By: Andrew Califf

We visited the grand National Palace and Ivonne Miranda Tapia, the director of Nicaragua’s Institute for Culture, gave us a tour.

Miranda has tried to drastically improve the government’s approach to  archeology and anthropology. She led digs, under and above water, and directed the creation of multiple archeological exhibits in the palace.

The students viewed the exhibits as Miranda guided them through the palace, explaining her department’s progress in past years. This tour included her pride and joy, an exhibit she recently directed and curated. 

Curating an exhibit is an artistic science in itself, but with Miranda in charge, trained  scientists in the field are now playing a role. Pre-Columbian ceramics are arranged by time period and style in her newest exhibit, and she explains this is significantly more educational than some of the older exhibits. 

Miranda also developed a full-fledged archeological department for the government of Nicaragua. The established department redefined how groups obtain permits and how excavations are carried out.

The dig at El Rayo has already produced a plethora of sherds similar to those in the exhibits at the National Palace and further discoveries will continue to redefine or support the current structure of thought applied to pre-Columbian Nicaragua.