Sunday, 28 January 2018

Destroyed Muisca heritage

By Valentina Moreno López (Economics)

Facatativá is one of the towns of Cundinamarca with the most indigenous heritage but the most important place is without doubt the “Stones of the Tunjo”. This is an archaeological park located in the centre of the town and is full of inscriptions of the Chibcha community that previously inhabited this place.

There are some legends about the name of the park but the most common is that of the priest who sold his soul to the devil.

According to the legend, when the priests were building the church of San Francisco de Quito they lacked a lot of stones to finish the building. So one of the priests decided to invoke the devil to ask for help and the devil agreed to bring the stones in exchange for the soul of the priest. The devil began to look for the stones and finally found them in Tunja and with the help of his army began to move the stones at night so that people wouldn’t be astonished to see flying stones. Halfway there, he stopped at Facatativá to rest and learned that the priest had changed his mind about the deal. The devil was so angry that he ordered his army to leave the stones there.

Then the Muiscas came to town and the stones were the place where they lived.

The “Stones of the Tunjo” has been one of the greatest prides of the townsfolk since the 1930s when it was declared a cultural heritage site. From that moment, it has been an object of study of this ancient civilisation and a place to discover a little more about their culture.

Also, it is the only archaeological park located in an urban center, but people don't take care of it. In recent years, this family meeting place has suffered a lot of damage thanks to the lack of care of the people who visit it.

Many families go to the park and have barbeques in the centre of it, and this smoke damages the surface of the rocks. In addition, the Chibcha inscriptions are covered with a layer of graffiti hearts with the names of lovers who think that it is very romantic to damage these historical engravings.
As if it wasn’t enough, the pond that is at the entrance of the park has received the dirty water from the neighborhood that is right next to it for many years.

But solving all these problems would be a huge expense that none of the administrations so far have wanted to assume. However, in my opinion this park is a treasure that we should all take care of.

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