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Insights into the Earliest Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador: New Evidence and Radiocarbon Dates from the Real Alto Site

  • Andrey V Tabarev (a1), Yoshitaka Kanomata (a2), Jorge G Marcos (a3), Alexander N Popov (a4) and Boris V Lazin (a4)...

One of the most intriguing questions of South American archaeology is the time, place, and origin of the earliest pottery. Since the late 1950s, the earliest pottery has been attributed to the materials of the Early Formative Valdivia culture (5600–3500 BP), coastal Ecuador. Excavations at the Real Alto site conducted in the 1970s and 1980s allowed the rejection of the spectacular “Jomon–Valdivia” hypothesis and established a local origin of the phenomenon. Recent radiocarbon dates from a joint Russian–Japanese–Ecuadorian project at Real Alto open a new page in our knowledge of the transition from pre-ceramic Las Vegas to ceramic Valdivia cultures.

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