San Agustín Archaeological Park is a pre-Columbian archaeological site containing the largest collection of megalithic sculptures on the continent.
They were constructed during the Agustinian Culture, which flowered from the 1st century AD.
The site consists of 3 separate locations:
- San Agustín
- Alto de los Idolos
- Alto de las Piedras
Iain Jackson - January 2010
In 1996 I got to San Agustin by bus from Popoyan, a distance of about 140kms. The journey took 8 hours through splendid mountain scenery including at the highest altitudes, a long stretch of wild cloud forest protected by a National Park. There were military road blocks along the way and we were subject to a long delay while the soldiers looked for, and found, a large stash of drugs, hidden in the bottom of a large blue plastic bucket covered by round white cheeses. The carrier of this cargo was, understandably, not keen to identify himself to the soldiers so all adult males on the bus were required to stand in a line in the pouring rain until the corporal in charge satisfied himself, one by one, that the bucket was not ours. The owner, when eventually found, was detained by the army
I often say "getting there is half the fun".
The inscribed site is in 3 parts. I visited the two most important, the Archaeological Park and the Alto de los Idolos.
I found the whole visit extremely enjoyable. San Agustin is an attractive laid-back little town with friendly helpful people. The lush green mountain scenery is gorgeous. I stayed at Residencias Menezu and would recommend it highly.
I learned something of the way of life (and death) of a civilisation of which I had previously known nothing. Some of the works which were undertaken, like slicing the top off 2 small hills and filling in the intervening valley, to create a level area, were quite remarkable. In addition to the tombs and statuary, at Fuente de Lavapatas, a huge flat stone carved with all kinds of images intersected by channels through which water trickled, I saw something unlike anything I have seen elsewhere.
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Full name: San Agustín Archaeological Park
1995 - InscribedReasons for inscription
The site has 3 locations.
The site has 8 connections.
- Man-made Terraces "huge monumental platforms, terraces and mounds"
- Built in the 1st century "Around the 1st century AD there were profound cultural changes in the san Agustin area. This was the period of the great flowering of monumental lithic art, the so-called Augustinian Culture" (AB ev)
World Heritage Process
- Inscribed on a single criterion only iii. to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared