added by archaeologs Early Formative period site on Ecuador's coast, and the name of a Formative period culture c 3200 BC. The type-site flourished beginning sometime before 3800 BC and lasting until c 1400 BC. Its pottery is among the oldest in the New World. Radiocarbon dates, stratification of midden deposits, and considerable stylistic variation in the highly distinctive ceramic complex have facilitated the construction of a chronology. The periods are: A: 3200-2300 BC; B: 2300-2000 BC; C: 2000-1500 BC and D: 1500-1400 BC. Characteristically, ceramics have a gray body, are smoothly polished and decorated with incision, rocker stamping, and appliqué. Decoration is typically only on the upper part of the vessel and all vessels are utilitarian rather than ritual. Periods C and D contained some traded sherds from Machalilla. Figurines in stone and ceramic appear after Period B with the ceramics usually portraying stylized nude females often with a distinctive 'page boy' hairstyle. Valdivia sites consist of coastal shell mounds left by fishermen and shellfish collectors, and also villages (Real Alto) of maize farmers.