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Archaeology of the Mosquito Coast of Honduras

Mosquito Coast Archaeology
Raft on the Waraska River

An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Mosquito Coast of Honduras.

The information on the prehistory of this remote and fascinating region was generated over twenty years of research by archaeologist Dr. Christopher Begley. In the following pages, the legends and facts of the Mosquitia are discussed, including the widespread legend of the lost White City, or Ciudad Blanca.


The Mosquito Coast is remote and relatively unexplored from a scientific standpoint. Much misinformation exists, especially surrounding the archaeological sites of this region. This site attempts to present information gathered systematically over a long period of time by professional archaeologists. A great deal of space will be devoted to the lost city legend, as this is the focal point around which much of the discussion of the Mosquito Coast turns.

People have inhabited the Mosquito Coast of Honduras for at least 3,000 years. Most of the archaeological sites that we know about date from 500 AD to 1500 AD. It looks like the area had its greatest population sometime between 800 and 1200 AD. The neighboring populations to the west, including the Maya, experienced declines during this same period. This may have given the people of the Mosquito Coast an opportunity to grow and gain power at this time.

In the pages that follow, you can learn more about the archaeology of the Mosquito Coast. If you are interested in visiting the Mosquito Coast, custom archaeological jungle tours are offered by Dr. Christopher Begley in conjunction with a team of experienced jungle guides. Please contact us for more information.

Dr. Begley leads tours to the Mosquito Coast in conjunction with The Exploration Foundation and the Mesoamerican Ecotourism Alliance.

Large grinding stones or metates

The prehistoric people of the Mosquito Coast look very different from their Mesoamerican neighbors in central and western Honduras. The Mosquito Coast cultures decorated their ceramics with incisions and punctations rather than painting them, as their neighbors did. They also created a wealth of large stone monuments, including grinding stones. Some of these grinding stones, or metates, might have been thrones or seats of power.


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mosquitia archaeology

Mosquito Coast Archaeology