Thursday, December 19, 2013

Beyond Eldorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia

From the Spanish Conquistadors to DreamWorks Studio’s animated heroes Tulio and Miguel, and by way of Voltaire’s Candide, many have dreamed of El Dorado. Whether a utopia or a myth, the legend of this lost city of gold rests on a fascinating reality that the British Museum’s most recent exhibition explores. Beyond El Dorado: Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia, on view through March 23, 2014, begins with the ritual that is the origin of the notion of El Dorado, which means “the golden one.” In this ritual, which was celebrated at Lake Guatavita, not far from what is now Bogota in Colombia, an individual who was contending for power was covered with gold dust, dove into the lake, and emerged as a chief of the Muisca people.

For more information on this exhibition, visit the official website.

Images and information courtesy of The British Museum

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