Bogotá savanna

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Bogotá savanna
Sabana de Bogotá
Bogota surroundings.jpg
The Bogotá savanna near the city of Bogotá
Sabana de Bogota.png
Topography and outline of the Bogotá savanna
Area4,251.6 km2 (1,641.6 sq mi)
Geology
Type Montane savanna
Geography
Country Colombia
State Cundinamarca
Region Andean region
Population center Bogotá
Borders onEast: Eastern Hills
South: Sumapaz mountains
North: Hills of Tausa and Suesca
West: Western hills
Coordinates 4°45′0″N74°10′30″W / 4.75000°N 74.17500°W / 4.75000; -74.17500 Coordinates: 4°45′0″N74°10′30″W / 4.75000°N 74.17500°W / 4.75000; -74.17500
River Bogotá, Teusacá, Torca, Juan Amarillo, Fucha, Tunjuelo
[1]
All but the southernmost locality Sumapaz of Bogota is located on the Bogota savanna Bogota Topographic 2.png
All but the southernmost locality Sumapaz of Bogotá is located on the Bogotá savanna

The Bogotá savanna is a montane savanna, located in the southwestern part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the center of Colombia. The Bogotá savanna has an extent of 4,251.6 square kilometres (1,641.6 sq mi) and an average altitude of 2,550 metres (8,370 ft). The savanna is situated in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes.

Contents

The Bogotá savanna is crossed from northeast to southwest by the 375 kilometres (233 mi) long Bogotá River, which at the southwestern edge of the plateau forms the Tequendama Falls (Salto del Tequendama). Other rivers, such as the Subachoque, Bojacá, Fucha, Soacha and Tunjuelo Rivers, tributaries of the Bogotá River, form smaller valleys with very fertile soils dedicated to agriculture and cattle-breeding.

Before the Spanish conquest of the Bogotá savanna, the area was inhabited by the indigenous Muisca, who formed a loose confederation of various caciques , named the Muisca Confederation. The Bogotá savanna, known as Bacatá, was ruled by the zipa . The people specialised in agriculture, the mining of emeralds, trade and especially the extraction of rock salt from rocks in Zipaquirá, Nemocón, Tausa and other areas on the Bogotá savanna. The salt extraction, a task exclusively of the Muisca women, gave the Muisca the name "The Salt People".

In April 1536, a group of around 800 conquistadors left the relative safety of the Caribbean coastal city of Santa Marta to start a strenuous expedition up the Magdalena River, the main fluvial artery of Colombia. Word got around among the Spanish colonisers that deep in the unknown Andes, a rich area with an advanced civilisation must exist. These tales bore the -not so much- legend of El Dorado ; the city or man of gold. The Muisca, skilled goldworkers, held a ritual in Lake Guatavita where the new zipa would cover himself in gold dust and jump from a raft into the cold waters of the 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) high lake to the northeast of the Bogotá savanna.

After a journey of almost a year, where the Spanish lost over 80% of their soldiers, the conquistadors following the Suárez River, reached the Bogotá savanna in March 1537. The zipa who ruled the Bogotá savanna at the arrival of the Spanish was Tisquesusa. The Muisca posed little resistance to the Spanish strangers and Tisquesusa was defeated in April 1537 in Funza, in the centre of the savanna. He fled towards the western hills and died of his wounds in Facatativá, on the southwestern edge of the Bogotá savanna. The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada established the New Kingdom of Granada with capital Santa Fe de Bogotá on August 6, 1538. This started a process of colonisation, evangelisation and submittance of the Muisca to the new rule. Between 65 and 80% of the indigenous people perished due to European diseases as smallpox and typhus. The Spanish introduced new crops, replacing many of the New World crops that the Muisca cultivated.

Over the course of the 16th to early 20th century, the Bogotá savanna was sparsely populated and industrialised. The rise in population during the twentieth century and the expansion of agriculture and urbanisation reduced the biodiversity and natural habitat of the Bogotá savanna severely. Today, the Metropolitan Area of Bogotá on the Bogotá savanna hosts more than ten million people. Bogotá is the biggest city worldwide at altitudes above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The many rivers on the savanna are highly contaminated and efforts to solve the environmental problems are conducted in the 21st century.

Etymology

Bogotá savanna is named after Bogotá, which is derived from Muysccubun Bacatá, which means "(Enclosure) outside of the farm fields". [2]

Geography

Hills of Sesquile in the northeast of the Bogota savanna Sequile.jpg
Hills of Sesquilé in the northeast of the Bogotá savanna
The climber's paradise Rocas de Suesca form the northeastern boundary of the Bogota savanna Rocas de Suesca.JPG
The climber's paradise Rocas de Suesca form the northeastern boundary of the Bogotá savanna

The Bogotá savanna is the southwestern part of the larger Andean plateau, the Altiplano Cundiboyacense. The savanna is a montane savanna, bordered to the east by the Eastern Hills, the Sumapaz mountains in the south, the hills of Tausa and Suesca in the north and western hills of Cundinamarca in the west. The total surface area is 4,251.6 square kilometres (1,641.6 sq mi). [1]

Climate

The average temperature of the plateau is 14 °C (57 °F), but this can fluctuate between 0 and 24 °C (32 and 75 °F). The dry and rainy seasons alternate frequently during the year. The driest months are December, January, February and March. During the rainy months, the temperature tends to be more stable with variations between 9 and 20 °C (48 and 68 °F). June, July and August are the months that present the largest variations of temperature, and during the morning frost in the higher terrains surrounding the savanna is possible. Sometimes also ground frost is present, which has a negative impact on agriculture. Hail is a relatively common phenomenon on the savanna. [3] [4]

Hydrology

The Bogota River separating Cota, Cundinamarca (top) from Bogota Bogota River - Cota-Bogota - greenhouses.jpg
The Bogotá River separating Cota, Cundinamarca (top) from Bogotá
The Bogota River is the main river of the Bogota savanna Rio Bogota map.png
The Bogotá River is the main river of the Bogotá savanna

Rivers

Lakes

Natural
Artificial
  • Tominé Reservoir - northeast, biggest waterbody on the Bogotá savanna - 690 cubic megametres (2.4×1022 cu ft)
  • Neusa Reservoir - north - 102 cubic megametres (3.6×1021 cu ft)
  • El Muña Reservoir - south - 42 cubic megametres (1.5×1021 cu ft)
  • Lake Herrera (since 1973) [5]

Waterfalls

Wetlands

There is a system of wetlands (humedales) that regulate the soil moisture acting like sponges for the rain waters. Fifteen wetlands have a protected status, with various wetlands as unprotected. In 1950, the total surface area of the wetlands amounted to 150,000 hectares (370,000 acres), but due to the urbanisation of the Colombian capital the total area has been reduced to 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres). [6]

Map
WetlandLocationAltitude (m)Area (ha)NotesImage
Guaymaral y Torca Usaquén
Suba
254773 [7] [8]
Yellow Hooded Blackbird 004.jpg
La Conejera Suba254458.9 [9]
Humedal de la conejera.jpg
Córdoba Suba254840.51 [10]
Arboles en Bogota - Humedal de Cordoba Vegetacion.JPG
Tibabuyes
Juan Amarillo
Suba
Engativá
2539222.58 [11]
Humedal tibabuyes.jpg
Jaboque Engativá2539148 [12]
Humedal Jaboque Engativa Bogota.JPG
Santa María del Lago Engativá254912 [13]
Humedal SantaMaria.jpg
El Burro Kennedy 254118.84 [14]
Humedal Burro.jpg
La Vaca Kennedy25487.96 [15]
Techo Techo, Kennedy254511.46 [16]
Capellanía Fontibón 254227.05 [17]
Capella pan part.jpg
Meandro del Say Fontibón
Mosquera
254813.6 [18]
Tibanica Bosa
Soacha
254228.8 [19]
El Salitre Barrios Unidos 25586.4 [20]
La Isla Bosa25507.7 [21]
La Florida Funza 254226 [22]
Ave Parque la Florida.jpg

Biodiversity

Despite the continuous urbanisation and industrial activities, the Bogotá savanna is a rich biodiverse area with many bird species registered. [23] The diversity of mammals, amphibians and reptiles is much lower. [24] Before the arrival of the European colonisers, the savanna was populated predominantly by white-tailed deer, the main ingredient of the Muisca cuisine. Today, this species of deer, as well as the once common spectacled bear, is restricted to protected areas surrounding the Bogotá savanna. The Thomas van der Hammen Natural Reserve is a protected area in the north of Bogotá.

History

Sabana de Bogota.png
White pog.svg
Ab
White pog.svg
Ti
White pog.svg
Te
White pog.svg
P
White pog.svg
Ag
White pog.svg
C
White pog.svg
H
Preceramic sites on the Bogotá savanna
Ab - El Abra
Ti - Tibitó
Te - Tequendama
P - Piedras del Tunjo
Ag - Aguazuque
C - Checua
H - Lake Herrera

The earliest confirmed inhabitation of present-day Colombia was on the Bogotá savanna with sites El Abra, Tequendama and Tibitó, where semi-nomadic hunter-gatherers lived in caves and rock shelters. One of the first evidences of settlement in open area space was Aguazuque, whose oldest dated remains are analysed to be 5000 years old. This prehistorical preceramic period was followed by the Herrera Period, commonly defined from 800 BCE to 800 AD.

Muisca Confederation

At the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the region was inhabited by the Muisca who lived in hundreds of small villages scattered across the plateau. These villages were individually ruled by caciques who at the same time paid tribute to the zipa , ruler of Bacatá. The Muisca were known as "The Salt People", thanks to their extraction of rock salt from brines in large pots heated over fires. This process was the exclusive task of the Muisca women.

The economy of the Muisca, meaning "person" or "people" in their indigenous version of Chibcha; Muysccubun, was self-sufficient due to the advanced agriculture on the fertile soils of the frequently flooding Bogotá savanna. More tropical and subtropical agricultural products as avocadoes and cotton were traded with their neighbours, in particular the Guane and Lache in the north and northeast and the Guayupe, Achagua and Tegua in the east.

The Muisca were known as skilled goldworkers, represented in the famous Muisca raft, that symbolises the initiation ritual of the new zipa in Lake Guatavita. This ritual, where the zipa covered himself in gold dust and jumped in the 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) altitude lake, gave rise to the -not so much- legend of El Dorado .

Spanish conquest

Indigenous Muisca fishermen in Funza
Litho by Ramon Torres Mendez Indios pescadores.jpg
Indigenous Muisca fishermen in Funza
Litho by Ramón Torres Méndez
Pottery producing Muisca in Tocancipa
Litho by Ramon Torres Mendez Ollero de Tocancipa.jpg
Pottery producing Muisca in Tocancipá
Litho by Ramón Torres Méndez

In April 1536, a group of around 800 conquistadors left the relative safety of the Caribbean coastal city of Santa Marta to start a strenuous expedition up the Magdalena River, the main fluvial artery of Colombia. Word got around among the Spanish colonisers that deep in the unknown Andes, a rich area with an advanced civilisation must exist. These tales bore the -not so much- legend of El Dorado ; the city or man of gold. The Muisca, skilled goldworkers, held a ritual in Lake Guatavita where the new zipa would cover himself in gold dust and jump from a raft into the cold waters of the 3,000 metres (9,800 ft) high lake to the northeast of the Bogotá savanna.

After a journey of almost a year, where the Spanish lost over 80% of their soldiers, the conquistadors following the Suárez River, reached the Bogotá savanna in March 1537. The zipa who ruled the Bogotá savanna at the arrival of the Spanish was Tisquesusa. The Muisca posed little resistance to the Spanish strangers and Tisquesusa was defeated in April 1537 in Funza, in the centre of the savanna. He fled towards the western hills and died of his wounds in Facatativá, on the southwestern edge of the Bogotá savanna. The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada established the New Kingdom of Granada with capital Santa Fe de Bogotá on August 6, 1538. This started a process of colonisation, evangelisation and submittance of the Muisca to the new rule. Between 65 and 80% of the indigenous people perished due to European diseases as smallpox and typhus. The Spanish introduced new crops, replacing many of the New World crops that the Muisca cultivated.

The Spanish colonizers engaged in the construction of Spanish-style towns to replace all the indigenous villages and in the process of assimilation and religious convert of the Muisca. The majority of those villages kept their indigenous names, but some were slightly modified in time, like Suacha which became Soacha, Hyntiba becoming Fontibón and Bacatá becoming Bogotá.

Modern history

Over the course of the 16th to early 20th century, the Bogotá savanna was sparsely populated and industrialised. The rise in population during the twentieth century and the expansion of agriculture and urbanisation reduced the biodiversity and natural habitat of the Bogotá savanna severely. Today, the Metropolitan Area of Bogotá on the Bogotá savanna hosts more than ten million people. Bogotá is the biggest city worldwide at altitudes above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft). The many rivers on the savanna are highly contaminated and efforts to solve the environmental problems are conducted in the 21st century.

Timeline of inhabitation

Timeline of inhabitation of the Bogotá savanna, Colombia
TequendamaAguazuquePiedras del Tunjo Archaeological ParkBD BacatáLake HerreraNemocón#ChecuaTibitóEl AbraHistory of ColombiaSpanish EmpireSpanish conquest of the MuiscaMuisca peopleHerrera PeriodMuisca Confederation#PrehistoryBochicaMuisca mummificationMuisca economy#CeramicsAndean preceramicMuisca agricultureHunter-gathererBogota savanna
Altiplano Cundiboyacense (subdivisions).png

Altiplano

Mapa del Territorio Muisca.svg

Muisca Confederation

Sabana de Bogota.png

Cities

The capital of Colombia, Bogota, here seen at night from Monserrate, is the main city on the Bogota savanna. The flatland is clearly visible Mira a lo alto.jpg
The capital of Colombia, Bogotá, here seen at night from Monserrate, is the main city on the Bogotá savanna. The flatland is clearly visible

The main cities of the Bogotá savanna, in addition to the capital city of Bogotá, are: Mosquera, Soacha, Madrid, Funza, Facatativá, Subachoque, El Rosal, Tabio, Tenjo, Cota, Chía, Cajicá, Zipaquirá, Nemocón, Sopó, Tocancipá, Gachancipá, Sesquilé, Suesca, Chocontá and Guatavita. [25]

List of municipalities

Municipality
Locality
Altitude
urban centre (m)
Surface area
(km2)
Inhabitants [note 1] RemarksMap
Bogotá 264015877,980,00116Named after Bacatá [note 2]
Capital of Colombia
Biggest city at altitudes
above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft)
Colombia Bogota location map.png
Usaquén 265065.31449,62116
Bogota - Usaquen.svg
Chapinero 264038.15122,50707
Bogota - Chapinero.svg
Santa Fe 264045.1796,24107
Bogota - Santa Fe.svg
San Cristóbal 264049.09404,35007
Bogota - San Cristobal.svg
Usme 2700119.04314,43107
Bogota - Usme.svg
Tunjuelito 26009.91182,53207
Bogota - Tunjuelito.svg
Bosa 260023.93637,28315
Bogota - Bosa.svg
Kennedy 270038.59979,91407
Bogota - Kennedy.svg
Fontibón 260033.28317,17907
Bogota - Fontibon.svg
Engativá 260035.88824,33707
Bogota - Engativa.svg
Suba 2700100.561,161,50016
Bogota - Suba.svg
Barrios Unidos 260011.9230,06607
Bogota - Barrios Unidos.svg
Teusaquillo 260014.19139,29807
Bogota - Teusaquillo.svg
Los Mártires 26006.5194,94407
Bogota - Los Martires.svg
Antonio Nariño 26004.88119,56507
Bogota - Antonio Narino.svg
Puente Aranda 260017.31250,71507
Bogota - Puente Aranda.svg
La Candelaria 26402.0622,11507
Bogota - La Candelaria.svg
Rafael Uribe Uribe 260013.83378.78007
Bogota - Rafael Uribe Uribe.svg
Ciudad Bolívar 2700130593,93707
Bogota - Ciudad Bolivar.svg
Soacha 2565184.45522,44216 Preceramic site Tequendama
Herrera site
Muisca ceramics production
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Soacha.svg
Sibaté 2700125.638,41215 Petrographs found
El Muña Reservoir
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Sibate.svg
Mosquera 251610782,75015 Lake Herrera
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Mosquera.svg
Bojacá 259810911,25415 Lake Herrera
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Bojaca.svg
Chía 256480129,65216 Moon Temple
Herrera site
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Chia.svg
Cota 25665524,91615 Petrographs found
Muisca community
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Cota.svg
Cajicá 255850.456,87515Located in the funnel of the northern savanna
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Cajica.svg
Facatativá 2586158134,52215 Piedras del Tunjo
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Facatativa.svg
Funza 25487075,35015 Muisca market town
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Funza.svg
Madrid 2554120.577,62715 Lake Herrera
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Madrid.svg
El Rosal 268586.4817,25415
Colombia - Cundinamarca - El Rosal.svg
Zipacón 255070557015 Agriculture
Place of meditation for the zipa
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Zipacon.svg
Subachoque 2663211.5316,11715 Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Subachoque.svg
Tabio 256974.527,03315Hot springs used by the Muisca
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Tabio.svg
Tenjo 258710818,38715 Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Tenjo.svg
Zipaquirá 2650197124,37615 El Abra
Muisca salt mines
Important market town
Petrographs and petroglyphs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Zipaquira.svg
Nemocón 258598.113,48815 Muisca salt mines
Preceramic site Checua
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Nemocon.svg
Cogua 260011322,36115 Muisca ceramics production
Petrographs found
Neusa Reservoir
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Cogua.svg
Tocancipá 260573.5131,97515 Preceramic site Tibitó
Muisca ceramics production
Important market town
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Tocancipa.svg
Gachancipá 25684414,44215 Muisca mummy found
Muisca ceramics production
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Gachancipa.svg
Guasca 271034614,75915 Siecha Lakes
Muisca ceramics production
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Guasca.svg
Guatavita 2680247.3689815 Muisca ceramics production
Main goldworking town
Petrographs found
Tominé Reservoir
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Guatavita.svg
Sopó 2650111.526,76915 Herrera site
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Sopo.svg
Sesquilé 259514113,93615 Lake Guatavita
Minor Muisca salt mines
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Sesquile.svg
Suesca 258417717,31815150 Muisca mummies found
Lake Suesca
Muisca ceramics production
Important market town
Petrographs found
Colombia - Cundinamarca - Suesca.svg

Panoramas

Panoramas
Panorama Tequendama 03.jpg
Panorama of the Tena Valley to the southwest of the Bogotá savanna, near San Antonio del Tequendama

Panorama vanas bogotaf.jpg
Bogotá on the savanna

Zipaquira panorama.jpg
Zipaquirá

CJML-6.jpg
School in Cota

Embalse de Neusa, panorama.jpg
The northwestern part of the ancient Lake Humboldt is artificially represented in the Neusa Reservoir



Humedal de la conejera.jpg
La Conejera wetland

See also

Related Research Articles

Cundinamarca Department Department of Colombia

Department of Cundinamarca is one of the departments of Colombia. Its area covers 22,623 square kilometres (8,735 sq mi) and it has a population of 2,919,060 as of 2018. It was created on August 5, 1886 under the constitutional terms presented on the same year. Cundinamarca is located in the center of Colombia.

Muisca Ethnic group, Colombia

The Muisca are an indigenous people and culture of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia, that formed the Muisca Confederation before the Spanish conquest. The people spoke Muysccubun, a language of the Chibchan language family, also called Muysca and Mosca. As one out of four advanced civilizations of the Americas, they were encountered by conquistadors ordered by the Spanish Empire in 1537 at the time of the conquest. Subgroupings of the Muisca were mostly identified by their allegiances to three great rulers: the zaque, centered in Hunza, ruling a territory roughly covering modern southern and northeastern Boyacá and southern Santander; the zipa, centered in Bacatá and encompassing most of modern Cundinamarca, the western Llanos; and the iraca, religious ruler of Suamox and modern northeastern Boyacá and southwestern Santander.

Zoratama

Zoratama, also spelled as Soratama, was a Muisca woman and the lover of Spanish conquistador Lázaro Fonte. Her story reminds of the North American indigenous Pocahontas who married John Rolfe after saving the life of John Smith.

Altiplano Cundiboyacense Plateau in the Columbian Andes

The Altiplano Cundiboyacense[altiˈplano kundiβoʝaˈsense] is a high plateau located in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes covering parts of the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyacá. The altiplano corresponds to the ancient territory of the Muisca. The Altiplano Cundiboyacense comprises three distinctive flat regions; the Bogotá savanna, the valleys of Ubaté and Chiquinquirá, and the valleys of Duitama and Sogamoso. The average altitude of the altiplano is about 2,600 metres (8,500 ft) above sea level but ranges from roughly 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

Funza Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Funza is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Western Savanna Province, of the department of Cundinamarca. Funza is situated on the Bogotá savanna, the southwestern part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense with the urban centre at an altitude of 2,548 metres (8,360 ft). In Funza the La Florida wetland, part of the wetlands of Bogotá, remains to exist, a remnant of the Pleistocene Lake Humboldt. The town is part of the Metropolitan Area of Bogotá and borders Madrid and Tenjo in the north, Mosquera in the south, Madrid in the west and Cota and the locality Engativá of the capital Bogotá in the east. The eastern boundary is formed by the Bogotá River. Funza is the site of the former main settlement Bacatá of the Muisca Confederation. Modern Funza was founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada during the Spanish conquest of the Muisca on April 20, 1537.

Suesca Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Suesca is a town and municipality in the Almeidas Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca, Colombia. It is located on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense at 59 kilometres (37 mi) north from the capital Bogotá. Suesca forms the northern edge of the Bogotá savanna and is a scenic countryside town which is well known because its landscape attracts devotees of rock climbing, trekking, and rafting. It is surrounded by dairy farms and flower plantations. The municipality borders Cucunubá and Lenguazaque in the north, Sesquilé and Gachancipá in the south, Chocontá in the east and Nemocón in the west.

Zipacón Municipality and town in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Zipacón is a municipality and town of Colombia in the Western Savanna Province, part of the department of Cundinamarca. The urban centre of Zipacón is situated at an altitude of 2,550 metres (8,370 ft) on the Bogotá savanna, the southern flatlands of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes. Zipacón borders Anolaima, Facatativá, La Mesa and Bojacá.

Piedras del Tunjo Archaeological Park Archaeological park

Piedras del Tunjo is an important archaeological park established on a natural rock shelter 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of Bogotá in the municipality of Facatativá.

Bacatá Main seat of the zipa in Cundinamarca, Colombia

Bacatá is the name given to the main settlement of the Muisca Confederation on the Bogotá savanna. It mostly refers to an area, rather than an individual village, although the name is also found in texts referring to the modern settlement of Funza, in the centre of the savanna. Bacatá, alternatively written as Muequetá or Muyquytá, was the main seat of the zipa, the ruler of the Bogotá savanna and adjacent areas. The name of the Colombian capital, Bogotá, is derived from Bacatá, but founded as Santafe de Bogotá in the western foothills of the Eastern Hills in a different location than the original settlement Bacatá, west of the Bogotá River, eventually named after Bacatá as well.

Tisquesusa Tribal ruler in pre-Spanish Colombia

Tisquesusa, also spelled Thisquesuza, Thysquesuca or Thisquesusha was the fourth and last independent ruler (zipa) of Bacatá, main settlement of the southern Muisca between 1514 and his death in 1537. The name brought about the Colombian capital Bogotá. Tisquesusa was the ruler of the southern Muisca Confederation at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Muisca, when the troops led by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and his brother entered the central Colombian highlands. His zaque counterpart in the northern area of the Muisca was Quemuenchatocha.

Muisca Confederation Loose confederation of different Muisca rulers (zaques, zipas, iraca and tundama) in the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia before the Spanish conquest of northern South America

The Muisca Confederation was a loose confederation of different Muisca rulers in the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia before the Spanish conquest of northern South America. The area, presently called Altiplano Cundiboyacense, comprised the current departments of Boyacá, Cundinamarca and minor parts of Santander with a total surface area of approximately 25,000 square kilometres (9,700 sq mi).

Herrera Period

The Herrera Period is a phase in the history of Colombia. It is part of the Andean preceramic and ceramic, time equivalent of the North American pre-Columbian formative and classic stages and age dated by various archaeologists. The Herrera Period predates the age of the Muisca, who inhabited the Altiplano Cundiboyacense before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca and postdates the prehistory of the region in Colombia. The Herrera Period is usually defined as ranging from 800 BCE to 800 CE, although some scholars date it as early as 1500 BCE.

Tequendama

Tequendama is a preceramic and ceramic archaeological site located southeast of Soacha, Cundinamarca, Colombia, a couple of kilometers east of Tequendama Falls. It consists of multiple evidences of late Pleistocene to middle Holocene population of the Bogotá savanna, the high plateau in the Colombian Andes. Tequendama was inhabited from around 11,000 years BP, and continuing into the prehistorical, Herrera and Muisca periods, making it the oldest site of Colombia, together with El Abra, located north of Zipaquirá. Younger evidences also from the Herrera Period have been found close to the site of Tequendama in Soacha, at the construction site of a new electrical plant. They are dated at around 900 BCE to 900 AD.

Muisca agriculture

The Muisca agriculture describes the agriculture of the Muisca, the advanced civilisation that was present in the times before the Spanish conquest on the high plateau in the Colombian Andes; the Altiplano Cundiboyacense. The Muisca were a predominantly agricultural society with small-scale farmfields, part of more extensive terrains. To diversify their diet, they traded mantles, gold, emeralds and salt for fruits, vegetables, coca, yopo and cotton cultivated in lower altitude warmer terrains populated by their neighbours, the Muzo, Panche, Guane, Guayupe, Lache, Sutagao and U'wa. Trade of products grown farther away happened with the Calima, Pijao and Caribbean coastal communities around the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

Muisca architecture

This article describes the architecture of the Muisca. The Muisca, inhabiting the central highlands of the Colombian Andes, were one of the four great civilizations of the Americas. Unlike the three civilizations in present-day Mexico and Peru, they did not construct grand architecture of solid materials. While specialising in agriculture and gold-working, cloths and ceramics, their architecture was rather modest and made of non-permanent materials as wood and clay.

Spanish conquest of the Muisca Part of the Spanish conquest of Colombia

The Spanish conquest of the Muisca took place from 1537 to 1540. The Muisca were the inhabitants of the central Andean highlands of Colombia before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. They were organised in a loose confederation of different rulers; the zipa of Bacatá, with his headquarters in Funza, the zaque of Boyacá, with his headquarters in Hunza, the iraca of the sacred City of the Sun Sugamuxi, the Tundama of Tundama, and several independent caciques. The leaders of the Confederation at the time of conquest were zipa Tisquesusa, zaque Quemuenchatocha, iraca Sugamuxi and Tundama in the northernmost portion of their territories. The Muisca were organised in small communities of circular enclosures, with a central square where the bohío of the cacique was located. They were called "Salt People" because of their extraction of salt in various locations throughout their territories, mainly in Zipaquirá, Nemocón, and Tausa. For the main part self-sufficient in their well-organised economy, the Muisca traded with the European conquistadors valuable products as gold, tumbaga, and emeralds with their neighbouring indigenous groups. In the Tenza Valley, to the east of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense where the majority of the Muisca lived, they extracted emeralds in Chivor and Somondoco. The economy of the Muisca was rooted in their agriculture with main products maize, yuca, potatoes, and various other cultivations elaborated on elevated fields. Agriculture had started around 3000 BCE on the Altiplano, following the preceramic Herrera Period and a long epoch of hunter-gatherers since the late Pleistocene. The earliest archaeological evidence of inhabitation in Colombia, and one of the oldest in South America, has been found in El Abra, dating to around 12,500 years BP.

Muisca art

This article describes the art produced by the Muisca. The Muisca established one of the four grand civilisations of the pre-Columbian Americas on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in present-day central Colombia. Their various forms of art have been described in detail and include pottery, textiles, body art, hieroglyphs and rock art. While their architecture was modest compared to the Inca, Aztec and Maya civilisations, the Muisca are best known for their skilled goldworking. The Museo del Oro in the Colombian capital Bogotá houses the biggest collection of golden objects in the world, from various Colombian cultures including the Muisca.

Eastern Hills, Bogotá

The Eastern Hills are a chain of hills forming the eastern natural boundary of the Colombian capital Bogotá. They are part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, the high plateau of the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes. The Eastern Hills are bordered by the Chingaza National Natural Park to the east, the Bogotá savanna to the west and north, and the Sumapaz Páramo to the south. The north-northeast to south-southwest trending mountain chain is 52 kilometres (32 mi) long and its width varies from 0.4 to 8 kilometres. The highest hilltops rise to 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) over the western flatlands at 2,600 metres (8,500 ft). The Torca River at the border with Chía in the north, the boquerón Chipaque to the south and the valley of the Teusacá River to the east are the hydrographic limits of the Eastern Hills.

The Cabildo Mayor del Pueblo Muisca is an organisation of indigenous people, in particular the Muisca. It was established in September 2002 in Bosa, Bogotá, Colombia. The organisation, member of National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC), focuses on defending the rights of the descendants of the Muisca, and the development of cultural and historical heritage, territory and health and the linguistics of the indigenous language, Muysccubun.

References

  1. 1 2 Pérez Preciado, 2000, p.2
  2. (in Spanish) Etymology Bacatá - Banco de la República
  3. "Climate: Bogotá - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Climate-Data.org. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  4. "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Bogota, Colombia". Weatherbase. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
  5. (in Spanish) Lake Herrera largest water reserve of the Bogotá savanna
  6. Moreno et al., s.a., p.2
  7. Humedal Guaymaral
  8. Humedal Torca
  9. Humedal La Conejera
  10. Humedal Córdoba
  11. Humedal Tibabuyes
  12. Humedal Jaboque
  13. Humedal Santa María del Lago
  14. Humedal El Burro
  15. Humedal La Vaca
  16. Humedal Techo
  17. Humedal Capellanía
  18. Humedal Meandro del Say
  19. Humedal Tibanica
  20. Humedal El Salitre
  21. Humedal La Isla
  22. Humedal La Florida
  23. Calvachi Zambrano, 2002, p.95
  24. Calvachi Zambrano, 2002, p.97
  25. Cities on the Bogotá savanna Archived November 13, 2013, at the Wayback Machine

Notes

  1. 07; 2007, 15; 2015, 16; 2016
  2. Bacatá refers to the southern part of the Bogotá savanna, ruled by the zipa based in Funza, but with various frequently visited other settlements, visibles in the names Nemocón (Nemequene), Zipacón, Zipaquirá, Tocancipá, Gachancipá

Bibliography

Geology

Wetlands

Flora and fauna

History

Preceramic
Muisca
Conquest and colonial period