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7 July 2003
Humans settled in Amazon 4,500 years ago

Archaeologists said that they had uncovered remains of a monument and carved stone receptacles which prove that man had lived in the upper reaches of the Amazon some 4,500 years ago. The discovery was made in southern Ecuador in the province of Zamora-Chinchipe by Ecuadorian and French archaeologists, Francisco Baldes, chief Ecuadorian archeologist of the program, announced at a press conference.
     The finds were uncovered at Santa Ana Florida near the Peruvianborder, at a site believed to have been used for "funereal or ceremonial" occasions. The stone containers were finely polished and feature engravings of large cats, condors and snakes. The remains proved that some complex human community had existed in the upper reaches of the Amazon since 2,450 BCE and that was the earliest proof of human settlement in the region, said the experts.
     Baldes added that the remains, as a proof of the early civilization in Andes region, was very similar to the well-known culture of the Chavin or Cupisnique in Peru. The Ecuadorian government will make the remains a tour site by setting up a museum there.

Source: People's Daily (2 July 2003)

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