La Tolita Archaeological Site
La Tolita Island is home to the La Tolita Archaeological Site. This site has become a popular attraction in Ecuador, which has boosted the tourism industry on this island. The inhabitants of the island constructed what is believed to be a ceremonial site many centuries ago. The site is situated in the center of the La Tolita Island and it is at this ceremonial site that exquisite gifts of gold and pottery were brought in honor of the island’s high chief. It was the center of trade and religion and it has been suggested that the island inhabitants also worked with silver and platinum.
La Tolita Island is strategically placed where the most significant rivers, such as the Santiago River, meet up with the ocean. This meant that the island also held navigational importance. The islanders constructed their homes in clusters along the island and were known for their extraordinary farming and agricultural skills. The artifacts that have been discovered by archaeologists have shown the remarkable talents and artistic skills of these islanders. Their artworks take the form of silver, platinum, ceramics and gold. The treasures that are held by the La Tolita Archaeological Site have convinced archaeologists that a workshop must have existed on the island, even though one has never been found. The tolas, or graves, that have been uncovered show that inhabitants would adorn the dead with jewelry and pottery items. Unfortunately, due to grave robbers, only sixteen of the original sixty graves are left intact.
This amazing attraction in Ecuador displays the country's cultural and historical heritage. The immense interest of these architectural ruins has brought large numbers of tourists flocking to the island. The La Tolita Archaeological Site is now being protected against human greed and raids and efforts are being made to increase the number of tourists visiting the site. Tourism has made the islanders aware that there is more money to be made by interested parties that visit the site, than to rob the island of its rich past. The remains of the craftsmen that created beautiful pieces of art, including metalwork, is a memorial to the islanders that once inhabited La Tolita. This rich historical site has again become a source of income to the island.