Cotocollao - Pichincha
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Cotocollao Culture inhabited the province of Pichincha, Quito canton, in the current Parish of the same name: Cotocollao. This culture inhabited this territory during the Formative Period.

This human settlement lived in this long plain, surrounded by a Lake of glacial origin who disappeared in the early years of the Spanish "Foundation" of Quito.


The village settlement had an area of 26 hectares, which was distributed in small houses of 5 meters wide and 8 meters long which were disorganized built in the area. The houses constructions only consider its proximity to the cemetery that probably was a place of worship and veneration.


The cemetery discovered in the village corresponds to first phase of occupation (1100 B.C to 1500 B.C). The cemetery was formed by individual burials, as well as circular lowest lands, in which each deceased was accompanied by offerings. In the second stage or late occupation period (1100-500 BC), the most important funeral feature was the collective cemetery.


It’s considered the Cotocollao culture disappeared with an eruption of the Pichincha volcano. The place is the first village settlement discovered in the inter-Andean alley and was the first population of Quito. So we can say with all certainty that the city of Quito was founded by the cotocollaos indigenous more than 2500 years ago, when groups of cotocollaos farmers and artisans established on the slopes of the Pichincha, on the slopes of the city of the present-day Quito.

The cotocollaos developed agriculture due to the strategic climate, constant temperatures, moderate rainfall and fertile soils, as well as the presence of two lagoons. They also had a very artisan culture and made figures and very fine ceramics. This agricultural and sedentary culture mainly worked in the planting of corn, beans, quinoa, potatoes, oca( root vegetables) and chocho( Andean grain). Their diet also included meat obtained from the hunting of deer, rabbits, camelids and wild birds.

Due to the products exchange with the inhabitants of warmer regions, they already used cotton to produce clothing. In addition, their domestic and ceremonial containers were ceramic. Cotocollao’s ceramic had the characteristic of using the polished stone in its elaboration, fact that defines them as unique in this kind in the Ecuadorian archaeology. They developed numerous techniques to work this ceramic, on whose decorative features showed a inordinate variety and artistic sensibility.


The indigenous population of Cotocollao, initially was a rural parish of Quito, but was absorbed by the growth of the modern city and today it has become an urban parish in the capital. If you want to know the Museum in situ of Cotocollao, this is located in the road Santa Teresa N70-121 and Loyola, in the neighborhood of Cotocollao. You can go to the museum from the center of Quito taking Metro Bus to the station the Ofelia, and from this point the Cotocollao bus in the station.

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