Chile, Archaeological and Anthropological Museums
The archaeological and anthropological museum of San Miguel de Asapa is located 12 km from the “city of eternal spring”, as the locals call Arica city in Chile. The museum was founded in 1967 and is under the direction of Tarapak University. The main feature of the museum is that absolutely all exhibits are original. Before entering the main building of the museum, in a small rounded park museum with tall palms, you can see samples of thirteen petroglyphs – symbolic constructions engraved on the rocks, many of which were made by our ancestors in the prehistoric Neolithic period. And also the bust of the German archaeologist Max Ule (1856-1944), the pioneer of anthropology in northern Chile.
The museum has a wonderful collection of textiles, wicker and pottery, household items, dishes, and samples of indigenous weapons of the pre-Hispanic period. There are also presses for obtaining olive oil made in the eighteenth century. In addition to archeology and anthropology, there are samples of famous olives growing in the Asapa Valley. And also an exhibition of making famous traffic jams, which attracts tourists visiting this fertile valley. Currently, the first building of the museum presents a new exposition – the mummy chinchorro, which contains the ancient archaeological remains of this culture, the most important archaeological treasure in Chile. As an important ritual of the cult of death, members of this culture mummified their children, parents, partners, grandmothers, grandfathers.
Exhibits – the oldest mummies in the world, dated more than 9000 years ago, are exhibited in special containers of reinforced glass, where they are stored in special temperature, light and humidity conditions. The most famous exposition of the museum is the reconstruction of the general view of the tomb’s seine: a woman, a man and two boys in the form of a partial mass grave of chinchorro-mummies, which were made between 6000 and 2,000 years BC.