Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > San Pedro

Social organization

Early hierarchical structuring among the San Pedro people has been deduced from the presence of different assemblages of grave goods, which suggests that some individuals enjoyed a more privileged social position than others. This would have intensified under the influence of the Tiwanaku culture, which established ties with the elite residents of the desert oases in order to insert the Atacama trading network into the economy of its Altiplano empire. The mastery and skillfulness displayed in the crafts manufactured by the San Pedro people suggest the existence of experts who dedicated themselves to such work. The social status accorded such experts would have led to social distinctions within San Pedro communities.