Under the Inca empire A.D. 1450 – 1535

During the inca occupation, the Tarapacá region provided marine and agricultural products to the empire, while the Antofagasta region supplied mining resources.

The expansion of the Inca Empire was initially based on the military conquest of numerous ethnic groups, from the south of Colombia to Central Chile. Once the Aymara altiplano chiefdoms were dominated, the Incas governed through them all of Northern Chile’s peoples. They built settlements near the coast; however, the imperial presence is more evident in the mountains, and especially along the Inca Highway. The region’s role for the Empire was to provide warm-climate marine products and agricultural goods to State settlements connected to the road system, as well as to the previously “Inca-ized” highland chiefdoms.

Antofagasta, on the other hand, represented a mining province to the Empire. Through alliances established with the region’s elites, but super-imposing a higher level of government, the Incas involved the local population in tributary relations with the State. The Incas were interested in making use of the millennial expertise of the Atacama peoples to exploit diverse metals, semi-precious stones and colored earth. To control these resources, as well as agricultural and herding production, they built administrative centers along the Loa River and the Atacama Salt Flat – all linked by a network of roads endowed with secondary centers, tambos and road markers.

Many of the prior period’s headdress styles seem to have continued into this era; however, in the far north, there was an increase in the presence of the truncated-cone caps and hemispherical caps associated with the altiplano chiefdoms and Inca domination.

Animación construcción de un gorro troncónico de Arica