Stone Idols of San Agustin
Relics from the past, carved in stone, their creators are gone and forgotten, but the stone remains, stone remembers.
San Agustin is a small Colombian town in the Andes, slumbering beside the source of River Magdalena, which then carries its waters across all the country all the way to the Caribbean Sea. About five thousand years ago it was one of the most significant ancient places on the continent, now San Augustin is actually a collection of ceremonial and burial sites scattered over an area of 400 square kilometers. Little is known about the people who lived there, they didn't have a written language and had disappeared many centuries before the Conquistadors arrived.
The legacy of the long-gone civilization is these stone statues ranging from as small as 20 centimeters to the impressive height of 7 meters. They represent different human and zoomorphic images - some smiling, some frowning, some are devoid of any expression.
In the city itself there's only replicas of these statues, the originals are scattered around. The most notable place to see them is the Archaeological Park of San Agustin. When I went there, I got a bit lost in the countryside around and asked a local, where the entrance at. He told me, the entrance is not here, but this barbed wire fence on the right is separating the territory of the Park from the outside world. For me it looked like a free entrance to the otherwise paid place, for those who can take it. So I climbed the fence and slipped in the guarded zone.
Inside they have a few sites with the unearthed statues and sacred pools, which the indigenous people used to worship water gods. It is called Ceremonial Lavapatas fountain.
But the thing that impressed me the most wasn't the ancient stones, but the colonies of black centipedes moving in mounds across the paved trails:
Fascinating. In any case, I didn't spend much time in San Agustin and soon moved on to my next point of interest, the Tatacoa Desert near Neiva, Colombia...
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