The Ancient Megalithic Funerary Art of San Agustín, Colombia

These burial places formed the centers of small-scale chiefdoms and shared a set of sculptural motifs and styles. By Benjamin OswaldHistorian Introduction Beginning approximately 2000 years ago, in a rugged stretch of southwestern Colombia where the Andes split into multiple ranges and the mighty Magdalena River is born, a people created a collection of magnificent[…]

A History of Colombian Goldmaking

The Muisca, Quimbaya, Calima, Tairona, Tolima and Zenú chiefdoms in ancient Colombia used gold to fashion dramatic and sophisticated works of art. El Dorado For centuries Europeans were dazzled by the legend of a lost city of gold in South America. The truth behind this myth is fascinating. El Dorado–literally “the golden one”–actually refers to[…]

El Dorado: The Legendary Kings of Colombia’s Indigenous Muisca and Their Gold, 600-1600 CE

Over time, El Dorado extended its meaning beyond its kings to refer to a lost golden city and even an entire region. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction El Dorado (‘Gilded Man’ or ‘Golden One’) referred to the legendary kings of the Muisca (or Chibcha) people who populated the northern Andes of modern-day Colombia from 600 CE[…]