Colombia 2: San Agustin petroglyphs and Rio Magdalena

Little detail is known about the Agustin culture that existed before the Spanish conquerors and the petroglyphs of the burial sites invite many questions.

San Agustin ist wohl die schönste Sammlung von Steinskulpturen in Kolumbien. Hier wurden die alten Agustinianos mit Schätzen aus Keramik und Geschmeide, Armreifen und Brustschmuck und kleinen Goldfiguren begraben. Der Campingplatz Gamcelat ist ein günstiger Punkt, diese Gegend zu erkunden. Die Skulpturen stammen meist aus einer Periode zwischen Christi Geburt bis 900AD, obwohl manche auf bis 3000v.Chr. zurück zu führen sind.

Our base was set up at the camping site Gamcelat, which is situated in the vicinity of the San Agustin arqueological site and is conveniently close to the very good Italian restaurant, Pepe Nero, just across the road.

The petroglyphs are exhibited at the original sites where they had been found. The San Agustin culture reaches back to 3000BC although most are of a later date up to 900AD.

The excavations reveal some detail of the burial sites and the sarcophagi of many generations buried under artificial hills. Unfortunately robbers of graves have removed valuable figurines in gold as well as the ceramics and personal jewellery interned with the dead .

The San Agustin culture disappeared before the arrival of the Spanish and no written documents exist.

Then we explored the surrounding area and the valley where the mighty Rio Magdalena is still moderate and passes through a 2.5m gap in the rocks. Wherever we went we were heartily welcomed by the locals as Colombians really enjoy seeing tourists visiting their country again.

The area is a deep green and jungle like. Next we decided on a visit to Colombia’s desert cañon, Cañon de Desierto Tatácoa, which would be a welcome change and decided to proceed there.

This post covers 16th-17th September 2016.

Author: Dieter

A passionate traveller and photographer with an urge to share the beauty of our planet.

4 thoughts on “Colombia 2: San Agustin petroglyphs and Rio Magdalena”

    1. At present we are using Canon, 5DMkIII, 7DMkII and a compact G3X. However, I think the quality is influenced by superior lenses more that the camera itself.

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