Sumpa - Santa Elena 1/2
archaeology ecuador archaeological sites ecuador archaeology archeology archeological sites ecuador
Sumpa is an archaeological place located in the province of Santa Elena, southeast of the city of the same name. This archaeological site is also known as Las Vegas, although the native name of the Peninsula of Santa Elena is Sumpa.
PHOTO CREDIT: QUITO ADVENTURE

The archaeological area corresponds to a pre ceramic (period of Ecuadorian History) settlement, it corresponds to the Ecuadorian Paleo-Indian which goes from 11 000-4 000 B.C.

 

To this period belong the first human groups settled in the old Ecuador. It is known that these people were organized in short numbers of nuclear families without high chiefs, social classes or private property either. They lived in temporary camps made with sticks, weeds, skins, or they lived in caves and other natural spaces. The length of stay of a band in a certain place depended on the resources available for the hunting and fruit gathering.

 

The Sumpa people were one of the first human groups settled in the old Ecuador, and the only ones of this period discovered in the coast region. Its economy was based on hunting, fishing and harvesting of fruits and roots. Other activities they do were: the development of Spears, woven baskets and tanning of animal skins, also made utensils, tools and weapons essential in everyday life, being the Obsidian (volcanic rock) the raw material that was frequently used.

The remains found, in addition to set the population of Las Vegas site in the Paleo-Indian period, indicate that the inhabitants of this region were increasingly sedentary. Have been discovered a circular ditch 1.80 m in diameter with holes of pole, which could be developed to sustain home.

 

Kitchen basic ranges, bones of animals, burned rocks and grinding stones, as well as tools made from bone and shell were also found. There are also findings through the analysis of their diet, showing a feeding based on products grown such as corn. Cultural remains and 200 human skeletons were also discovered, what constitute the largest American cemetery at that time.

 

In the archeological site Las Vegas was found the burial known as the "lovers of Sumpa", that have determine the name of the Museum in situ: the lovers of Sumpa Museum, Museo de los Amantes de Sumpa.

 

The evidence that you can also directly observe in the Museum is a burial formed by a man of approximately 25 years, and a woman of 20 years, of smaller stature, set down in a horizontal position with their arms intertwined. On their skeletons were found seven stones located in different parts of the bodies, which indicate a scene of stone-dead or funeral rite.

 

There are several stories about this burial. The location of the bodies indicate that they were carefully buried, perhaps retaining its original form, in a hug.

 

The man has his right hand on the waist of his partner and his right leg on her hip. The woman is in a flexed position with the head on the chest of his partner and one arm above his head. The two skeletons are orientated to the East. For all the stuffs of the burial the community gave them the name of the lovers of Sumpa.

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