(America Records Institute - AMRI) Top Ancient and Modern Wonders of the Americas - P28 - Tierradentro (Colombia): "Underworld" of the ancient Tierradentro culture


(worldkings.org) Tierradentro (meaning "Underground" in Spanish for their well-known tombs) is one of the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia. It started to flourish around 200 BC in the mountains of southwest Colombia, and continued into the 17th century. The Tierradentro culture is particularly well known for its dense collection of elaborate pre-Columbian hypogea. It is considered part of San Agustín culture rather than a separate culture.



The typical Tierradentro hypogeum has an entry oriented towards the west, a spiral staircase and a main chamber, usually 5 to 8 meters below the surface, with several lesser chambers around, each one containing a corpse. The walls are painted with geometric, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic patterns in red, black and white. Some statues and remains of pottery and fabrics can be seen scarcely due to grave robbery before the hypogea were constituted as protected areas. The details in the sculptures and pictorial patterns in the hypogea are similar to the neighboring San Agustín culture, although they occur at a much higher density.



Hypogea have been found in several regional excavations, including Alto del Aguacate (Avocado Hill), Alto de San Andrés, Alto de Segovia, Alto del Duende and El Tablón. The mountainous area where the Tierradentro culture thrived and the excavations of 162 hypogea now comprise a national archeological park in the jurisdiction of Inza, Department of Cauca, Colombia.



The Tierradentro culture that created this funeral complex inhabited this area during the first millennium AD, and the park features hypogea dating from 6th to 9th centuries AD. The Terradentro National Archeological Park was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995 because of its "unique testimony to the artistic and social culture of the region".

According to en.wikipedia.org. Source of photos: internet 

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