Archaeological explorations on the Santa Ana–La Florida site (Ecuador) have exposed underground architectural structures dating to the 3rd millennium BC. The site seems to have been a small ceremonial center with funerary structures. The complexity of the cultural remains, and especially of the lapidary art, shows the high degree of development achieved by the agrarian communities established on the low moist tropics of the eastern slopes of the Andes. The new evidence questions the assumed modalities of the rise of the first great Andean civilizations.
Formative period, western Amazon, Ecuador, Andean civilizations, monumental architecture, lapidary art