San Agustín Archaeological Park

San Agustín Archaeological Park
Archaeological park in San Agustín features sculptures dating from 1st to 8th centuries AD.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Official name San Agustín Archaeological Park
Location Huila Department, San Agustín, Colombia Edit this at Wikidata
Coordinates 0°N 80°W / 0°N 80°W / 0; -80
Criteria Cultural: iii
Reference 744
Inscription 1995 (19th Session)
San Agustín Archaeological Park is located in Colombia
San Agustín Archaeological Park
Location of San Agustín Archaeological Park

The San Agustín Archaeological Park (Spanish: Parque Arqueológico de San Agustín) is an archaeological site located near the town of San Agustín in Huila Department in Colombia. The site contains the largest collection of religious monuments and megalithic sculptures in Latin America and is considered the world's largest necropolis. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. [1] [2]

History

The statues were first described by a Spanish monk, Fray Juan de Santa Gertrudis (1724–1799), who visited the countries of Colombia (then part of the New Kingdom of Granada), Ecuador and Peru in 1756–57 as a missionary. He passed through San Agustín in mid-1756, and wrote about the statues in his four-volume work Maravillas de la naturaleza (English: Wonders of Nature). [3] [4]

The dates of the statues are uncertain, but they are believed to have been carved between 50–400 A.D. [5] The origin of the carvers remains a mystery, as most of the site is unexcavated, and no writings have been discovered yet.

The statues vary in height, the tallest being 23 feet (7.0 m) tall. They are suspected to be funereal statuary. [6] In other regions of the archaeological site where large burial mounds are located, you will see more intimidating figures such as snakes, frogs, and birds strategically place to stand guard for increased protecting during the afterlife. Statues of deities or carving on the ground, of both solar gods, males, and lunar gods, females. Theses figures and statues provide researchers with a little insight to what this civilization thoughts and perception of life and death are.

Other Languages