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National Archeological Park of Tierradentro
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Tombs in Tierra Dentro.jpg
Location Inza, Colombia
Criteria Cultural: (iii)
Reference 743
Inscription1995 (19th Session)
Coordinates 2°35′N76°2′W / 2.583°N 76.033°W / 2.583; -76.033 Coordinates: 2°35′N76°2′W / 2.583°N 76.033°W / 2.583; -76.033
Colombia relief location map.jpg
Red pog.svg
Location of Tierradentro in Colombia

Tierradentro is one of the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia. It started to flourish around 200 BC, and continued into the 17th century.

Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia

The pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia refers to the Amerindian peoples that inhabited Colombia before the Spanish Conquest in the 16th century.

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.

Departments of Colombia department, group of municipalities, in Colombia

Colombia is a unitary republic made up of thirty-two departments and a Capital District. Each department has a Governor (gobernador) and a Department Assembly, elected by popular vote for a four-year period. The governor cannot be re-elected in consecutive periods. Departments are country subdivisions and are granted a certain degree of autonomy.

Cauca Department Department in Andean Region/Pacific Region, Colombia

Cauca Department is a Department of Colombia. Located in the southwestern part of the country, facing the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Valle del Cauca Department to the north, Tolima Department to the northeast, Huila Department to the east, and Nariño Department to the south. Putumayo and Caqueta Departments border the southeast portion of Cauca Department as well. It covers a total area of 29,308 km2 (11,316 sq mi), the 13th largest in Colombia. Its capital is the city of Popayán. The offshore island of Malpelo belongs to the department. It is located in the southwest of the country on the Andean and Pacific regions. The area includes 2.56% of the country.

Colombia Country in South America

Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia, is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America. Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru. It shares its maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. Colombia is a unitary, constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogotá.

Tierradentro culture is related to the neighbouring San Agustín culture.

San Agustín culture from Huila, Colombia

The San Agustín culture is one of the ancient Pre-Columbian cultures of Colombia. Its beginnings go back at least to the fourth millennium B.C. Several hundred large monolithic sculptures have been found here.

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.

Anthropomorphism attribution of human form given from other characteristics to anything other than a human being

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology.

Zoomorphism attribution of characteristics or appearance of animals to human beings, deities, or natural phenomena

The word zoomorphism derives from the Greek ζωον (zōon), meaning "animal", and μορφη (morphē), meaning "shape" or "form". It can mean:

Grave robbery, tomb robbing, or tomb raiding is the act of uncovering a grave, tomb or crypt to steal matter. It is usually perpetrated to take and profit from valuable artifacts or personal effects. A related act is body snatching, a term denoting the contested or unlawful taking of a body, which can be extended to the unlawful taking of organs alone. These acts carry two stigmas from the evolution of morality: selfishness and psychological trauma to which the behavioural immune system adds the stigma of disgust to those coming into contact with part-decayed, particularly human, bodies.

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.

Funeral ceremony for a person who has died

A funeral is a ceremony connected with the burial, cremation, or interment of a corpse, or the burial with the attendant observances. Funerary customs comprise the complex of beliefs and practices used by a culture to remember and respect the dead, from interment, to various monuments, prayers, and rituals undertaken in their honor. Customs vary between cultures and religious groups. Common secular motivations for funerals include mourning the deceased, celebrating their life, and offering support and sympathy to the bereaved; additionally, funerals may have religious aspects that are intended to help the soul of the deceased reach the afterlife, resurrection or reincarnation.

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. [1]

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  1. World Monuments Fund: World Monuments Watch 1996-2012. – Retrieved on 13 February 2013