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Guide to the Archaeology Museum in Quito, Ecuador
National Museum of the Central Bank of Ecuador
first permanent inhabitants of present Ecuador settled this
territories ca. 12000 B.C. Their origin is similar to that
of other American peoples, who probably came to America from
Asia through the Bering Strait in more ancient times; from
there they expanded southwards.
From the beginning, the native American peoples were characterized
by a religious vocation which was expressed through the construction
of ceremonial centers such as that at real Alto and those
located in the Islands of La Tolita and La Plata. The pottery
and the metallurgy attained a high level of artistic and technological
development associated with religious practices. These peoples
succeeded in materializing, through the creation of remarkable
masks and figures, a world view founded on a deep knowledge
of nature and a great respect towards its rules.
Two cultural expressions symbolize, among others, this stage
of our history. The shell scientifically known as Spondylus
princeps was a sought-after product from the Eastern Pacific.
This precious ancestor of the American coin was also the typical
ceremonial offering. The basketmen or mindaláes were
intrepid merchants who travelled, by land sea, throughout
Pre-Columbian America, thereby contributing to the cultural
exchange and integration in the continent.
The Hall of Archaeology at the National Museum of Central
Bank is the result of a detailed scientific study and an accurate
selection of the large collections preserved by our institution.
These vestiges, created by skillful unknown hands, embody
the origins of our nation. The study and the contemplation
of this treasure reveal to us the characteristics of a present
past and the roots of destiny as a country.
© Banco Central del Ecuador