Diadem Gold 0 - A.D. 900 30,5 x 35,2 cm

San Agustin: People and Gold in the Upper Magdalena Region

In the mountainous regions of San Agustín and the La Plata valley, near the headwaters of the River Magdalena, social hierarchies began to develop in the small, Formative Period societies from 1000 B.C. onwards.

In the Regional Classical Period, between 1 and 900 A.D., the rank and religious power of the different leaders was expressed through the building of funerary monuments with stone statues carved out of volcanic tuff. Although it was not common for these leaders to accumulate goldwork, some of them were buried with regalia that included gold objects. A slender winged fish is in marked contrast to the impressive statues.

During the Recent Period, which extended from 900 to 1500 A.D., the population increased, but people still lived in the same villages, with new leaders whose power was based on controlling the economy. Recent Period tombs only contain domestic vessels.

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San Agustín and the Gold Museum Exhibition

Development of a Hierarchical Society

The Art of Carving Stone


The Archaeological Park of San Agustín