Piedras del Tunjo Archaeological Park

Piedras del Tunjo (Spanish for "Tunjo Stones") is an important archaeological park established on a natural rock shelter 40 kilometres (25 mi) west of Bogotá in the city of Facatativá.

Piedras del Tunjo
Centre of the Piedras del Tunjo Archaeological Park
Location within Colombia
LocationFacatativá, Cundinamarca
RegionAltiplano Cundiboyacense
Coordinates4°48′59.59″N 74°20′45.59″W
Altitude2,611 m (8,566 ft)[1]
TypeRock art
Part ofPre-Muisca sites
AbandonedSpanish conquest
PeriodsHerrera Period-Late Muisca
Satellite ofBacatá
Site notes
ArchaeologistsDiego Martínez Celis
Álvaro Botiva Contreras
Guillermo Muñoz Castiblanco
Public accessYes


Piedras del Tunjo and other rock shelters on and around the Bogotá savanna

In the Late Pleistocene, the site used to be the shore of a large lake flooding the Bogotá savanna; Lake Humboldt(citation needed) .8 It was used by the Muisca rulers as a refuge during the time of the Spanish conquest. The site is one of the possible places where the soldiers of Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada killed the ruling zipa Tisquesusa in April 1537.

The rocks are covered with pictographs made by Muisca artists on rocks of the Guadalupe Group.[2] Their age has not been confirmed. The area of the park used to be an hacienda, property of a wealthy family since colonial times. It was nationalized in 1946 to establish the park.

Destruction of the ancient pictographs

Decades of government negligence and lack of policies for the protection of archaeological heritage have resulted in the destruction of most of the ancient paintings.

See also


  1. Google Maps Elevation Finder
  2. Plancha 227, 1998


  • Ulloa, Carlos E; Erasmo Rodríguez, and Jorge E. Acosta. 1998. Plancha 227 - Geología de La Mesa - 1:100,000, 1. INGEOMINAS.

Further reading

  • Martínez Celis, Diego, and Álvaro Botiva Contreras. 2004a. Manual de arte rupestre de Cundinamarca - Manual of rock art of Cundinamarca, 1-60. ICANH.
  • Martínez Celis, Diego, and Álvaro Botiva Contreras. 2004b. Introducción al arte rupestre, 1-28. ICANH.
  • Muñoz Castiblanco, Guillermo. 2013. Catalogación, registro sistemático y diagnóstico de las pinturas rupestres del Parque Arqueológico de Facatativá, 1-89. GIPRI.
  • Muñoz Castiblanco, Guillermo. 2006. Pinturas rupestres en el Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia - concentración y diversidad en la Sabana de Bogotá: Municipio de Suacha-Sibaté Cundinamarca - Rock paintings on the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, Colombia - concentration and diversity on the Bogotá savanna: municipality of Soacha-Sibaté, Cundinamarca, 1-22.
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