DIVINATORY MANUAL (1)

MS 2961
MS Short Title DIVINATORY MANUAL
Text DIVINATORY MANUAL OR STAR CHART?
Description MS in Valdivian on grey limestone, Ecuador, 3500-1500 BC, 1 tablet, 24x30x3 cm, central rectangular panel surrounded by double lines, crossed by diagonal parallelograms of double lines, filled with 12+5+6 drilled holes forming 4 triangles filled with 20 drilled holes each, all within a frame of 4 rectangles within double lines filled with 11+11+12+13 drilled holes, slightly curved corners.
Binding
Context From the Piguiga hoard. For similar examples see MS 2960 and Sotheby's New York 2.6.1999:26, and 22.11.1999:22, both dated to 2300-2000 BC.

Two more examples published by Alvaro Guillot-Munoz: Les Pierres gravées pré-valdivia. Bruxelles, May 1997, VAL 19-20, dated to 3800-2800 BC.
Provenance 1. Private collection, USA (-2000); 2. Bruce Ferrini, Akron, Ohio
Commentary

The Valdivian or pre-Valdivian stone plaques or star charts are the earliest evidence of "writing" from the Americas.

The scholars disagree on their dates and meaning. The earliest dating is contemporary with the earliest writing of Sumer and Egypt. The latest dating is about contemporary with the earliest writing of Europe, Indus Valley and China. The Valdivian culture flourished along the central coast of Ecuador, beginning in the period 3000-2700 BC, persisting until about 1400 BC. Its pottery is one of the oldest in the Americas. Its resemblance to the Jomon ware from Japan has led some scholars to believe that it was introduced into Ecuador as a result of Trans-Pacific contacts.

Published
Exhibited
Mentioned
Boxing
Colophon
See also
Place of origin Ecuador
Dates 3500 - 1500 BC

Location