Located on the campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE), this museum houses the life’s work of German collectors Eugene and Hilde Weilbauer, and researcher Pedro Porras. The material – pottery, metalwork, religious icons and such – is displayed chronologically, highlighting the evolution of various ancient cultures in Ecuador before the arrival of the Spanish.
The Antonio Santiana Archaeological Museum, located at the Central University, has the distinction of being the oldest archaeological museum in Ecuador, courtesy of founder Dr. Max Hule. The material on display goes all the way back to the Paleoindian period of settlers who crossed the Bering Strait and populated the Western Hemisphere.
In the 1980s archaeologists discovered that this undeveloped corner of the city contained the civic remains (including canals, stone walls, and temple foundations) of the Quitus and other ancient civilizations in the region. Tourists have the opportunity to walk beside the ruins of former Inca walls and homes, as well on historical trails used by the Incas to access the coast. It has since been declared a historical patrimony.
Opened in 2009, the La Florida Archaeological Site Museum in the northwest corner of the city provides an opportunity to visit some burial grounds of the Quitus that were discovered only in recent years. The museum has recreated the burial chambers, dating as far back as 650 AD, complete with recreations of how the Quitus buried their dead, with figures dressed in the accoutrements – colorful ponchos adorned with Spondylus shell jewelry – that accompanied their internment. Other artifacts are only display too, such as wood carvings that speak of the rites and religion of this ancient culture.
Museo de Sitio la Florida, Antonio Costas and César Villacres +593 02 380 3043