visit to Muisca Nueva Esperanza site

Our work at the Muisca site of Nueva Esperanza has begun! Located at a terrace by the Tequendama Falls in Cundinamarca, Nueva Esperanza is widely recognised as one of the most important archaeological discoveries of Colombia. This extensively excavated village shows evidence of life and death over a span of 2000 years until the time of European arrival, allowing unprecedented insight into long-term dynamics. Agnese Benzonelli and Marcos Martinón-Torres recently travelled to Colombia to meet REVERSEACTION collaborators Sebastian Rivas, Joaquin Otero Santillan, Gabriel Armando Calderon Rodriguez and Lina Campos Quintero. Together, they conducted chemical and microscopic analyses of hundreds of metal and stone artefacts, and selected samples for additional dating and further analyses at the laboratory. Their work will be integrated with synergic studies on other material culture, osteoarchaeology, biomolecular and environmental archaeology. For the first time we will be able to study diachronic changes in raw materials and technology, the spatial distribution of crafts, and the contextual associations between different individuals and burial goods. This work will not only enhance our understanding of Nueva Esperanza, but it will provide a solid reference point for research on other materials on museum collections where contexts are less clear. We are very grateful to the excellent teams at Agroparque Sabio Mutis, Museo Arqueologico Nueva Esperanza, Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios UNIMINUTO, Ingetec, and Museo del Oro, for sharing their extensive knowledge and resources with us.