Punta de Piedra, Valle del Elqui

Punta de Piedra, Valle del Elqui

Information about Punta de Piedra, Valle del Elqui

Punta de Piedra The site is a pre-Hispanic cemetery that has contributed significantly to the reconstruction of the late development of societies of the Norte Chico, especially Diaguita culture. In the earliest phase or early stage of them (I), the graves have flexed, were found bodies sideways, with one axis east-west orientation. The offerings are slim, "one or three pots, which are usually placed in the proximity of the skull or chest. It also finds little metal, needles, awls and bone harpoons without much ornamentation, arrowheads, and in some cases, ceramic urns with or without decoration, partially covering her head. Only in some cases mass graves have been found.

The classical phase (II) is best known because of the abundance of debris and the increased wealth of their contexts. Appears at the top level site of Punta de Piedra. The context can consist of one or more pieces of pottery, especially dishes with more vertical walls than the previous phase, and a décor that includes the outer surface. In some cases, such anthropomorphic representations. The designs use the same colors as before: black, red and white. It enriches the context with bone spatulas that represent characters or animals, which were probably intended for the use of hallucinogens. There are also copper and silver rings, knives, chisels, fish hooks, tweezers, etc.. They are abundant needles, awls, spears, projectile points and stone tools and bone textiles. The rest of the context presents an abundance of utilitarian pottery, jars asymmetrical or "shoe" and jugs known "duck" of extraordinary craftsmanship, and, in general, are unique pieces in the offering. Decorated urns abound, some with anthropomorphic motifs, and has also been able to verify the presence of double rooms or "twin" conduct that continues into the third period.

In the third phase of development of these societies (III) are evidence of trans-diaguita Inca, apparently without a moment of transition between the two. This pushes forward the idea that the Inca conquest must have been as fast as the cultural fusion. The graves are similar to the previous phase, with the axis of the body oriented from west to east, head to the nascent, in some cases the bodies are in an extended position. Cists are used include stone and bones of whales and smaller slabs to cover only offering. The contexts are richer and twin rooms are common, other than duck pitchers remain unique. No major changes are observed in metallurgy, except the presence of pins or tupus, and crescent-shaped knives or Tumi, original Inca ceramic crucibles with portable type mineral inside. The acculturation emerges clearly in the pottery. Cuzco typical forms are present in almost all the offerings with a harmonious use of local designs or, conversely, local forms decorated with Inca.

In sum, it is proposed as the start of culture Chilean Diaguita the tenth century of our era, a process that was based on the cultural development previously initiated Phase Las Animas. The transition from phase I to II must have occurred about the year 1300 AD The conquest of the Incas should have been made about the year AD 1470, leaving a margin of 66 years for the rich process of acculturation occurred between Diaguita Tawantinsuyu and Chilean culture.

Archeology shows that diaguitas had achieved a high level in the agriculture and livestock and acting effectively in the exploitation of coastal resources. Its range covered by 1536, from the Copiapo River valley to the vicinity of the Aconcagua River, with influences of phases II and III on the populations of Central Chile.