Puerto Hormiga archaeological site

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The Puerto Hormiga archaeological site is located in the Bolivar department, Colombia, in the lower Magdalena basin near the Caribbean coast. It is dated 4000 - 3100 BC.

Its traces give an account of a semi-sedentary agricultural society in the making, whose members were involved in hunting and gathering shellfish, as evidenced by shells found there. According to other findings like ceramic remains and the abundant stone material, the activities of nomadic peoples were already beginning to be complemented with small-scale horticulture and agriculture.

A shell ring of the Late Archaic period has been described at Puerto Hormiga. The Puerto Hormiga ring is composed primarily of clam shells, and is located in a marsh. It has an outside diameter of 280 feet (85 m), a height of about 4 feet (1.2 m), and the base of the ring mound is 52 feet (16 m) to 75 feet (23 m) wide. It has a clear interior plaza.[1]Sherds of fiber-tempered and sand-tempered pottery, as well as stone tools, were found associated with the shell ring. The earliest have been dated to 3794 BC. The fiber-tempered pottery is "crude", formed from a single lump of clay. Sand-tempered coiled ceramics have also been found at Puerto Hormiga.[2][3][4][5]


  1. ^ Hemmings:7-8
  2. ^ Hemmings:7-8
  3. ^ Clark and Gosser:210-11
  4. ^ Peregrine and Ember:149, 151
  5. ^ Walthall:81-83