GUAYABO NATIONAL MONUMENT
It is located in the foothills of Turrialba Volcano, 19km northeast of the city of the same name, in the province of Cartago. It was established by the Law No. 161, of August 29, 1973. Its area is 217.9 hectares. It is one of the most important and archaeological larger areas that has been discover in the country. Protect archaeological structures such as causeways, mounds, bridges, water storage tanks and pipelines among others. It also protects high evergreen forest patches, typical of the montane rainforest. Costa Rica, by its position and geographical conformation, played an important role as an area of contact between pre-columbian cultures.
Archaelogist have demonstrated that Costa Rica was influenced by both the North and South America. Guayabo National Monument belongs to the intermediate area, which stretches from the province of Alajuela in Costa Rica to Colombia, Venezuela and a part of Ecuador. Research has shown that this archaeological site was occupied from 1.000 BC to 1.400 DC. The archaeological area has about 15 to 20 hectares, of which only a fraction has been excavated. Here we can find archaeological features such as hills, stairs, walkways, open and closed aqueducts, water storage tanks, tombs, petroglyphs, monoliths and sculptures, which reveal a highly developed civil engineering, architecture and urbanism.
The mounds are stone foundations, usually circular in the base and of different sizes. They are found from 0.50 to 4.5 meters tall, with diameter of 10 to 30 meters. The walkways are composed of a set of roads of Stone used as transit roads and as part of the drainage system. There are some walkways that extend in different directions to the excavated area, several kilometers in length.
The steps or stairs are Stone structures to overcome unevenness. The aqueducts are closed or open to convey water to the desired locations. Storage tanks are formed by Stone structures in rectangular shape, which served to store the water bought by aqueducts. The tombs are located in various sectors of the archaeological site. Were constructed with boulders and slabs, are called tombs of drawer. It is important to mention that the graves discovered so far in the National Monument Guayabo were plundered by looters in the past.
In artistic terms, petroglyphs or stone carvings are the most abundant. They are located throughout the area and archaeological features have still to be deciphered. Another manifestation is the monolith engraved with the figure of two animals very characteristic of Costa Rica, the jaguar and the lizard.
For all these discoveries, archaeologists infer that this pre-Columbian city was inhabited by people specialized in different fields, led by a chief, who exercised political and religious power over a large region. The causes of the abandonment of the city or extermination of the indigenous group before the Spanish conquest are not known. Among the hypotheses mentioned diseases and war.
The vegetation surrounding the archaeological area is characteristic of the montane rain forest, dense and evergreen foliage. Abundant forest species such as caragra, magnolia, cantarillo, fig, quizarrá, burío blanco and cedro maría, cover by a large number of epiphytes such as bromeliads and orchids.Among the fauna highlights birds such as toucans, orioles, trogones, woodpeckers, cuco ardilla,thrushes and chachalacas; mammals such as armadillos, rabbits, coyotes, perezosos, tolomucos, martillas, squirrels and pizotes. Also are common the snakes, frogs, lizzards and butterflies.
Park facilities and hours
There no public facilities at this biological reserve.
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