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Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos

On-line version ISSN 2215-4175Print version ISSN 0377-7316


SOLORZANO FONSECA, Juan Carlos. The indigenous population of Costa Rica in the 16th century at the moment of contact with the europeans. Anuario de Estudios Centroamericanos [online]. 2017, vol.43, pp.313-345. ISSN 2215-4175.

During the last three decades most texts on local History of Costa Rica have estimated that 16th. Century indigenous population in Costa Rica at the time of first encounters with European explorers was about 400 000 individuals.

Questioning this figure, this study found that data advanced a century earlier by bishop and researcher Bernardo Augusto Thiel were ultimately more accurate and realistic (27 000 native inhabitants for the whole country). This article demonstrates based on ethno-historical reports, recent archeological findings and recent anthropological research undertaken on the study of chiefdoms, all sources analyzed for the purpose of this text, that Thiel’s figures are more correct than the numbers of hundreds of thousands of people adopted in the last decades.

Keywords : Demography; ethno-history; archaeology; anthropology; chiefdoms.

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