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Mid-Holocene Cultural Interaction between the North Coast of Peru and Ecuador

  • Daniel H. Sandweiss (a1)

Incised pebbles found at the mid-Holocene, Middle Preceramic period Ostra Base Camp site on the Peruvian north coast demonstrate long-distance links to coastal Ecuador, 700 km to the north. The artifacts belong to a northwestern Andean pebble-figurine tradition associated with the tropical coast. Environmental indicators at the Ostra site show a warm-water lagoonal environment, unlike the modern cold-water conditions of northwestern Peru but similar to modern Ecuador. The Ostra site dates between ca. 5500 and 6250 B.P. (3550 and 4300 B.C.), during a hiatus in the coastal Ecuadorian record, so the link to Ecuador provides the earliest evidence of long-distance cultural interaction between these regions. Until contemporary sites are found in Ecuador, the Ostra Base Camp site provides our only example for this time of tropical coastal cultures of the northwestern Andean interaction sphere.

El sitio Campamento Base de Ostra en la costa norte del Perú es del período Precerámico Medio del Holoceno Medio. Los pequeños cantos rodados con incisiones encontrados en este sitio demuestran conexiones a larga distancia con la costa del Ecuador, a unos 700 km al norte. Los artefactos pertenecen a una tradición de figurillas de piedra del noroeste andino asociada con la costa tropical. Los indicadores ambientales en el sitio Ostra ofrecen la evidencia de un ambiente de laguna de aguas cálidas, similar a las condiciones actuales del Ecuador pero diferente a las condiciones actuales de agua fría de la costa peruana. El sitio Ostra se fecha entre 5500 y 6250 a.P. (3550 y 4300 a.C.), durante un hiato en el registro arqueológico de la costa Ecuatoriana, y por esto la conexión con Ecuador provee la evidencia más temprana de conexiones culturales a larga distancia entre estas regiones. Hasta que se encuentren sitios contemporáneos en el Ecuador, el sitio Ostra nos da el único ejemplar de las culturas costeñas tropicales de la esfera de interacción del noroeste andino.

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Latin American Antiquity
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