Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > San Pedro


The San Pedro people had an agriculture and livestock based economy that was complemented by the gathering of algarrobo and chañar fruit. They built primitive irrigation systems that mainly involved flooding lands close to the salt flats to grow maize, beans, chili peppers and squash. Herding of camelids, llamas in particular, was crucial for their short and long distance caravan trade. Indeed, caravan traffic transformed the settlement of San Pedro, and to a lesser degree that of Chiu Chiu, into bustling interregional trading hubs.