Machalilla Culture - Machalilla Culture

Machalilla Culture

The Machalilla were an agricultural people who also pursued fishing, hunting and gathering. Like many prehistoric cultures of coastal Ecuador, the people practiced artificial cranial deformation by using stones to flatten and lengthen their skulls.

Archaeologists focus on the unusual cemeteries of the Machalilla, in which bodies were settled beneath a ceramic turtle shell, and on their ceramic work in general, which represented artistic and technological advances in the art. The Machalilla are credited with adding to the ceramic bottle the stirrup spout, in which two spouts join together into one opening: an invention that would be prominent in northwest South American pottery for centuries. Archaeologists have also excavated ceramic pots, pitchers, whistles, candlesticks and human figures from Machalilla digs.

The date range of the culture is obscured. It is sometimes listed as early as 1800 BCE and as late as 800 BCE. One of the problems with determining the proper date range is the method of cultural termination. According to archaeologists Betty Meggers and Clifford Evans, the Machalilla culture was altered by Mesoamerican contact until it blended into the Chorrera culture.

Universidad de Especialidades EspĂ­ritu Santo UEES in Guayaquil, Ecuador has a collection of Machalilla artifacts.

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Machalilla Culture
... The Machalilla were an agricultural people who also pursued fishing, hunting and gathering ... Like many prehistoric cultures of coastal Ecuador, the people practiced artificial cranial deformation by using stones to flatten and lengthen their skulls ... Archaeologists focus on the unusual cemeteries of the Machalilla, in which bodies were settled beneath a ceramic turtle shell, and on their ceramic ...

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