Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Chile before Chile

The dawn of geometry

Around 10,000 years ago, residents of the Chilean coast between Antofagasta and Los Vilos were producing a variety of stone objects. The most curious of these artefacts are shown here, in a variety of geometric shapes. Their function is still unknown, but as they were discovered in ancient occupational sites, were covered with red pigment and/or bore signs of having been exposed to fire, they are thought to have had a symbolic or ceremonial function.