Thursday, December 2

Chinchorro culture: the population of Chile where the inhabitants learned to live surrounded by the oldest mummies in the world

  • Jane Chambers
  • Arica chile

Chinchorro mummy, Museum of the University of Tarapacá in San Miguel de Azapa.

Image source, Courtesy University of Tarapacá


The chinchorro culture mummified children and adults. This is a 6 or 7 year old boy over 4,000 years old.

“It may seem strange that some people live on top of a cemetery, but we are used to it,” says Ana María Nieto, who lives in the northern Chilean port city of Arica.

Arica is on the border with Peru. It is built on the sandy dunes of the Atacama desert, the driest in the world.

But long before the seaside town was founded in the 16th century, this area was home to the culture chinchorro.

Their culture made headlines in July when the United Nations cultural organization, UNESCO added hundreds of preserved chinchorro mummies to its World Heritage List.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *