The inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were
various tribes of hunter gatherer native Americans, the most well known
being the Charrúa Indians, a small tribe driven south by the Guaraní
Indians of Paraguay.
The Plaza Independencia ("Independence Square"), in Montevideo, hosts
the tomb of José Artigas, late leader of the Provincia Oriental and the Liga
Federal. In front of the square, the Palacio Salvo can be seen.
Europeans arrived in the territory of present-day Uruguay in 1516, but the
absence of gold and silver limited settlement in the region during the 16th
and 17th centuries.