Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Semi-arid North > Copiapo

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Most settlements attributed to this culture consisted of small groups of dwellings or villages dispersed along the fluvial terraces of valleys. Their residences were circular or rectangular structures built of dry stone walls and were situated alongside corrals and growing fields. In some parts of the upper Copiapó valley, the people built compact, tightly grouped villages on hilltops with fortified perimeter walls, much like pukaras or forts. These were located to safeguard strategic agricultural zones or the headwaters of rivers. Cemeteries attributed to the Copiapó people were located apart from the villages.