The valley of statues in Colombia

One of the most ancient historical and cultural monuments of South America was found in the Northern Andes at the height of 1800 meters. Today over 500 huge sculptures of people, gods and animals are found in the Valley of statues. They are scattered more than in 20 places in the woody, entirely grown with orchids valley of the Magdalena River in Colombia. Vytesannye from a stone of a figure look against this landscape gloomy and with detachment. They as if the last sentries of the disappeared culture which is almost not known today. Since the Spanish monk Frei Huang de Santa Gertrudis in 1794 for the first time reported about these giants, historians and archeologists guess about their origin and age. One consider that they arose in the 6th century BC, others incline to later datings, referring these works to the culture destroyed by Inca shortly before the Spanish gain. In them there is the known similarity to the well-known stone idols from Easter Island. But most of researchers meet in the assumption that they treat the pre-Columbian period of the Andean cultural area. Most likely, the place where statues are established, was once the city of the dead. Numerous graves around obviously indicate that they celebrated ceremonies of a cult of the dead here. Some statues represent images of animals which, certainly, had symbolical character: the eagle was force symbol, a frog – punishments, the monkey was considered as a fertility deity. Other statues represent semi-people semi-animals. All figures are stylized, but find also clear realistic lines; all of them the different size, the biggest statue reaches seven-meter height. They stand in Archaeological park (Rag-que of Arquelogico) which is approximately in 2,5 kilometers from San Augustine’s city. Here they were also found, the majority even costs on the same places. In the Wood of statues (Bosque de las Estatuas) 35 more figures are placed, between them the convenient pedestrian track is laid. The main ritual place in park – the Source of ablution (Euente de Lavapatas). Probably, near this source there were ritual ablution and ceremonies in honor of the goddess Voda. The rocky valley of the river all is cut through by channels and reservoirs. Here everywhere it is possible to meet fancy stone figures – people, snakes, lizards. In park there is also a museum of the pottery found in these parts and other archeological finds. Near park, downstream Magdalena, approximately in 10 kilometers from San Augustine there is Holm of idols (El Alto de los Idolos). There are so-called “guards” protecting several burials. Some of graves are opened. The stone sarcophagi covered with marble slabs with the cut images of the dead were found in them. In Alto de Lavapatas it is also possible to see sarcophagi with color lists (red, black and yellow). In the same place there is the well-known statue “Double I” (El Doble Yo). This sculptural image of two as if accrete figures sitting one on one and which are cut out from a uniform stone. In La Pelot’s settlement there is a painted stone sculpture only in these parts.

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