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European dolmens in America? the enigma of the ruins of San Agustin, Colombia

The San Agustin Archaeological Park is one of the most interesting sites of the pre-Columbian culture that arose in Colombia. The 78 hectares are occupied by approximately 130 statues strikingly similar to those produced by the Olmec culture and the one that occupied Rapa Nui, known as Easter Island. But the even more surprising aspect is the presence of corridor tombs, dolmens, structures typical of Europe in the 5th millennium BC.

European dolmens in America? the enigma of the ruins of San Agustin, Colombia
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The San Agustin archaeological park is located in the municipality of San Agustín in the department of Huila, in southern Colombia, 227 kilometers from Neiva.

The archaeological area extends over approximately 78 hectares and preserves numerous structures of pre-Columbian origin and 130 stone statues erected between the 1st and 8th centuries AD. It is the largest complex of religious monuments and megalithic structures in South America.

The works have been sculpted with exquisite skill, representing workmanship and artistic expertise of the highest order. The statues' similarity to those produced in Guatemala, the Olmec culture and, strangely, to the Moai made by the Rapa Nui culture on Easter Island is surprising, suggesting that there may have been transoceanic contacts.

There is more than one element that seems to connect the monuments found on Easter Island, on some Polynesian islands and on those of Micronesia, such as Ponape, Malden, Pitcard and Marquesas. Such ruins also seem to pre-date those of the Andes.

Many of the statues feature striking hairstyles, similar to those seen in Tiahuanaco. The stone sarcophagi feature bas-reliefs similar to those seen in Peru and Bolivia, and also to the Olmec ones found on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

Furthermore, a monolith features two large serpents coiling around it, a symbol that is strikingly reminiscent of the iconography of Gobekli Tepe, Ancient Egypt and other various ancient cultures.

The Colombian Dolmens

The most surprising aspect is certainly represented by the presence of structures called "dolmens", typical of ancient Europe from the fifth millennium BC. They are exactly like those of all of Europe, they are located at a deeper level than the other "sculpted" stones and are made from a different type of stone.

The impression is that the San Agustin culture stumbled upon this much older megalithic site by chance and, glimpsing the sacredness of the place, decided to build their temples there, right next to the ancient dolmens. Therefore, the legitimate question is: who created the Colombian dolmens?

The dolmens, being 10-15 m high, are clearly older than the other sculpted works. Some of them have been incorporated into the works created by the San Agustin culture. Precisely for this reason, the mix left a confusing picture of the past.

Even the pre-Inca civilization that occupied the site is shrouded in mystery: the name itself is unknown. Archaeologists believe that only 10% of the ruins have been unearthed so far; it is hypothesized that some huge structures, such as Mayan pyramids, are still buried in the area. Radiocarbon analyzes suggest a period from 555 BC to 1630 AD.

The enigma of the dolmens remains. How is it possible that structures typical of the European Bronze Age ended up on the other side of the ocean? The construction of the dolmens dates back to the period from the end of the 5th millennium BC to the end of the 3rd millennium BC. In the Far East, the use of the dolmen continued until the 1st millennium BC.

Many examples of this type, or with more advanced architectural themes, have also been found in Europe. In particular, they can be found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy (specifically in Sardinia, Sicily and Puglia).

Is it possible that some global culture inhabited planet Earth before the catastrophe that erased every trace of the past? It is the question that always comes back every time ancient sites that are so geographically distant are observed and compared.

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