The study of fishing techniques carried out by fishermen of the Manteña culture, without any fishing gear and only supported by marine pens (stone structures designed in coastal areas of the rural area of Manta), has generated an investigation that maintains as unique in the world to these constructions dating back at least 1,500 years of existence.
For months, a first stage of research began on these semicircular buildings built in stone detected in the Ligüiqui community by delegates from the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain, together with archaeologists from the National Institute of Cultural Heritage (INPC), as well as to investigate the changes that the arrival of the Spaniards in an investigation that lasted five years meant for the Manteña culture.
Lauro Olmo, professor of Archeology at the Iberian University and co-director of the project, said in a publication of the Foundation of Paleontology and Archeology, Spain, that it is essential to know the organized economic system of exploitation of agricultural and maritime resources and control of navigation and commercial exchange networks of this culture, especially of a society that made the shell Spondylus their means of commercial exchange.
National project receives award
“There are corrals located in Chile, in Australia, and in Iceland and also in Spain, where the best known are in Rota (Cádiz), but none is as extensive as those in Ligüiqui, where the existence of a system larger scale and better organized than in the rest of the far-known corrals, “she said.
These marine corrals are semicircular stone structures that trapped fish and crustaceans when the tide went down.
The first research work in this area of Ligüiqui took place in 2012 under the command of the archaeologist Juan José Ortiz, a group of INPC professionals and of that community.
Ortiz points out that at present the inhabitants of this sector still maintain the tradition of obtaining some seafood when the tide goes down, when these structures are observed.
Marcos Labrada, director of the center of specialized services of Cultural Heritage of the zone 4 of the INPC, pointed out that many things are missing to clarify about the marine corrals.
So far, it has been possible to detect nearly six uninterrupted kilometers of marine pens within the Ligüiqui coastal profile.
But the archaeologist indicates that what does change the case of Ligüiqui completely with respect to Ecuadorian archeology is the researchers’ visualization and knowledge by society that in addition to a more active fishing method such as the one given in the rafts or through diving, in this sector there was a parallel system of passive fishing that had not been considered and was not evaluated in the investigations. (I)