Rancho bajo: First evidence of the terminal preceramic in quito

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This paper reports on the recent discovery and investigation of early archaeological contexts in the northwest section of Quito, in the urban sector named Rancho Bajo. The principal context is a cemetery associated with a paleosurface that dates to an early moment for the region. Additionally, an activity area dedicated to working obsidian also was found in association with the paleosurface. The stratigraphy and radiocarbon dates indicate that these contexts pertain to a moment of transition (3600–3400 cal BP) between the Preceramic and Early Formative periods. Based on cultural material affiliated with Cotocollao, the latter period was considered to include the oldest sedentary settlement in Quito with ceramic vessels present from the beginning of the occupation. The discoveries at Rancho Bajo document an aceramic sedentary occupation in a stratigraphic context below Cotocollao materials, indicating that the aceramic inhabitants of the site are the earliest known Quiteños to date. In this paper, I discuss chronological and terminological issues that demonstrate the necessity of adding a new period to the chronology of Quito.

Translated title of the contributionRancho bajo: Primeras evidencias del precerÁmico terminal en quito
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-27
Number of pages14
JournalArqueologia Iberoamericana
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Ecuadorian archaeology
  • Formative
  • Funerary contexts
  • Sedentism
  • Terminal Preceramic


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