Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > San Pedro

Settlement pattern

The San Pedro people resided around the desert salt flats and oases, establishing villages of considerable size, around which they located their farm fields and cemeteries. One of the oldest and most representative sites of the early San Pedro culture is Túlor, which contains circular mud-walled dwellings joined together in a way that suggests the spontaneous growth of the settlement. Access to and from these enclosures was through the many interior walkways and courtyards, where the residents performed tasks such as grinding. During the Regional Development period two- or three-room rectangular adobe dwellings were added. Also characteristic of this final period were the pukaras or walled settlements, which were built on high ground. One of these is Quítor, which contains more than 160 rooms, courtyards, narrow passages and storage silos.