|Researchers in San Agustin in 1946 (Photo: El Espectador)|
|Monuments in San Agustin, Huila Province.|
|San Agustin in Bogotá.|
|A bicycle tourist |
beside the famous
'Doble Yo' figure.
For the rest of this year, the San Agustin Archeological Park in Huila plans to commemorate the Colombian and foreign archeologists who began researching the region in 1913. Research there continues, and probably will never end.
Perhaps more significant for us than the original Agustinianos' origin was their disappearance. Like the Mayans and the monument builders of Easter Island, the Agustinians were replaced by a much simpler culture incapable or uninterested in creating such massive objects.
Did the original Agustinianos fall victim to climate change? Overpopulation? War? Environmental destruction? We may never know. But, for a nation like Colombia challenged by many of these problems and others, the Agustinianos' disappearance serves as a warning about preserving the environment and finding peaceable means to end conflict.
While Huila's San Agustin region appears bucolic, much of rural Colombia suffers from erosion, pollution, deforestation and desertification. And Bogotá's Santa Fe neighborhood captures many urban ills, including litter, air and noise pollution. Sometimes, it seems, cities like Bogotá are carrying out an experiment in how a species can poison itself in its own wastes.
|This figure, in Bogotá's Santa Fe neighborhood, appears to suffer from an indeterminate gender.|
|The Bogotá park is a green island amidst urban noise and pollution.|
|Posing with a face.|
|These figures might represent male midwives, or gods devouring infants.|
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours