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Padre Le Paige Museum


The Padre Le Paige (Father Le Paige) museum has around 4.000 skulls, innumerable mummies, weapons and utensils in exhibition. Its history is included with the arrival of the jesuita priest, Padre Le Paige, who was deeply interested in the study of the prehistoric atacameñan culture. He began a study in the places inhabited by this culture and got collected a great number of species of an incalculable value of great beauty and history.

Located towards a corner of San Pedro de Atacama's main square. It presents a complete exposition of the evolution of the atacameñan culture in its 11,000 years of history, selected between the vast collection that reach the 450,000 archaeological objects and 100 ethnographic objects.

The personality of Father Gustavo Le Paige occupies an outstanding seat of honor in the development of Chilean archaeology and particularly, in the directed workings to reveal the roots of the northern man of our country. He founded the Regional Archaeological Museum of San Pedro de Atacama on January 6th, 1963.

His work disables and weakens any attempt of summary; nevertheless the following classification, applied according to nature of the findings has seted out:

  • Paleolithic places (of carved stone) also denominated "Precerámicos" in which 3 ages can br distinguished.
  • "Hábitat", towns, Pukarás, spaces in which vestiges of human establishments are located.(Classified from the paleolithic to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors).
  • Graveyards with about 1,500 saved and catalogued tombs.
  • Neolithic material and land potter. Many of the objects are considered unique by the nature of the elaboration and for the materials used in them.