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Image / Magdalena River Valley, San Agustín, Colombia, 1975

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Magdalena River Valley, San Agustín, Colombia, 1975
Cross, Richard, 1950-1983
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
California State University, Northridge
Contributing Institution
California State University, Northridge
Richard Cross Photographs (Bradley Center)
Rights Information
Use of images from the collections of the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center is strictly prohibited by law without prior written consent from the copyright holders. The responsibility for the use of these materials rests exclusively with the user.
The Bradley Center may assist in obtaining copyright/licensing permission to use images from the Richard Cross collection.
The Magdalena River flowing through the Magdalena River Valley near San Agustín Archaeological Park, located in San Agustín, a municipality of Huila Department. The valley is densely forested. The Magdalena River is Colombia's principal river, running through the western part of the country. In pre-Columbian times, the river and its valley proved attractive to many indigenous groups, who flocked to the area over the centuries seeking its fertile soil, altitude, good weather, and natural features that provided protection from the elements and potential invaders. The river played an important role in the exchange of cultures and ideas as well as trade and communication. This constant movement of people fostered incredible cultural development of which one such example is the stone megaliths at San Agustín Archaeological Park. Important to pre-Columbian indigenous peoples, the Magdalena River was also very important during the Spanish colonial era, as it was used for trade and communication. During this time it was also the only overland route connecting Bogotá, the colonial capital, to Cartagena de Indias, the only Caribbean port and, by extension, with Europe. Richard Cross took this image during his work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia between 1974-1976. He was assigned to work for the now Ministry of Culture and his assignment was to create a photographic record of Colombia’s archaeological remains.
El río Magdalena corriendo por el valle del río Magdalena cercas del Parque Arqueológico de San Agustín, localizado a su vez en San Agustín, un municipio del departamento de Huila. El valle se encuentra densamente arbolado. El río Magdalena es el río principal de Colombia y corre por la parte occidental del país. En tiempos pre-colombinos, el río y su valle fueron atractivos para muchos grupos indígenas, quienes buscaban sus tierras fértiles, su altitud, su buen clima, y sus caracteristicas naturales que ofrecian protección de los elementos y posibles invasores. El río jugó un papel muy importante en el intercambio cultural e intelectual del área y también en el ámbito del comercio y la comunicación. Este movimiento de gente constante generó un desarrollo cultural increíble cuya aportación más ilustre son las estatuas de piedra del Parque Arqueológico de San Agustín. Importante para los grupos indígenas pre-colombinos, el río Magdalena también fue muy importante durante la era colonial española, pues fue usado para el comercio y la comunicación. También fue la única ruta por tierra que conectaba a Bogotá, la capital colonial, con Cartagena de Indias, el puerto caribeño y, por extensión, con Europa. Richard Cross tomó esta imagen durante su estancia en Colombia como voluntario del programa estadounidense Peace Corps entre los años 1974-1976. Él fue asignado a trabajar para el ahora Ministerio de Cultura y su asignación fue crear un record fotográfico de los restos arqueológicos de Colombia.
Color slides
35 mm
Magdalena River Valley (Colombia)
Magdalena River (Colombia)
San Agustín (Huila, Colombia)
Richard Cross Photographs
California State University Northridge. University Library. Special Collections & Archives. Tom & Ethel Bradley Center

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