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Interregional Interaction and Craft Production at Las Orquídeas, Imbabura, Ecuador, during the Late Formative (800–400 cal BC)

Eric Dyrdahl, Pennsylvania State University, Junior Fellow 2016–2017, Fall

The Pre-Columbian societies of the Ecuadorian highlands do not receive much consideration in New World archaeology. I discussed developments in Ecuadorian archaeology with colleagues and completed rough drafts of five dissertation chapters. I focused on the artifactual evidence recovered from domestic refuse contexts at Las Orquídeas in the northern Ecuadorian highlands. The assemblage suggests Late Formative households in this region used a variety of raw materials, local and nonlocal, to produce goods ranging from adornments to informal stone and bone tools. This crafting appears to have been a part-time activity that diversified the economic activities of the site’s inhabitants. This case study of multicrafting in domestic contexts advances our understanding of possible links between pre-Hispanic societies in Ecuador, southern Colombia, and northern Peru.