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Archaeological Investigations on the Rio Napo, Eastern Ecuador

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dc.contributor.author Evans, Clifford en
dc.contributor.author Meggers, Betty en
dc.date.accessioned 2007-05-29T12:51:33Z en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2013-03-14T18:56:11Z
dc.date.available 2007-05-29T12:51:33Z en_US
dc.date.available 2013-03-14T18:56:11Z
dc.date.issued 1968
dc.identifier.citation Evans, Clifford and Meggers, Betty. 1968. "<a href="http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.5479%2Fsi.00810223.6.1">Archaeological Investigations on the Rio Napo, Eastern Ecuador</a>." <em>Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology</em>. 1&ndash;127. <a href="https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.6.1">https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.6.1</a> en
dc.identifier.issn 0081-0223
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.6.1
dc.description.abstract The eastern slopes of the Andes attracted our attention in 1950, when it became probable that the Marajoara Phase on the island of Marajó at the mouth of the Amazon was derived from northwestern South America. Our first opportunity to investigate the possibilities for archeological fieldwork came when we were in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in 1954 and met Coronel Jorge V. Gortoire, who had served for a period as commandant of the Ecuadorian Army Post at Tiputini. Conversation with him reawakened our latent interest in the area, and we began to make specific plans. In October 1956, having been awarded Grant No. 2012 from the Penrose Fund by the American Philosophical Society and granted official detail by the Smithsonian Institution, we returned to Ecuador to undertake the fieldwork.<br/>Through the courtesy of Coronel Rafael Andrade Ochoa, at that time Commander-general of the Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, we received authorization to fly from Quito to Tiputini in an Ecuadorian Air Force DC-3 transport plane. However, almost daily rains maintained the airstrip in unsuitable condition for landing and after several weeks of waiting in Quito for the weather to break, we gave up and arranged to fly by commercial airline in a Junkers Tri-Motor to Shell-Mera and then in a single engine Norseman to Tena. A day on horseback brought us to Latas, where we secured a dugout canoe manned by Quechua-speaking Indians to take us downriver. Although the trip was longer and more difficult than it would have been by air, it gave us invaluable first-hand experience with conditions along the Rio Napo (pls. 1-5). We were able to follow our hourly progress on U.S. Air Force Preliminary Base Map 950A (Scale 1: 500,000), which perfectly reproduced every bend and island. By the afternoon of the fifth day, when we arrived at Tiputini, we were well prepared to appreciate the comments of Orellana&amp;apos;s men, who preceded us by 415 years.<br/>When we stepped on shore at Tiputini, the military post that was to be our base of operations, we were delighted to discover not only that there was an archeological site on the spot, but that the pottery included incised and excised techniques of decoration diagnostic of the Marajoara Phase, although only painted vessels had been previously reported from the Rio Napo. With the cooperation of army personnel and local residents, we were able to investigate a number of sites particularly along the portion of the river between Tiputini and the mouth of the Rio Yasuní, which marks the boundary between Ecuador and Peru. We also checked the lower Rio Tiputini. During our stay, the river was unusually low, and extensive sand bars reduced the channel in places to a slender meandering stream (pl. 4<I>b</I>). Giant trees temporarily resting on beaches (pl. 3<I>b</I>) attested to the force of the current at other times of the year, lending credence to descriptions by Orellana&amp;apos;s companions (see pp. 106-107), who had the misfortune to encounter higher water than we did.<br/>At the conclusion of the survey, we had accumulated several tons of specimens and were sufficiently familiar with the river to look forward to returning to Quito by air. As was the case in October, intermittent rain kept the airstrip soft, but we were prepared to wait as long as necessary this time, since going by river would have taken at least two weeks. An Ecuadorian Air Force DC-3 finally came on December 15, and two hours after takeoff we were in Quito by every standard of comparison, another world.<br/>We left behind us in the Province of Napo-Pastaza many friends never to be seen again, and memories still fresh as we write this ten years later. Sr. José Bernardo Crespo Pando made us his guests while we worked at Nueva Armenia, and allowed us to use his home as a base from which to visit nearby sites. Philosopher, businessman, and astute observer of the world from afar, he was an invaluable promoter of our cause as well as an entertaining host. Several pleasant days were also spent at the home of Sr. José Rafael Urvina on the Rio Tiputini, whe en
dc.format.extent 81712048 bytes en_US
dc.format.extent 23748182 bytes en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.relation.ispartof Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology en
dc.title Archaeological Investigations on the Rio Napo, Eastern Ecuador en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.identifier.srbnumber 113388
dc.identifier.eISSN 1943-6661 en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.5479/si.00810223.6.1
rft.jtitle Smithsonian Contributions to Anthropology
rft.issue 6
rft.spage 1
rft.epage 127
dc.description.SIUnit SISP en
dc.citation.spage 1
dc.citation.epage 127
dc.relation.url http://dx.doi.org/10.5479/si.00810223.6.1

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