Inter-zonal Relationships in Ecuador

  • Francisco Valdez

The discussion of inter-zonal relationships must necessarily begin by stating what is to be understood by the concept of relationship in a culture history archaeological sense. In simple terms I will refer to relationship as the interaction—direct or indirect—between two or more individuals (groups or communities) living in close proximity or far apart. Interactions are, in turn, defined as the consequence of human encounter, through physical or ideological contact, in which there is a social exchange of ideas, goods, or information that can be said to be sought by the involved individuals as an agency to supplement or complement their material or symbolic life ways. Social interactions are a very important part of past and present lifeways. They take many forms and can be expressed in a variety of ways that are not always archaeologically evident, as they may or may not leave material traces. Unfortunately, unless there is a way to substantiate such interactions, one cannot establish or infer such relationships.

In general, the presence of exotic goods (raw or processed materials) can be considered evidence of past relationships. The same can be said of technological traditions, ceramic objects, or any other items that can be defined as pertaining to a given cultural affiliation different from that ascribed to the archaeological contexts in which they were found. The nature of these relationships is often difficult to establish, nonetheless, the connection between separate groups can be recognized and its causes and consequences hypothesized.


Formative Period American Antiquity Polished Stone Marine Shell Southern Highland 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francisco Valdez
    • 1
  1. 1.IRD/Institute de Recherche Pour le DéveloppementInstituto Nacional del Patrimonio CulturaEcuador

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