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).