Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Semi-arid North > El Molle

Settlement pattern

Their settlements were distributed mainly in valleys, foothills and interfluvial ravines. Despite the fact that the El Molle groups were highly mobile, they also achieved a large degree of sedentarism, which is most notably reflected in the existence of complex village constructions. Examples of these are found in the Copiapó valley, which have platforms dug out of the hillside and retaining walls on the valley side. Their residential structures were built with stone foundations, but their walls were of light materials such as cane and mud, and therefore have not been preserved. The mound cemeteries were often located in well defined places in or very close to the villages.