Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Arica

Settlement pattern

The Arica people lived in large villages, some containing more than an thousand enclosures. In these places, different functions were apparently ascribed to different sectors such as living quarters, corrals and storerooms. The enclosures had a rectangular or circular floor plan and were built using materials readily available. In the mountains, many of these villages resembled fortresses or pukaras, with defensive walls and high ground locations to control agricultural lands, caravan routes and exterior threats.