Bruhns, K. O.. (1970). A Quimbaya Gold Furnace?. American Antiquity35(2), 202–203.

Scott, D.A. & Meyers, P. (1992) Archaeometry of Pre-Columbian Sites and Artifacts.  UCLA institute of archaeology and the Getty conservation institute, Los Angeles California, 1-421.

Perea, A. (2013) Pre-hispanic goldwork technology. The Quimbaya Treasure, Columbia.  Journal of archaeological science. 40(2), 2326-2334.


Field, Les. (2012). EL SISTEMA DEL ORO: EXPLORACIONES SOBRE EL DESTINO (EMERGENTE) DE LOS OBJETOS DE ORO PRECOLOMBINOS EN COLOMBIA. Antipoda. Revista de Antropología y Arqueología, (14), 67-94. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from

Bruhns, K. O.. (1984). MIXED MEDIA; A PROBLEM IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL NOMENCLATURE.Ñawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archaeology, (22/23), 225–227. Retrieved from

Theory Connects Ancient Quimbaya Relics With Nazca Lines, page 1 (

Ancient Quimbaya Gold Airplane Artifacts ~300CE (Ancient Quimbaya Gold Airplane Artifacts ~300CE)

Ancient Quimbaya Gold Airplane Artifacts ~300CE (Ancient Quimbaya Gold Airplane Artifacts ~300CE)

The Ancient Aliens (The Ancient Aliens)!technology–quimbaya-airplanes/ciu

Examining the Artifacts

Several of the artifacts found at the Cauca River valley site were considered to be Anthropomorphic and phytomorphic vessels.  Anthropomorphic can be defined as an object which resembles or portrays human traits, although it is not human.  Phytomorphic is the resemblance of plant like traits.  Several golden vessels were recovered from this site having either human or plant like attributes.  The image below is one of the Quimbaya anthropomorphic vessels.

“Anthropomorphic vessel in the form of a man’s head with openwork to inlay other material than gold” (Perea. 2013. 3.1).

Golden Head

The image below is one of the phytomorphic golden vessels of Quimbaya.  It resembles some type of round fruit, some believe it to be a lime container.

lime bowl

Zoomorphic and anthropomorphic pendants were also some of the common artifacts found throughout the 123 recovered Quimbaya items.  Zoomorphic artifacts usually depict animals, in this case insects and lizards are among the golden pendant artifacts recovered.  Anthropomorphic pendants were also found, these are animals with human characteristics or just humans.

These pendants are from the pre- Colombia Quimbaya era and resemble flying fish.  They are considered zoomorphic as well.

planes 2

Quimbaya Discovery

The Quimbaya artifacts were looted in 1890.  There is also evidence that the Spanish looted several different sites along the Cauca Valley during the 16th century, in search of gold and other valuables.  Looting is also a very big problem for Columbia because many of the artifacts from ancient cultures were made from gold especially the ones created along the Cauca Valley.  “The so-called Quimbaya Treasure was looted in 1890 from two tombs in the site of La Soledad, near the Municipality of Filandia (Quindío Department, Colombia), amidst the Central Cauca Valley” (Perea. 2013. 2.1).  Due to the Quimbaya artifacts having been looted, there is no archaeological record of all the artifacts that were found, only estimates and what was eventually turned into the Colombian President of the Republic.  One hundred and twenty three items were collect although there is believed to have been two hundred or more Quimbaya artifacts.  “One major problem in dealing with pre-Hispanic metallurgy is that most known pieces come from looting operations. Thus, we seldom know anything about their context” (Bruhns. 1984-1985. P.225).

Pseudoarchaeological Narrative

The pseudoarchaeological narrative associated with the Quimbaya artifacts is specific to the Zoomorphic and anthropomorphic gold pendants.  Archaeologists list many of these pendants as being animals or insects.  Due to visual similarities of many of these pendants and modern day airplanes or flying vehicles, there are many ancient astronaut believers that claim these artifacts as proof of alien intervention.  There are also some that believe there to be connections between the Quimbaya artifacts and the people of Atlantis, due to the percentage of copper found within these gold items.  Among these Atlantis and ancient alien believes, many believe that the Quimbaya people understood aerodynamics and molded many of their pendants after flying machines. “The ancient pieces look very much like the designs of modern airplanes and incorporate a number of features essentially proving the Quimbaya knew and understood the principals of flight” (2010-2015 Mystery Pile).  Another argument used by believers of ancient aliens is that modern day tribes around the world who have seen airplanes have changed their religions and even built models of what they have seen in the sky.  “Isolated tribes visited in both Africa and South America by airplane have both demonstrated shifts in religious beliefs after the visit. One of the tribes welcomed the plane on its second visit with ceremonial fire and statues constructed in the shape of the airplane” (2010-2015   Another theory is that these pendants were given to individual piolets during the Quimbaya time period, and each pilot was given a different pendant depending on his region of flight.  Believers compare this to modern day pilots and there pendants they wear. “These relics were likely embodiments of the spirit of the air crafts and the organizations or regions to which the crafts and pilots belonged” (

Deconstructing the Pseudoarchaeological Narrative


In order to deconstruct any of these theories about the Quimbaya people having connections with Atlantis and also there having been airplanes over 1,000 years ago based off of aerodynamic features of the zoomorphic pendants; we must look at several different principles.  The first being where these pseudoarchaeological claims are coming from.  Next we must look at who is making the claim and whether that person is a scholar or has the credentials to express a reliable opinion.  Next we look at whether other experts are consulted or whether these claims are interpreted in an unbiased way.  We should also consider the amount of information and factual evidence presented as well as the data presented.

The majority of pseudoarchaeological claims are made by individuals with little to no experience or academic expertise on the material they express opinions on.  Looking at three websites that I read supporting pseudoarcaeology related to the Quimbaya artifacts, they all fell short of this first principle.  Looking at the website Above Top Secret, which provides pseudoarchaeological information on theories about anything from Bigfoot to the Quimbaya artifacts.  This website has 309685 members, all of which are able to edit and provide information and their own opinions on these various articles.  None of the articles are scholarly journals, and the article written about Quimbaya only has the last name of the author available.  The same can be said about the Quimbaya gold artifacts article located on the Mystery pile website; this article has no author.  Lastly the Ancient Aliens website also fails to provide an author for their article on Quimbaya and even claims to use scientific methods that are unbiased in order to justify their ancient astronaut beliefs associated with the Quimbaya pendants.

Above Top Secret, Mystery pile, and Ancient Aliens all use biased words throughout their articles on the Quimbaya artifacts.  Looking at the Above Top Secret article first, you don’t have to read very far before you find two different examples of biased views and lack of evidence.  “The belief is that these golden amulets are representative of flying machines used by beings of this time and Nazca was a sort of ancient airport for their flying machines” (Above Top Secret).  According to the scholarly article Pre-Hispanic gold work technology. The Quimbaya Treasure, Colombia.  The author Perea, mentions nothing of this belief because there is no evidence to support this claim.  The Above Top Secret article then goes on to state that archaeology is mainstream, in an attempt to discredit this entire scientific study of thought.  All three pseudoarchaeological sites mention archaeology as being main stream.

Looking further, the Mystery Pile article claims that there is a connection between the Quimbaya artifacts based on the amount of copper in these treasures.  “The majority of gold pieces discovered are made with a tumbaga alloy with 30% copper, very similar to those accounts mentioned by Plato in his dialogues about the lost city of Atlantis” (Mystery Pile).  The following picture shows the levels of Copper in several of the Quimbaya artifacts according to Perea.  Artifacts range from having one percent of copper to as high as fifty percent copper, with no correlation between the amount of copper per item or the majority of the artifacts having thirty percent copper.

The main principle that needs to be considered is whether there is enough evidence and factual information, as well as data, in order to accept what is being said as the truth.  The articles by Bruhns, Perea, and Les Fields all provide several pages of data, information, and quoted facts from scholarly research and scholarly research papers.  Many references are also provided throughout each of these works and there are bibliography’s at the end of each article.  However when the articles from Ancient Aliens, Above Top Secret, and Mystery Pile are examined, there is little over a page of information with no bibliography or quoted scholarly papers.

The main argument from pseudoarcheology believers is that the zoomorphic pendants from the Quimbaya artifact collection are clear representations of flying machines.  They argue that these pendants do not represent insects, fish, or birds; which main stream archaeologists believe them to be.  Their main theory to support these claims is that the Quimbaya zoomorphic pendants are aerodynamic, proving that the Quimbaya culture understood the principles of flight.  Aerodynamics is basically the study of how objects move through the air.  It is likely that aerodynamics was understood by the Quimbaya people; however, that does not mean that they created airplanes or flying vehicles.  There is no evidence in the archaeological record of any machines that show the Quimbaya people were capable of or had built flying aircrafts.  Also many of these zoomorphic pendants were aerodynamic because they were depictions of aerodynamic animals, some of which could fly.  Birds, fish, and many insects are aerodynamic allowing them to fly through the air or swim efficiently through water.  These pendants are merely representations of aerodynamic creatures.