Archaeological Heritage of Northern Chile

Miguel Fuentes, a PhD student and member of the World Archaeology section, has sent two short films relating to his research project.

This audio-visual material, developed in the framework of my doctoral research “Inca Expansion and Local Populations in the Highlands of Arica”, aims to collaborate with the promotion of the archaeological and cultural heritage of the indigenous communities and local populations of Northern Chile.

One of my goals with the release of this material is related to the fulfilment of the necessary social retribution in which researchers and intellectual workers must be engaged.

The Inca Tambo of Zapahuira and its surroundings (Arica Highlands – Chile)

The Inca Tambo of Zapahuira, located in the area of Putre in the Arica Region, was an Inca settlement that would have played a vital role in the functioning of the Inca road network of the Lluta and Azapa Valleys.

It has also been suggested that this site would have played the role of an administrative centre for the presence of the Tawantinsuyo in the area. In addition to the two Inca kanchas that characterize this site, there are important agricultural infrastructure works in the surroundings, such as the numerous cultivation terraces that cover the nearby slopes and the traces of old irrigation canals.

The Metallurgical-Ceremonial Centre of Huaycuta and the Collcas of Zapahuira (Arica Highlands – Chile)

The archaeological site of Huaycuta, located at the top of Cerro Sombrero and around two kilometres west of the modern town of Zapahuira, is characterized by the presence of several circular structures and stone alignments. This site would have constituted an important Metallurgical and Local Ceremonial Centre of the Late Intermediate Period and possibly during the Inca expansion.

In the case of Zapahuira Collcas, emplaced nearby Huaycuta, this site is formed by several rectangular units interpreted as Incan enclosures associated with storage functions.

Several groupings of isolated structures, land demarcations, chullpas and a possible Local Plaza can be found in the surroundings.

If any other section members have films or photographs of their research that they would like to share, please email us!

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