Located at the foot of Pichincha in suburban Quito is what I consider to be a real jewel of a museum and archaeological site, La Florida. The site contains several shaft tombs where human remains and a variety of other artifacts left behind by Quito’s earliest inhabitants have been excavated.
The tombs are sort of clover shaped with three shafts immediately adjacent to each other. The shafts are approximately 15 meters deep with the bottom two or three meters smaller in diameter creating a sort of shelf. This is to belive to have been a sort of tier system where each shaft containing members of one family with the most important person were buried in the smaller area at the bottom, and lesser important people, perhaps cousins were placed on the shelf and then subsequent “scaffolding”.
The staff has done a remarkable job of recreating the burials and displaying some of the artifacts that have been removed. There is also a small museum on site containing very nice cultural artifacts such as textiles, shells, and metal. The museum guide was very knowledgable and happy to answer all my questions.
If you are interested in learning about Ecuador’s early culture, this site is highly recomended. For me, and I have been traveling to Ecuador since 1995, it was one of my best experiences.
You can find this site at the intersection of Calle Roman and Antonio Costas, Quito tel 099 234 351, email@example.com, hours of operation, Wed to Sun 0800-1600.