These remote ruins were built by the Tayrona, a culture that thrived from 200 AD to c.1650 AD. More than 250 of their stone settlements have been found in a 2,000 square-mile area. The Lost City is the largest Tayrona site known with more than 200 structures over 80 acres. One highlight is a strange carving, shown below, that appears to be a map of the city.
Unknown to the outside world until the 1975, the site now attracts an increasing number of tourists willing to make the five-day trek, and this is destabilizing some of the structures. Erosion and local narcotics traffickers are also taking their toll, Popular Archaeology reports.
Now the Global Heritage Fund has teamed up with the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History, which runs the Teyuna-Ciudad Perdida Archaeological Park, to preserve the site. The area will be fully mapped and examined, and they’ll create a management plan to reduce natural and man-made damage to the site. One good aspect of the plan is that it’s incorporating the local indigenous people. They’ve always known about the Lost City and consider it sacred, so their input will be crucial to ensure its future.
Photos courtesy William Neuheisal.