has been serving archaeological field schools for the past 10 years.  Vegetarian meals are always available and, with prior warning, gluten-free or allergen-free meals may be prepared.

All room and board costs are included in tuition (excluding weekend meals)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Connecticut College
Number of credits offered 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units)


Contact Information
Institite for Field Research
1855 Industrial St. #106
Los Angeles
United States
424 226-6130
Recommended Bibliography: 
Cooke, R.G. 2005. Prehistory of Native Americans on the Central American Land Bridge: Colonization,
Dispersal, and Divergence. Journal of Archaeological Research 13(2):129-187.
Gordon, B.L. 1962. Notes on Shell Mounds Near the Caribbean Coast of Western Panama. Panama
Archaeologist 5:1-9.
Linares, O.F. 1976. "Garden Hunting" in the American Tropics. Human Ecology 4(4):331-349.
Linares, O.F. 1977. Adaptive Strategies in Western Panama. World Archaeology 8(3):304-319.
Linares, O.F. 1968. Ceramic Phases for Chiriqui, Panama, and Their Relationship to Neighboring
Sequences. American Antiquity 33(2):216-225.
Linares, O.F. and A.J. Ranere (editors). 1980. Adaptive Radiations in Prehistoric Panama. Peabody
Museum Monographs, No. 5. Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Hoopes, J.W. 2005. The Emergence of Social Complexity in the Chibchan World of Southern Central
America and Northern Colombia, AD 300–600. Journal of Archaeological Research 13(1):1-47.
Wake, T.A. 2006. Prehistoric Exploitation of the Swamp Palm (Raphia taedigera:Aracacae) at Sitio
Drago, Isla Colón, Bocas del Toro Province, Panamá. The Caribbean Journal of Science 42(1):11-19.
Wake, T.A, D.R. Doughty and M. Kay. 2013. Archaeological Investigations Provide Late Holocene
Baseline Ecological Data for Bocas del Toro, Panama. Bulletin of Marine Science 89(4):000-000.
Wake, T.A, A.O. Mojica, M.H Davis, C.J. Campbell, and T. Mendizabal. 2012. Electrical Resistivity
Surveying and Pseudo Three-dimensional Tomoraphic Imaging at Sitio Drago, Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Archaeological Prospection 9(1):49-58.
Wake, T.A., J. de Leon and C. Fitzgerald B. 2004. Prehistoric Sitio Drago, Bocas del Toro, Panama.
Antiquity 78(300) June 2004: