Archaeologists find what could be the oldest pottery in America

Archaeologists have made another history-changing discovery in the Americas.

Russian and Ecuadorian archaeologists have discovered in Ecuador artifacts that could date back as much as 6,000 years.

If the discovery is confirmed, these would become the oldest American ceramics ever recovered to date.

The discovery was made possible thanks to the collaboration of scientists from the Far Eastern Federal University of Russia and the Polytechnic School of the Litoral (ESPOL) of Ecuador.

Pieces of the pottery fragments recovered by archaeologists. Image Credit: Far Eastern Federal University of Russia

Researchers discovered a cultural layer that represents the first stages of the colonization of one of the most important sites in the ancient history of the continent, after performing excavations at the ancient settlement of Real Alto.

The stones and ceramics recently discovered belong to the little-studied culture of San Pedro and will allow clarifying their role in the history of pre-Columbian America, explained researchers of the Far Eastern Federal University of Russia.

Excavations have shown that the culture of San Pedro existed simultaneously with the early stages of the Valdivia culture or perhaps preceded it.

We have identified its context and approximate stratigraphic age, while our Japanese colleagues from Tohoku University took soil samples to perform radiocarbon dating.

Image Credit: Far Eastern Federal University of Russia

This is a remarkable achievement for the archeology of the region, but we still have to determine the exact chronological range of the existence of this material, explained the head of the Russian expedition, Alexandr Popóv.

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

Ceramic artifacts can help identify ethnic history, the characteristics of the economic structure, and contain a variety of information about the development of the ancient population, the migration of technologies and culture.

The new materials will allow us to reconsider what we know so far, and create a new scheme for the development of ancient cultures for the Pacific and Asia-Pacific area of America, “adds Popóv.

This archaeological team has been working in Ecuador since 2014.

The primary objective of this team 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, a comparative research is being carried out in the Far Eastern Federal University of Russia, in the south of Primorye and the Russki island.

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