Earlier that day, we had visited the Alto de San Andrés, which unfortunately had several tombs closed. From there, we directly walked to the museum, having some superb fresh sugar cane juice/lemon drink on the way. After we worked our way up to the Alto de Segovia from the museum, we arrived at a small plateau with several roofs. These were protecting the entrances to the tombs, which were all closed with a padlock. A guard appeared, and welcomed us to the site. He opened the locks in the first site, opened the door, and switched on the lights. We descended the stairs of the first tomb, with some high steps, and when we reached the wooden fence blocking the entrance to the burial chamber, we stood still in amazement.
Before our eyes, we saw an underground burial chamber hacked out in the volcanic rock, with colourful geometrical figures painted on the walls and the columns. On the top side of the columns, we saw faces engraved. The figures on the wall were painted in several colours: white, black, red, and ochre. In many of the tombs at Alto de Segovia, these wall paintings have survived the many centuries since they were made remarkably well. The tombs at Alto de Segovia are the only ones at Tierradentro that are lit. After we had seen the first tomb, we visited several others, and were surprised to find that every tomb was unique.
Some had walls that were painted completely, while others were mostly white, with lines on the ceiling, and decorations mainly on the columns. The tombs, or hypogeums, were similar in that they almost all have two freestanding columns in the central area, while the walls have more columns jutting out from the wall. The rooms between these columns were used to place the urns with the remains of the deceased, as well as jewelry. Obviously, the riches of these tombs had been taken by tomb-raiders a long time ago, some of the urns can be found in the museum. But the tombs are rich in themselves: their beauty is amazing and a sign that the early civilization who made them, the Chibcha, were masters at painting. When we finally left the Alto de Segovia, we were deeply impressed.
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