Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Marley Brown, III


The sixteenth-century port of Nombre de Dios in Panama played a crucial role in the colonization of America. From 1519 to 1597, Nombre de Dios was the Atlantic port connecting Spain with the southern Pacific colonies in America. Even though its importance to Spain's New World colonial settlement has been widely recognized, there has never been systematic historical or archaeological research undertaken to document this colonial town and describe its establishment and subsequent development and abandonment.;This study employs a comparative approach to early Spanish urban settlement in Latin America, and combines archaeological and archival data to explain the unique history of Nombre de Dios. Archaeological examination and documentary analysis has revealed the town's physical layout, its location and geographical features, and the settlement's place within the region's trade network. Findings relating to Nombre de Dios are compared to evidence from Cartagena and Veracruz, two of Spain's other sixteenth-century ports-of-call, providing important information regarding the factors responsible for the slow development of Nombre de Dios, and its abandonment before the end of the century.



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