Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

The Land of Four Seasons

The temperate Central Zone has a vast, fertile central plain that runs between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. More than 9000 years ago, the inhabitants of this land subsisted by hunting now-extinct animals such as mastodon, American horse and Andean deer, then later guanaco and huemul. Groups living on the coast extracted marine resources. Before the present era, lowland communities took up horticulture and ceramics, while mountain groups kept their hunter-gatherer way of life. About 1000 years ago, the Aconcagua culture emerged as a village-dwelling agricultural people who buried their dead under mounds of earth. With the help of the Diaguitas, the Incas conquered the Central Zone in the 15th century, and in 1536 the first advance party of Spanish invaders arrived.

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