Nov 29, 2017 - Science and innovations

Artifacts with a probable age of about 6,000 years were discovered by the Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) archaeologists during an expedition in Ecuador. In the ancient settlement of Real Alto, together with colleagues from ESPOL Polytechnic University (Guayaquil), the researchers discovered a cultural layer that represents the first settlement stages of one of the most significant heritage assets of the New World ancient history. The stone and ceramic finds refer to the poorly studied San Pedro Сulture and will clarify its place in the history of pre-Columbian America.

"The excavation showed that the San Pedro Culture existed at the same time as the early stages of the Valdivia Culture, or probably preceded it. We defined its context and the approximate stratigraphical age, and Japanese colleagues from Tohoku University took deposit samples to make the radiocarbon dating," explained Alexander Popov, the expedition leader, Director of the FEFU Education and Research Museum, FEFU School of Humanities. "This is a notable achievement for the archeology of the region, but we need to determine the exact chronological range of the material's existence. In addition, we have conducted exploratory research and marked promising sites of an earlier period to continue work."

According to the researcher, the study of ceramics is of particular importance for the study of archaeological cultures. Interest of archaeologists attracted the find of a series of ceramic fragments of one vessel. A substantive analysis of the remains and their age can provide new information on the development of ancient cultures and the appearance of ceramics on the Pacific Ocean coast.

"Ceramics is a peculiar way of identification that can show ethnic history, livelihood features, and provides a variety of information on the ancient population development and the migration of technologies and cultures. New materials will allow a rethinking of the known or creation of the new development pattern of ancient cultures in the America's Pacific coast and Asia Pacific Region", added Alexander Popov.

Researchers also discussed the history of ceramics emergence in the Pacific basin at the international symposium held in the museum complex of Real Alto. Archaeologists from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Japan, Poland, and the United States presented their recent researches together with Russian and Ecuadorian colleagues.

FEFU archaeologists have been working in Ecuador since 2014. The research project on the study of the Pacific coast ancient cultures is implemented in partnership with ESPOL Polytechnic University. The main goal is to compare human adaptation to the environmental changes on opposite sides of the ocean in antiquity: the shores of South America and East Asia. Besides, the researches are being conducted in southern Primorye, including Russky Island.