HKND Group and Environmental Resources Management (ERM) handed over to the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture (INC) more than 14,000 precious archaeological artifacts, including primarily pre-Columbian ceramic sherds, during a ceremony held at the National Palace of Culture in Managua on February 4, 2015.
This archaeological wealth, which dates back to 500 B.C. to A.D. 1519, was collected during the study to locate and assess the most sensitive cultural sites, as part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process of the Nicaragua Grand Canal Project.
A pre-field literature search and expert consultation identified 217 previously documented archaeological sites in the general vicinity of the Project area. The field survey discovered 330 new cultural heritage sites, including 213 archaeological sites, 105 built heritage sites and 12 living heritage sites.
The baseline findings will be reported in the Canal ESIA. The ESIA includes an individual assessment of each site with archaeological sensitivity in accordance with its scientific, historic, cultural, artistic, and/or religious importance to local, national, and international stakeholders.
All sites identified by the baseline survey were mapped and their coordinates are now included in a cultural heritage database to support future protection and proper management efforts by the Nicaragua Canal Project.
The fieldwork was conducted by three teams for six consecutive weeks: one in Rivas, one to the east of Lake Nicaragua, and one in the Caribbean area. In addition, a built heritage team spent nearly three weeks in the field.