Pre-Columbian Art Museum, Santiago

Pre-Columbian Art Museum, Santiago (must see)

The Pre-Columbian Art Museum is one of the world's top museums and a highlight of Latin American museums. Visitors will gain an important historical look at the wonderful culture of the Pre-Columbian Americas. The museum hosts over 3,000 artifacts, including ceramics, fabrics, jewelry, and tools.

The Pre-Columbian Art Museum is located in the Old Royal Customs House, built in 1807. The museum's extensive collection covers about 10,000 years of history and 100 different groups of people. The collection is divided into four areas.

The Mesoamerica area includes an Aztec statue of Xipe Totec, a Mayan bas-relief, and a Teotihucan incense burner. In the Intermedia area, visitors will find pottery from the Valdivia culture, one of the oldest cultures in the Americas. The pottery dates back to 2,700 BCE.

The Andes Centrales area features the oldest textile in the museum. The painted cloth is from the Chavin culture and is about 3,000 years old. In the Andes del Sur area, visitors will find Aguada ceramic urns and an Incan quipo.

The Chile Before Chile exhibit is fabulous and gives visitors a real insight into the lives of the original inhabitants of this land before colonization. The Chinchorro people mummified their dead before the more well-known Egyptian culture began mummifying their dead. The museum has a Chinchorro mummy on display, dating back to 1,900 BCE.

Visitors will also learn about the Anconcágua culture, which survived for 9,000 years hunting animals that are now extinct. Other unique pieces include Mapuche totem poles which were each carved from a single tree. Visitors will be impressed by the Rapa Nui wooden statues.

The displays are labeled in Spanish and English.

Tip:
Try to arrive before lunchtime, as it is usually packed.

Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Santiago. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Pre-Columbian Art Museum on Map

Sight Name: Pre-Columbian Art Museum
Sight Location: Santiago, Chile (See walking tours in Santiago)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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