Pre-Hispanic Fishing Structures Preserved on the Central Coast of Ecuador

Abstract

Marine resource exploitation is documented for the central coast of Ecuador from 10.000 yr B.P., with a wide range of fishing techniques developing through time. Most recently, dozens of stone fishing structures have been identified at the Liguiqui archaeological locality, on the Manta Peninsula of Manabí Province. These resemble fish traps such as have been recorded worldwide, though no similar devices have previously been reported on the Pacific coast of tropical or subtropical South America. A preliminary study of the Liguiqui structures is presented here, assessing their geologic, environmental, cultural and chronological context. It is hypothesized that they could have had a double function as fish traps and as fish attractors/containers, and that they were most likely built during the Pre-Hispanic Manteño cultural period.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the Programa Prometeo of the SENESCYT (Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, Ecuador) for financing the scholarship that made this research possible (granted to C. M. Favier Dubois); the Universidad Técnica de Manabí (UTM) for the mobility and logistical support provided; the Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL) Guayaquil; the Centro de Investigación y Museo Salango; Leonardo Alonzo and the community of Liguiqui village for their help; Jimmy Moreira (UTM) for the operation of the drone and Peter White (University of Sydney, Australia) for the English revision of the first draft. Finally, we thank the anonymous reviewers whose comments have greatly improved the original manuscript.

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Favier Dubois, C.M., Storchi Lobos, D., Lunniss, R. et al. Pre-Hispanic Fishing Structures Preserved on the Central Coast of Ecuador. J Mari Arch 14, 107–126 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11457-018-9202-6

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Keywords

  • Pre-Hispanic fishing structures
  • Central coast of Ecuador
  • Geo-environmental setting
  • Double functionality
  • Chronological and cultural considerations