Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
Lithic works

In archaeology it refers to all cultural materials having stone as their prime matter.

Indigenous peoples who inhabited what we know today as Costa Rica, utilized various techniques to work in stone. Four types of lithic industry have been defined: 1. Flaked: hatchets, arrowheads, and scrapers; 2. Percussion and polish: metals, grinders, chisels, and some hatchets; 3. Lapidary: Industry producing luxury objects from precious, or semi-precious stones, for example, beads, and hanging and earlobe jewelry; and 4. Statues: Objects from the form of natural rock: spheres, anthropomorphic or zoomorphic figures.

The Department of Anthropology and History handles two very large and detailed databases about pre-Hispanic Costa Rican lithic material. One refers to complete lithic artifacts, and the other is about fragmented rocks. These materials have been recovered in archaeological context due to research carried out by national and foreign scientists. In Costa Rica, the first material evidence of stone work—and of all the archaeological registry—are arrowheads made approximately 12000 years ago.

Translation courtesy of Silvia Piza-Tandlich /