Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia


European conquistadors were seduced by the legend of a lost city of gold in South America. The truth is even more fascinating than the myth. El Dorado meaning “the golden one” –refers to a ritual that took place near modern Bogotá at Lake Guatavita. The elected leader, covered in powdered gold, dived into the lake and emerged as the new chief of the Muisca people. This stunning exhibition, will open to the public on the 17 October 2013, will display some of the fascinating objects excavated from the lake including ceramics and stone necklaces.

The exhibition will showcase over 300 spectacular objects from the Museo del Oro in Bogotá which is one of the best and most extensive collections of Pre-Hispanic gold in the world, as well as from the British Museum’s own unique collections. Some of the objects are so valuable they were flown business class from Bogotá with individual security guards. They were never out of sight during the 5,200 mile-journey.

Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum said “Ancient Colombia has long represented a great fascination to the outside world and yet there is very little understood about these unique and varied cultures… this exhibition will give our visitors a glimpse into these fascinating cultures of pre-hispanic South America and a chance to explore the legend of El Dorado through these stunning objects.”

After visiting the exhibition how about visiting Colombia on your own El Dorado tour?

RELATED: 740 steps lead to the top of this monolithic rock formation in Colombia

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