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Monumental Architecture, Settlement Landscape, and Climate Change at El Infiernito, Colombia

Date: April 14,2021 |Hits: 235 Download PDF How to cite this paper

Michael P. Smyth

The Foundation for Americas Research, Inc., USA.

*Corresponding author: Michael P. Smyth


The ancient Muisca in the Valley of Leiva of the Eastern Andean Cordillera were monument buildings strongly influenced by climate change. Research at El In-fiernito, the Stonehenge of Colombia, examined socio-environmental contexts related to the impacts of drought, flooding, and erosion vital to the development of past chiefdom societies. Chiefly elites responded to adverse water-related conditions by engineering a hydraulic landscape but also modified their built environment employing stone architecture and stone monuments that embodied reli-gious and celestial cosmology. Investigations at a rare stone building and the discovery of nearby human burials begin to show evidence for a chiefly compound at El Infiernito. Reconnaissance nearby also located new irrigation works and astronomical-related monuments that appears to correspond to a quintuple planetary grouping visible in 710 AD. These data show that elites employed both tangible and intangible responses to overcome limitations posed by the natural and cultural environments.


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How to cite this paper

Monumental Architecture, Settlement Landscape, and Climate Change at El Infiernito, Colombia

How to cite this paper: Michael P. Smyth. (2021) Monumental Architecture, Settlement Landscape, and Climate Change at El Infiernito, Colombia. Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Science5(1), 89-110.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/jhass.2021.01.010

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