Milagro Quevedo

The Milagro-Quevedo culture settled in the river basin that extends from the gulf of Guayaquil to the Santo Domingo area, where the main means of communication between the Sierra and Coast are to be found.  Their form of social organization was rigid, consisting of chiefdoms that controlled commerce and communication and trading routes, along with ceremonial centers.

Their territory was a major agricultural center, and probably one of the largest on the Pacific coast of South America. They transformed the landscape by moving thousands of cubic meters of earth for cultivation using the ridge technique, which consists of raising earth with ditches in between mounds to obtain organic compost, protect land from flooding and avoid slashing and burning for planting purposes.

Their distinctive pottery is characterized by the use of techniques such as pastillage, decoration using incisions and points, and negative painting. The Milagro-Quevedo culture was distinguished for working with precious metals and metallurgy, using gold and copper obtained through trading and bartering. The archaeological finds pertaining to this culture include numerous copper axes, which according to chroniclers served as a kind of currency with which to exchange special goods. Such axes have also been found as offerings in sacred sites and graves.