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In the centuries in the Americas before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca existed 4 great civilizations, from North to South; the Aztec & Mayas (Mexico), Muisca (Colombia) and the Incas (Peru). The other three civilizations are very well-known and (thus) extensively described on the English wiki. The Muisca people are less known and information is sparser, but that doesn't mean the civilization was less advanced. While the Mexican and the Peruvian civilizations built huge structures and temples, the Muisca specialized in artwork and handcraft with the abundant precious resources gold and emeralds. This formed the (not so much) legend of El Dorado.

The word Muisca is used like Aztec; both singular and plural and as noun and adjective. Muiscas is the Spanish plural, not commonly used in English.

E.g. The Incas and Mayas and the Aztec and Muisca had advanced civilizations. Aztec and Mayan civilizations belong to Mexico; Muisca and Inca civilizations to South America.

My personal project here is to write well-referenced (by external sources, es:wiki only as back-up) complete articles about Muisca topics to get them to the same level as the other three civilizations. For examples see my articles, four of which highlighted below.

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Muisca astronomy - Position Sué - Bolívar Square & Eastern Hills, Bogotá - English Version - Long.gif

The Eastern Hills are a chain of hills forming the eastern natural boundary of the Colombian capital Bogotá. They are part of the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, the high plateau of the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes. The NNW-SSE trending mountain chain is 52 kilometres (32 mi) long and its width varies from 0.4 to 8 kilometres (0.25 to 4.97 mi). Geologically, the Eastern Hills are the result of the westward compression along the Bogotá Fault, that thrusted the Lower Cretaceous rocks onto younger strata. The fold and thrust belt of the Eastern Hills was produced by the Andean orogeny with the main phase of tectonic compression and uplift in the Pliocene. During the Pleistocene, the Eastern Hills were covered by glaciers feeding a large paleolake (Lake Humboldt) that existed on the Bogotá savanna and is represented today by the many wetlands of Bogotá. The main touristic attractions of the Eastern Hills of Bogotá are the Monserrate and Guadalupe Hills. The Eastern Hills were sparsely populated in pre-Columbian times, considered sacred by the indigenous Muisca. The native people constructed temples and shrines in the Eastern Hills and buried their dead there. The Guadalupe and Monserrate Hills were important in their religion and archaeoastronomy, being the hilltops where Sué, the Sun, rises on the December and June solstices respectively, when viewed from the present-day Bolívar Square.

Pantano de Vargas - panoramio.jpg

Baltasar Maldonado (?, Salamanca, Castile - 1552, Bogotá, New Kingdom of Granada) was a Spanish conquistador who first served under Sebastian de Belalcázar in the conquest of Quito and Peru, the foundations of Cali and Popayán, and later in the army of Hernán Pérez de Quesada in the Spanish conquest of the Muisca. Baltasar Maldonado is known as the conquistador who defeated the last ruling main cacique of the Muisca; Tundama, who he killed with a large hammer in late December 1539 at the Pantano de Vargas near Paipa. Subsequently, Baltasar Maldonado took part in the Quest for El Dorado led by Hernán Pérez de Quesada in the southern regions of present-day Colombia. After this failed expedition, where many of the Spanish soldiers died of diseases, poisoned arrows and drowning in the numerous rivers of the Llanos Orientales and western Amazon River basin, Baltasar Maldonado returned to Popayán and Cali and traveled back to Bogotá, the capital of the New Kingdom of Granada where he died in 1552. The adventures of Baltasar Maldonado during the first half of the 16th century have been described by scholars Juan de Castellanos and Juan Rodríguez Freyle in his work El Carnero.

Knight Mastodon 420x420.jpg

Tibitó is the second-oldest dated archaeological site on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia. The rock shelter is located in the municipality Tocancipá, Cundinamarca, Colombia, in the northern part of the Bogotá savanna. At Tibitó, bone and stone tools (knives and scrapers mostly) and carbon have been found. Bones from Haplomastodon, Cuvieronius, Cerdocyon and white tailed deer from the deepest human trace containing layer of the site is carbon dated to be 11,740 ± 110 years old. The oldest dated sediments are lagunal clays from an ancient Pleistocene lake. At Tibitó remains of the extinct Pleistocene megafauna Cuvieronius, Haplomastodon and Equus amerhippus and extant white tailed deer and crab-eating fox have been found set in a circle. The bones were burnt and unburnt and mixed with stone artifacts and limestone chunks. In the vicinity of Tibitó, rock art has been discovered. Main researcher of Tibitó is Colombian archaeologist Gonzalo Correal Urrego, who also analysed other early sites Tequendama, Aguazuque and El Abra.

Museo Del Oro, Bogota (24546916613).jpg

Muisca art has been described in detail and include pottery, textiles, body art, hieroglyphs and rock art. While their architecture was modest compared to the Inca, Aztec and Maya civilisations, the Muisca are best known for their skilled goldworking. The Museo del Oro in the Colombian capital Bogotá houses the biggest collection of golden objects in the world, from various Colombian cultures including the Muisca. During the preceramic era, the people of the highlands produced petrographs and petroglyphs representing their deities, the abundant flora and fauna of the area, abstract motives and anthropomorphic or anthropo-zoomorphic elements. The self-sufficient sedentary agricultural society developed into a culture based on ceramics and the extraction of salt in the Herrera Period, usually defined as 800 BC to 800 AD. During this time, the oldest existing form of constructed art was erected; the archaeoastronomical site called El Infiernito ("The Little Hell") by the catholic Spanish conquistadors. The Herrera Period also marked the widespread use of pottery and textiles and the start of what would become the main motive for the Spanish conquest; the skilled fine goldworking. The golden age of Muisca metallurgy is represented in the Muisca raft, considered the masterpiece of this technology and depicts the initiation ritual of the new zipa of Bacatá, the southern part of the Muisca Confederation. The rich art elaborated by the Muisca has inspired modern artists and designers in their creativity. Muisca motives are represented as murals, in clothing and as objects found all over the former Muisca territories as well as in animated clips and video games.