Advertisement

Early Regional Polities of Coastal Ecuador

  • Maria A. Masucci

A complex mosaic of regional cultural styles observed within the coastal plain and inland basins of western Ecuador beginning at approximately 500 BC are one expression of extensive cultural transformations following the earlier widespread Late Formative Period Chorrera style (see Chapter 24 in this volume). These transformations are the basis for the definition of a period of regionalization or the “Regional Developmental Period” (500 BC –AD 500) in the cultural historic sequence for Ecuador (Evans and Meggers 1961). This rise of diverse regional cultural styles exhibiting elaborate ceramic figurine art adorned with symbols of authority and power, production and display of luxury goods including gold and silver objects, and urban centers with earthen platforms was initially linked to environment and interaction as central factors affecting sociocultural change (Meggers 1966). The differences in sociopolitical complexity among the cultural phases were attributed to differences in environmental potential and access to outside influences (Meggers 1966:69–70). This model carries overtones of a stage scheme, which is strongly evolutionary. Marcos (1986: 37–38) offers an alternative to an environmentally focused model for Regional Developmental Period developments. His model is based on trade, competition, and conflict. According to Marcos, the appearance of the cultural phases of the period is due to a network of exchange based in traffic of Spondylus, which served to create a series of chiefdoms and kin groups or clans. These groups, or the named cultural styles, were in competition to control or expand control of a sphere of influence in the network of long distance trade centered on the exchange of Spondylus.

As more regional studies and local sequences have become available, however, it is apparent that environmental boundaries do not match cultural style divisions and evidence for maritime trade and increasing complexity are not uniform either in time or across space. Also, as observed in other areas of the Northern Andes and Central America, horizontal circulation of wealth and power within systems of shifting alliances were just as often a strategy for regional societies as were hierarchical structures and institutionalization of hierarchy, wealth and power (Drennan 1996). Therefore, although regional Ecuadorian pre-Hispanic sequences are still incomplete and many of the possible urban centers and burial complexes have been heavily looted, a series of research programs in coastal Ecuador offer systematic regional data for evaluating and remodeling the Regional Developmental Period and the rise of early regional polities in pre-Hispanic Ecuador.

Keywords

Luxury Good Cultural Style Ceremonial Center Adobe Wall Sociopolitical Complexity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bouchard, Jean F., 1995, Arqueología de la costa del Pacifico Nor-Equatorial. Evaluación preliminar de los cambios ocurridos en los últimos decenios. In Primer Encuentro de Investigadores de la Costa Ecuatoriana en Europa, edited by Aurelio Alvarez, Silvia G. Alvarez, Carmen Fauría, and Jorge G. Marcos, pp. 67–95. Ediciones Abya-Yala, Quito.Google Scholar
  2. Bushnell, G. H. S., 1951, The Archaeology of the Santa Elena Peninsula in Southwest Ecuador. Occasional Papers of the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, No. 1. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. Cardenas-Arroyo, Felipe, 1996, Complex societies in prehispanic Colombia: the Tairona as case study. In Chieftains, Power and Trade: Regional Interaction in the Intermediate Area of the Americas, edited by Carl H. Langebaek and Felipe Cardenas-Arroyo, pp. 63–74. Departamento de Antropología, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia.Google Scholar
  4. Cummins, Tom, 1992, Tradition in Ecuadorian pre-Hispanic art. The ceramics of Chorrera and Jama-Coaque. In Amerindian Signs. 5, 000 Years of Precolumbian Art in Ecuador, edited by Francisco Valdez and Diego Veintimilla, pp. 63–81. Dinediciones, Quito.Google Scholar
  5. Cummins, Tom, 1994, La tradición de figurinas de la costa ecuatoriana: Estilo tecnológico y el uso de moldes. In Tecnología y Organización de la Cerámica Prehispánica en los Andes, edited by Izumi Shimada, pp. 157–172. Fondo Editorial, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima.Google Scholar
  6. Cummins, Tom, Julio Burgos Cabrera, and Carlos Mora Hoyos, 1996, Arte prehispanico del Ecuador. Huellas del pasado: los sellos de Jama-Coaque. Miscelanea Antropológica Ecuatoriana Serie Monográfica, No. 11. Banco Central del Ecuador, Guayaquil.Google Scholar
  7. Dorsey, George A., 1901, Archaeological Investigations on the Island of La Plata, Ecuador. Field Columbian Museum, Publication 56, Chicago.Google Scholar
  8. Drennan, Robert D., 1996, Betwixt and between in the Intermediate Area. Journal of Archaeological Research 4 (2): 95–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Drennan, Robert D. and Carlos A. Uribe (eds.), 1987, Chiefdoms in the Americas. University Press of America, Lanham, MD.Google Scholar
  10. Estrada, Emilio, 1957, Prehistoria de Manabí. Museo Victor Emilio Estrada, Publicación 4. Guayaquil.Google Scholar
  11. Estrada, Emilio, 1962, Arqueología de Manabí Central. Museo Victor Emilio Estrada, Publicación 7. Guayaquil.Google Scholar
  12. Evans, Clifford and Betty J. Meggers, 1961, Cronología relativa y absoluta en la costa del Ecuador. Cuadernos de Historia y Arqueología, Año XI, Vol. I, No. 27. Guayaquil.Google Scholar
  13. Guinea, Mercedes 1995, Diferentes mecanismos de articulación hombre-entorno en la costa norte del Ecuador: La desembocadura del Esmeraldas del principio de nuestra era al año 1527. In Primer Encuentro de Investigadores de la Costa Ecuatoriana en Europa, edited by Aurelio Alvarez, Silvia G. Alvarez, Carmen Fauría and Jorge G. Marcos, pp. 47–66. Ediciones Abya-Yala, Quito.Google Scholar
  14. Hosler, Dorothy, 1994, The Sounds and Colors of Power. The Sacred Metallurgical Technology of Ancient West Mexico. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  15. Jijón y Caamaño, Jacinto, [1952] 1997, Antropología Prehispánica del Ecuador. Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Quito.Google Scholar
  16. Lavallée, Daniele, 1992, Preface. In Amerindian Signs. 5, 000 Years of Precolumbian Art in Ecuador, edited by Francisco Valdez and Diego Veintimilla, pp. 7–11. Dinediciones, Quito.Google Scholar
  17. Marcos, Jorge G., 1986, Breve prehistoria del Ecuador. In Arqueología de la Costa Ecuatoriana: Nuevos Enfoques, edited by Jorge G. Marcos, pp. 25–50. Corporación Editora Nacional, Quito.Google Scholar
  18. Marcos, Jorge G. and Presley Norton, 1981, Interpretación sobre la arqueología de la Isla de la Plata. Miscelánea Antropológica Ecuatoriana 1: 136–154.Google Scholar
  19. Masucci, Maria A., 1992, Ceramic Change in the Guangala Phase, Southwest Ecuador: A Typology and Chronology. Ph.D. dissertation. Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.Google Scholar
  20. Masucci, Maria A., 1995, Marine shell bead production and the role of domestic craft activities in the economy of the Guangala Phase, southwest Ecuador. Latin American Antiquity 6 (1): 70–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Masucci, Maria A., 2001, Defining ceramic change and cultural interaction: results of typological, chronological, and technological analyses of Guangala Phase ceramics. Andean Past 6: 175–208.Google Scholar
  22. Meggers, Betty J., 1966, Ecuador. Thames and Hudson, London.Google Scholar
  23. Norton, Presley, 1982, Cambio y Continuidad en Salango. Museo Arqueológico del Banco del Pacifico, Guayaquil.Google Scholar
  24. Norton, Presley, Richard Lunnis and Nigel Nayling, 1983, Excavaciones en Salango, provincia de Manabí, Ecuador. Miscelánea Antropológica Ecuatoriana 3:9–80.Google Scholar
  25. Rappaport, Joanne, 1990, Politics of Memory. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  26. Reitz, Elizabeth J. and Maria A. Masucci, 2004, Guangala Fishers and Farmers. A Case Study of Animal Use at El Azúcar, Southwestern Ecuador. University of Pittsburgh Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology No. 14. Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  27. Salomon, Frank, 1986, Native Lords of Quito in the Age of the Incas: The Political Economy of North-Andean Chiefdoms. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  28. Saville, Marshall H., 1910, The Antiquities of Manabí, Ecuador: Final Report. The Heye Foundation, Contributions to South American Archaeology, 2. New York.Google Scholar
  29. Schavelzón, Daniel, 1981, Arqueología y Arquitectura del Ecuador Prehispánica, edited by Francisco Valdez and Diego Veintimilla. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México, D.F.Google Scholar
  30. Stothert, Karen, 1984, A New Look at Guangala Society and Economy: A Discussion of the Origin and Development of Chiefdoms on the Santa Elena Peninsula, Ecuador. Paper presented in the Symposium on Cosmology and Social Structure in the Andes at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Portland, Oregon, April 11–14, 1984.Google Scholar
  31. Stothert, Karen, 1993, Un Sitio de Guangala Temprano en el Suroeste del Ecuador. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and Anthropology Museum, Central Bank of Ecuador, Guayaquil.Google Scholar
  32. Valdez, Francisco, 1986, Investigaciones arqueológicas en La Tolita (Esmeraldas, Ecuador). Miscelánea Antropológica Ecuatoriana 6:81–107.Google Scholar
  33. Valdez, Francisco, 1987, Proyecto Arqueológico “La Tolita” (1983–1986). Museos del Banco Central del Ecuador.Google Scholar
  34. Valdez, Francisco, 1992, The Tolita ceramic tradition. In Amerindian Signs. 5, 000 Years of Precolumbian Art in Ecuador, edited by Francisco Valdez and Diego Veintimilla, pp. 135–140. Dinediciones, Quito, Ecuador.Google Scholar
  35. Valdez, Francisco and Diego Veintimilla (eds.), 1992, Amerindian Signs. 5, 000 Years of Precolumbian Art in Ecuador. Dinediciones, Quito, Ecuador.Google Scholar
  36. Whitten Jr., Norman E., 1975, Sacha Runa, Ethnicity and Adaptation of Ecuadorian Jungle Quichua. University of Illinois Press, Urbana.Google Scholar
  37. Zeidler, James A., 2001, Central coast regional chiefdoms. In Encyclopedia of Prehistory. Volume 5: Middle America, edited by Peter N. Peregrine and Melvin Ember. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York.Google Scholar
  38. Zeidler, James A., and Deborah M. Pearsall (eds.), 1994, Regional Archaeology in Northern Manabí, Ecuador, Volume 1: Environment, Cultural Chronology, and Prehistoric Subsistence in the Jama River Valley. University of Pittsburgh Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology, Vol. 8. Pittsburgh.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria A. Masucci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyDrew UniversityMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations