Important Pre-Colombian archaeological finds uncovered during oil pipeline construction in Colombia

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Colombian petroleum producer Ecopetrol and its petroleum logistics subsidiary Cenit have just announced the unearthing of a trove of archaeological artifacts, considered one of the largest finds of its kind in the Colombia’s “Eje Cafetero” coffee region, while constructing the new section between Chinchiná and Pereira, of the Salgar-Cartago-Yumbo petroleum pipeline.

Important Pre-Colombian archaeological finds uncovered during oil pipeline construction in Colombia
Credit: Ecopetrol/Finance Colombia

During the preparation and construction phases, a gold nosepiece, 68 complete ceramic pieces, 20 restored ceramic pieces, 1,029 lithic pieces or stone objects and 23,000 fragments, as well as bone remains and ceramic seals have been recovered. In addition to this, the archaeology teams found 14 tombs of which 8 are in perfect condition.




With the findings it was possible to describe a sequence of occupation of several epochs spanning at least 2,000 years, from the 5th century BC to the 15th century AD. Although most of the materials belong to the Mirador period, between 1,200 and 1,500 AD.

Among the findings there are 68 complete ceramic pieces, 1,209 stone objects and a gold nosepiece, together covering 2,000 years of human culture. 14 tombs have also been found, 8 of which are in perfect condition.

Important Pre-Colombian archaeological finds uncovered during oil pipeline construction in Colombia
Credit: Ecopetrol/Finance Colombia

The entire archaeological collection was delivered for preservation and care at the Technological University of Pereira. This collection will continue to accrete any additional archaeological findings that are found by the project until the completion of the construction of the entire pipeline.




For this project, an Archaeological Management Plan was established, which includes the rescue, prior to and during construction, of the identified sites along the route of the new section.

The archaeological investigation of the area began in 2013 before beginning the construction work. Throughout the 55 km of the route, 124 sites were identified, of which 78 were excavated and were part of the archaeological rescue.

Important Pre-Colombian archaeological finds uncovered during oil pipeline construction in Colombia
Credit: Ecopetrol/Finance Colombia

Although most of the rescue was made prior to the start of the works, during the construction and laying of the pipeline, a professional archaeology team continues accompanying the excavation and engineering workers to guarantee the protection of Colombia’s archaeological heritage.




According to Ecopetrol, he work, which is estimated to be completed later this year, is conducted subject to all the required safeguards and permits, and in compliance with environmental and archaeology standards to ensure the preservation of the territories and their surroundings.

The new section of the pipeline has an extension of 55 kilometers between Chinchiná and Pereira, passing through the municipalities of Santa Rosa de Cabal and Marseille.

Important Pre-Colombian archaeological finds uncovered during oil pipeline construction in Colombia
Credit: Ecopetrol/Finance Colombia

“It is a work of high engineering that is developed in harmony with the environment, the care of the coffee landscape, respect for indigenous culture, the conservation of archaeological heritage and the creation of social value.” Said Ecopetrol in a statement.

Author: Loren Moss | Source: Finance Colombia [March 27, 2019]

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