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The visitor to this Region will find a diverse history of the land prior to the Spanish Conquest in 1536 which is being pieced together to give insight into the lives of the original inhabitants of the past.  The Archaeological Museum of La Serena is an excellent starting point because of its very well documented collection from pre history onwards.  The museum contains 25,000 pieces and can be divided into three categories; archaeology from all the prehistoric cultures of the region, pottery from various cultures.El Molle Culture 300 A.D. - 700 A.D., the Animas Culture 700 A.D.  -  1000 A.D., the Diaguita Culture 1000 A.D. - 1470 A.D. and the  Inca Diaguita Culture 1470 A.D. - 1536 A.D.)and ethnographic and documentary archives. which include a large collection of photographs and documents of the region.

The museum also impressively displays one of the few Moai statues from Easter Island which is on mainland Chile.


Sites dating back to pre history are invaluable in tracing the earliest dinosaurs who roamed these parts for it is in the Pichasca National Monument near to Ovalle where rib bones from dinosaurs have been found.  This site has the remains of a forest petrified over 70 million years ago with examples of trees which have kept their cellular structure. Whilst in this area a visit to the Enchanted Valley is of scientific and archaeological interest for this valley was once the site of a large amphitheatre for religious ceremonies and is now an open air museum of petroglyphs showing masks, tiaras, sun symbols and snake and fishlike forms and pictographs painted on the rocks in natural red colours together with small stone cups (piedras tacitas) in which food or paints were ground.


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