Through its rich history Costa Rica has distinguished itself to preserve it's culture by demonstrating symbols from the past which formed today's society.
The conceived cultural patrimony, the development of archaeological incipient and legislation left effective originating from the year 1982 as dictated by the Law of National Patrimony No 6703 which stated by article no 8: "Exportation of archaeological objects is prohibited by all parties, institutions, private or states.
Further amplified by other decrees, the government authorizes any institution or body of government to budget for the promotion of national arts, monuments or the acquirement of archaeological material" In light of this the INS has conformed to a collection of pre-Columbian objects of over 7000 pieces of made of materials like jade, ceramic, rock, gold, wood, resin, bones etc...
Costa Rica has five important museums as well as other remote locations in different provinces. The Museo de Oro which belongs to the Central Bank is located in the center of San Jose beneath the Plaza de la Cultura next to Teatro National and is one of the most visited museums in the country because of its collections of pre - Columbian artifacts which outline our history.
In Costa Rica archaeological evidence signal the appearance of the first objects between the years of 400-500 the manufacturing of metal objects reached its peak of development after the year 700 around the first period of contact with the Spanish.
The majority of the objects recuperated in the country come from the southern Pacific zone; this due to the existence of gold and copper deposits found in their natural state.
Pre Columbian artists who occupied the region proceeded to create artifacts with the gold in the area obtained in river sands, shores and wooden fossils. The works of art from the metals was one which required special capacity resulting from a long tedious apprenticeship.
Out of hammers and chisels fragments of gold were formed into disks, bracelets and geometric designs like animal and human shapes using specially formed molds and applied pressure techniques.
The founding of the wax techniques was most commonly applied to the production of the objects. The technique consisted of a molding of the object in bee's wax covered by a clay coating which formed the mold which was left to dry for several days. After the drying process the wax was removed and the space was left to form the desired object in its original form which was in turn filled with metal.
After the metal cooled the mold was broken off leaving the creation free to display. Sometimes it could be altered with other metals however basically this was the process they used. Out of gold they created objects such as needles, pins and fishhooks as well as personal decorations such as memorabilia fortheir loved ones. Some objects were created as well for religious rituals.
Some of the works formed to shape fauna, fish species, clams, turtles, deer, jaguars, crocodiles and frogs.
These works represent the importance of the relation between man and Mother Nature and their elaborations also symbolized the relevance of special people much as shamans and priests.
In order to inform tourist guides, the Museo de Oro offers an educational program about the lifestyles of the pre - Columbian indigenous with respect to their patrimony culture with the emphasis on their artifacts and goldsmith techniques.