Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Center > Paleoindian hunters of Central Chile


Although there is still some debate around when exactly the Americas were first populated, it is a now accepted fact that the first colonizers came from Northeast Asia across the Bering Strait more than 15,000 years ago. From there, they began to populate the lands to the south, and by around 13,500 BCE were leaving traces of their presence on the shores of the ancient lake of San Vicente de Tagua Tagua. There, mastodon remains have been found with tool marks, as well as some stone tools. These ancient hunter gatherers were the first to inhabit the region, and after the extinction of the megafauna, the cornerstone of their early economy, these groups focused on hunting new smaller species, in the times leading up to the Archaic Period.