Early Complexity in the Upper Amazon: The Mayo Chinchipe-Marañón.

Author(s): Francisco Valdez

Year: 2016


Hypotheses that held Amazonia untenable for the development of complex societies have now been discarded. The presumed incapacity of the soil to ensure permanent agricultural production (sustain large populations) has been proved false, not because of the limitations of the soil, but rather because Amazonians found ways to overcome the flaws and develop adequate strategies for sustainable food production. Recent studies show that early complexity was present in the tropics with forms of typical Formative period technologies and practices, such as pottery, polished stone artifacts or long distance exchange networks. The presentation will focus on the material culture and the ideology of an early complex society called the Mayo Chinchipe-Marañón, situated on the upper Amazon frontier region between Ecuador and Peru. Evidence dating around 5500/3500 BP, from the site Santa Ana–La Florida (Palanda) shows the existence of a precocious ceremonial center that rallied the neighboring areas. The complicated stone architectural layout and the importance of the funerary paraphernalia found on the site suggest a strong ideological structure that led and managed the population on a regional scale. Similar findings have been studied in the Jaén/Bagua region of the Chinchipe-Maranon basin in Peru.

Cite this Record

Early Complexity in the Upper Amazon: The Mayo Chinchipe-Marañón.. Francisco Valdez. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 402955)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;