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    Valle del Encanto (Enchanted Valley)Enchanted Valley La Serena, Chile
    The Enchanted valley in La Serena, Chile contains magnificent petroglyphs, which are ancient religious rock carvings and engravings that were left by the Molle people about 4000 years ago. This park has many such unique rocks, along with some unique rock formations, places where the Molle dwelt and indigenous flora. The valley is a marvelous place to visit and enjoy the natural surroundings and quiet steam, with picnic areas and a visitor center with brochures about the people and history of the region. The valley's stream comes from underground and rises to the surface here, which had been a significant oasis in the past since it sits in the midst of a sub desert area. The Molle culture would leave three great pieces of evidence of their existence here that includes the petroglyphs, some pictograms and Tacit rocks. There seem to be three kinds of petroglyphs located here; square headed figures, round headed figures and numerous morphs. The tacit rocks are stone slabs with holes bored into them that archaeologists believed were used to grind corn and other grains for cooking uses; and the pictograms that are merely rock paintings done in orange or red colors that depict the different themes of people, water and serpents. The area has always been a sanctuary for travelers since it had water all year round, and where many would celebrate their sacred rituals before continuing on with their journey. Many believe that is why all these petroglyphs and pictograms are located here and pertain to religious activities. These early visitors are believed to have been Molle, Diaguitas and later, Incas.

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    Archaeological MuseumArchaeological Museum La Serena, Chile
    This marvelous museum would be founded in 1943 by Francis Cornely Bachman, whose research into the Diaguita culture in the Elqui Valley would begin the first collections. In 1948, it would be put under the charge of the Bureau of Library, Archives and Museums, and incorporated into the plan of Serenas president, Gabriel Gonzalez Videla, who would initiate the construction of a new building to house the museum's collections. The facade on the new building would be an old baroque portal that had been salvaged from a colonial house in the city that had belong to Conde de villa Lord. The museum contains a collection of relics from pre-Spaniard cultures from the north.

May 5, 2011