Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Bowled Over Volume 56 Number 5, September/October 2003
by Colleen P. Popson

[image] A stone bowl from the 4,500-year-old site of La Florida and a roll-out image from it. (Jean Guffroy, Laurence Billault, and Francisco Valdez © IRD) [LARGER IMAGE]

A very early civilization has been discovered by a team of French and Ecuadorian archaeologists in Ecuador's Zamora-Chinchipe province on the Peruvian border. Centered on the 4,500-year-old site of La Florida, the excavations recovered mounds and carved stone bowls with bird, snake, and feline iconography that resembles the styles of the first Andean civilizations, like the Chavín. The site's location, at the border of the Andean and Amazonian regions, makes it key to understanding how the first developed cultures of these areas influenced one another.

© 2003 by the Archaeological Institute of America