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Keywords:

  • pottery;
  • genetic disease

The people of Tumaco-La Tolita culture inhabited the borders of present-day Colombia and Ecuador. Already extinct by the time of the Spaniards arrival, they left a huge collection of pottery artifacts depicting everyday life; among these, disease representations were frequently crafted. In this article, we present the results of the personal examination of the largest collections of Tumaco-La Tolita pottery in Colombia and Ecuador; cases of Down syndrome, achondroplasia, mucopolysaccharidosis I H, mucopolysaccharidosis IV, a tumor of the face and a benign tumor in an old woman were found. We believe these to be among the earliest artistic representations of disease.