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Diquis Spheres (Las Bolas) in Costa Rica 2023-2024

The origin of Costa Rican Las Bolas still remain a mystery

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Diquis Spheres (Las Bolas)
Diquis Spheres (Las Bolas)
Costa Rica's National Museum, San José

Over 300 petrospheres were excavated on the Diquís Delta and Isla del Caño in Costa Rica. The mysterious stones, called bolas de piedra, likely belong to the ancient Diquís culture. Hence they are sometimes called the Diquís Spheres. Currently, these spheres can be seen in Costa Rica's National Museum in San José and at Finca 6, the Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Costa Rica.

Artifacts of the Isthmo-Colombian area vary from a few inches to over 6 feet in diameter. The spheres are made of gabbro rock, similar to basalt. Scientists believe that the spheres were made by shaping boulders with denser rocks and then polishing them with sand. The significance of the spheres is still a mystery. Some archeologists think that they were forming lines in front of the houses of chiefs. According to another hypothesis, spheres represent solar systems or various stages of the sun or moon. The sites where the spheres were found date back to the Aguas Buenas Period (300–800 AD) and Chiriquí Period (800–1550 AD).

The Diquis Delta, located in southern Costa Rican province of Puntarenas, hosts several excavations sites, known as Palmar Sur Archeological Excavations. Finca 6 (Farm 6) was a settlement featuring a cemetery, sculptures and architecture. In 2014, the Precolumbian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquís was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.[

Practical info

What are the materials used to make Diquís Spheres?

Diquís Spheres or bolas de piedra are made of gabbro rock, similar to basalt. These spheres required carving boulders with denser rocks and sand to attain perfect spherical shapes. Over 300 spheres still exist and can be seen at places like the Costa Rica National Museum and UNESCO World Heritage site Location Finca 6. Show more

What is the timeframe of the sites where the spheres were found?

The sites of the Diquís Spheres were discovered in the southern Costa Rican province of Puntarenas and have been traced back to early periods like the Aguas Buenas and Chiriquí Periods. Experts believe that these artifacts belonged to the Diquís civilization, and these items existed as an expression of their religious or social practices. Show more

Where else can we find Diquís Spheres except at the Costa Rica National Museum?

Diquís Spheres can also be found at Finca 6, an ancient Pre-Columbian archaeological site that not only contains these mysterious items but also showcases sculptures and architecture. In 2014, the Diquís Delta area and the chiefdom settlements where these artifacts were found were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, allowing visitors to see these pieces in their original setting. Show more

Why was the Diquís Delta area chosen as a site for the spheres?

The Diquís Delta area is believed to have been the center of the ancient Diquís civilization, and the reason why the spheres exist in this location still remains a mystery. Archaeologists suggest that these gems may have been utilized to form lines around the chiefs' houses or to denote stages of the sun or moon or solar systems. However, the real significance of these valuable pieces of carved rocks still remains unknown. Show more

What is the significance of the Diquís Spheres to the ancient culture in which they were produced?

While the function of the Diquís Spheres in ancient Diquís culture remains uncertain, these artifacts' mysterious nature continues to capture the attention of both researchers and tourists. Despite the lack of knowledge behind their production, experts suggest that these artifacts may have played a crucial role in expressing the ancient culture's religious or social hierarchy. Regardless of what their significance was, the artistry behind creating them has left behind a tangible enigma that is still fascinating people today. Show more

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