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Portrait of a Port: Industry and Ideology in El Salvador (1805-1900)

April 30, 2019 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

By: Lauren Bridges. PhD specialist in the archaeology of Spanish colonialism in the Americas

According to historical documents, this port in Acajutla was in operation between 1805 and 1900 until a new port was constructed on the beach about 3 km northwest. This port, or Puerto Viejo de Acajutla, marks a chronological space of 95 years of imports spanning the transition from colonial territory to emerging nation. The archaeological site Puerto Viejo de Acajutla is located on the western end of the Peninsula Punta Remedios in the department of Sonsonate. This part of the Salvadoran coast is characterized by rocky formations that appear as low cliffs that reach the sea. The geography was exploited by the engineers of the time and this is evident in the location and function of the port that had important elements such as a customs house (or aduana) built in 1855 and an iron pier (muelle) built in 1871. The pier, customs house, along with the global range of imported manufactured objects are highly identifiable markers of the rapid industrialization of the nineteenth-century nation spurred by an optimistic and enterprising elite.


April 30, 2019
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm


Room 206 Ingraham Hall
1155 Observatory Drive
Madison, 53706 United States
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(608) 262-2811