Las Vegas culture (archaeology)

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See the section Las Vegas#Culture for information on the American city in Nevada.

The Las Vegas culture was a complex of late-Pleistocene and Holocene settlements along the coast of present day Ecuador, which emerged between 8000 BCE and 4600 BCE (10,000 to 6,600 BP). The Las Vegas culture represents "an early, sedentary adjustment to an ecologically complex coastal environment."[1] Thirty-one Las Vegas sites have been identified on the Santa Elena peninsula of Ecuador, a biologically complex, tropical ecotone; radiocarbon dating has securely confirmed the evidence for Las Vegas.[2]

The Las Vegas people practiced hunting and gathering, and also developed primitive agricultural techniques. Bone points and a spatula have been discovered that may have been used for making nets or textiles, along with various tools and containers shaped of shell; wood, bamboo, reeds, and bark are also believed to have been used in the tool industry.[3]

Although mummies have not been documented from coastal Ecuador, the Las Vegas people were contemporaneous with and similar to the people whose remains are preserved as the Chinchorro mummies of the north coast of Chile.


  1. ^ Stothert, Karen E. (July 1985). "The Preceramic Las Vegas Culture of Coastal Ecuador". American Antiquity (American Antiquity, Vol. 50, No. 3) 50 (3): 613–637. doi:10.2307/280325. JSTOR 280325. 
  2. ^ Stothert, Karen E.; Dolores R. Piperno; Thomas C. Andres (Fall 2004). "New Evidence of Early Holocene Agriculture from the Coast of Ecuador: A Multidisciplinary Approach". Culture & Agriculture 24 (2): 31–41. doi:10.1525/cag.2002.24.2.31. 
  3. ^ Bryan, Alan L. (2000). "Chapter 2: The Original Peopling of Latin America". General History of Latin America. UNESCO. Retrieved 2007-05-16.