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6,000 year old pottery found in Ecuador


Russian and Ecuadorian archaeologists have discovered pottery that could be 6,000 years old in Ecuador which, if confirmed, would make it the oldest ever found in the Americas.

6,000 year old pottery found in Ecuador
Pottery discovered at the site [Credit: La Universidad Federal del Lejano Oriente de Rusia]
The discovery was made possible by the collaboration of scientists from the Federal University of the Far East of Russia and the Ecole Polytechnique du Littoral (ESPOL) of Ecuador.

The researchers discovered a cultural layer in the ancient settlement of Real Alto that represents the first stages of the colonization of one of the most important sites in the continent's ancient history.

The remains and ceramics found belong to the little studied culture of San Pedro and will clarify their role in the history of pre-Columbian America, said a press statement from the Federal University of the Far East of Russia.

6,000 year old pottery found in Ecuador
Pottery discovered at the site [Credit: La Universidad Federal del Lejano Oriente de Rusia]
"Excavations have shown that the culture of San Pedro existed simultaneously with, or may have even preceded, the early stages of the Valdivian culture. We have identified its context and approximate stratigraphic age, while our Japanese colleagues at Tohoku University have taken samples for radiocarbon dating. This is a remarkable achievement for archaeology in the region, but we still have to determine the exact chronological range of the material," explained Russian expedition leader Alexandr Popov.

Analysis of the remains and their antiquity can provide new information on the development of ancient cultures in the region and the appearance of pottery on the Pacific coast.

6,000 year old pottery found in Ecuador
Russian archaeologists working at the site [Credit: La Universidad Federal del Lejano Oriente de Rusia]
"Pottery is a great tool for the identification of ethnic history and of economic development. It provides a variety of information on the growth of ancient populations, technology and cultural migration. The new materials will allow us to reconsider what we know and to create a new scheme for the development of ancient cultures in the Pacific and Asia-Pacific areas of the Americas", adds Popov.

His group has been working in Ecuador since 2014. The main objective of this project is to compare human adaptation to environmental changes in antiquity on both sides of the Pacific Ocean: from the coasts of South America to East Asia. At the same time, comparative research is being carried out in Russia's Far East, to the south of the Primorsky Krai and Russky Island.

Source: Sputnik [November 25, 2017]
TANN

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