Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Cultures > Arid North > Toconce – Turi

Settlement pattern

Settlements in this zone were situated between 3,000 and 4,000 m above sea level and consisted of several well-defined sectors placed close together. Villages with a clustered dwelling pattern often were established on the slopes of ravines close to agricultural terraces. The buildings of these peoples were made of mortared stone walls with straw roofs supported by cactus wood beams. Most structures contained two or more rooms –different ones for sleeping, cooking and/or storage—with rectangular floor plans and shared walls. In some places, between the settlement itself and the highest part of the ravine, the people erected ceremonial chullpa shrines. Cemeteries were also located close by. Villages like these dotted the region, and were situated mainly in places where a year-round water source allowed the practice of agriculture.