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Project Abstract

The Valdivia culture of coastal Ecuador dates between 4400 and 1450 BC. It is one of the earliest settled and ceramic producing traditions in the Americas. For all this, however, archaeological understanding of this important time period is limited. This is due, in part, to a problem encountered in many regions around the world, namely that archaeological data is frequently siloed, either in gray literature or in monolingual publications that are inaccessible due to cost or restricted distribution.

The purpose of this database is to provide a centralized repository for data concerning ceramics from the Valdivia culture. Virtual Valdivia will host the data that underlays archaeological interpretation, encouraging archaeologists to undertake meaningful inter-site analyses and help build a regional understanding first, of ceramic variation and secondly, of the social practices in existence during this time period.

The current data is derived from excavations at the site of Buen Suceso, and focuses on Phases VI and VII of the Late Valdivia period. Additional data will be added from grey literature, such as unpublished theses and dissertations and site reports as author permission is obtained. If you are interested in contributing your data please contact the database editor.


Hill, Betsy

A New Chronology of the Valdivia Ceramic Complex from the Coastal Zone of Guayas Province, Ecuador. Ñawpa Pacha 10(12):1-39.

Marcos, Jorge G.

The Ceremonial Precinct of Real Alto: Organization of Time and Space in Valdivia Society. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Marcos, Jorge G., and Adam Michczynski

Good Dates and Bad Dates in Ecuador: Radiocarbon Samples and Archaeological Excavation: A Commentary Based on the "Valdivia Absolute Chronology". Andes: Boletín de la Misión Arqueológica Andina. 1:93-114.

Meggers, Betty J., Clifford Evans, and Emilio Estrada

The Early Formative Period of Coastal Ecuador. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.

Rowe, Sarah M.

Community and Memory at the Late Valdivia Site of Buen Suceso, Ecuador. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Shepard, Anna O.

Ceramics for the Archaeologist. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, DC.

Zeidler, James A.

Appendix A: Formative Period Chronology for the Coast and Western Lowlands of Ecuador. In Archaeology of Formative Ecuador, edited by J. S. Raymond and Richard L. Burger, pp. 487-527. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC.
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Vocabulary: DCMI Metadata Terms (Dublin Core Terms)
Sarah M Rowe info
Vocabulary: Virtual Valdivia
Suggested Citation

Sarah M Rowe. (2016) "Virtual Valdivia". Released: 2016-05-07. Open Context. <> DOI:

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