Tierradentro is one of the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia. It started to flourish around 200 BC, and continued into the 17th century.
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Inscription||1995 (19th session)|
This mountainous historical area is now a national archeological park in the jurisdiction of the municipality of Inza, Department of Cauca, Colombia. The park is located 100 km away from the capital of the Department, Popayán.
Tierradentro culture is related to the neighbouring San Agustín culture.
The area is very well known for its pre-Columbian hypogea, which were found in several excavations, and are divided in many archeological places. some of them are: Alto del Aguacate (Avocado Hill), Alto de San Andrés, Alto de Segovia, Alto del Duende and El Tablón.
The typical 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 pre-Columbian culture that created this funeral complex inhabited this area during the first millennium A.C. Tierradentro Archaeological park features hypogea dating from 6th to 9th centuries AD. The details in the sculptures and pictoric patterns are similar to the San Agustín culture.
The park generates significant revenue to the local economy due to the high volume of tourists, both Colombian and foreigners. These sites form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site was listed on the World Monuments Fund's 2012 World Monuments Watch list of 100 Most Endangered Sites.
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