May 17, 2017 - Science and innovations

The Education and Research Museum of the School of Humanities of the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) received ceramics and remains of ancient people found in Ecuador for research. The study of archaeological specimens will help to reconstruct the historical development of the Pacific coast over several millennia.

Traces of ancient cultures were delivered from South America to Vladivostok by Alexander Popov, the Director of the FEFU Education and Research Museum. This is an ancient ceramics with the age of 5,500–4,000 that was found in recent expeditions and more than 50 anthropological specimens containing the DNA of ancient people. To study the samples, FEFU archaeologists will work together with the members of the Genetic Laboratory of Stockholm University (Sweden).

“The materials we obtained in Ecuador have attracted the attention of European colleagues. We hope that the delivered specimens will lead to interesting results from which serious scientific publications will be made,” said Alexander Popov.

The Director of the FEFU museum achieved an agreement on the transfer of antiquities for laboratory studies following the meeting with the management of the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (Guayaquil, Ecuador), with which a partnership had been developing for several years. A research plan was also drawn up during the working visit. Alisa Zubova, the authoritative anthropologist from St. Petersburg, research fellow of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Kunstkamera), joined the scientific group at the invitation of Alexander Popov.

It should be noted that the FEFU project to study the development of ancient cultures of the Pacific coast is constantly expanding. Originally it was pursued by the Federal University and Polytechnic Institute in Guayaquil. Then the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk), University of Tohoku (Japan)—and now—European research centers, joined the project.

“Our project has good prospects. In the future, we plan to study materials from Southeast Asia, and we also have useful links with scientists from Australia and Oceania. Such wide contacts will allow us to make a more complete picture of the Asia-Pacific region development,” stressed Alexander Popov.

The FEFU archaeologists have been working on the Real Alto site in Ecuador since 2014. The research project on the development of the ancient cultures of the Pacific Coast has been supported by the FEFU Competitiveness Enhancement Program (5top100 Project). In 2015, the School of Humanities established the Laboratory of Complex Archaeological Research and Expert Examinations of Cultural Heritage, which is currently one of the FEFU priority scientific projects.