Aticama Museum of Archaeology and History

Matanchen Complex
(2100 B.C. – 1700 B.C.)

(Written by Archaeologist Joseph B. Mountjoy, Museologist)

This complex is defined by archaeological materials found at a habitation site located on the eastern side of the base of Ceboruco Hill, on the northern end of Matanchen Bay. The people who lived there focused on the consumption of meat obtained from bivalve and conch shells that they got from Matanchen Bay, sometimes using nets to which they tied crude rock weights in order to drag the nets along the bottom of the bay. It is believed that these people also used simple wooden canoes in this activity.

The inhabitants at the Matanchen site had cultural ties with people far to the north along the Pacific coast, people who likewise subsisted heavily on meat obtained from shellfish during the period generally known as the Archaic in North America. There is at least one Archaic site in the extreme south of Sinaloa at El Calón, where there are shell remains and radiocarbon dates are similar to those at the Matanchen site. Nevertheless, Archaic sites with remains similar to those found at the Matanchen site are more abundant much farther to the north, along coast of Baja California as well as the coast of the U.S. state of California.

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