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British Museum opens Beyond El Dorado power and gold in ancient Colombia

The British Museum presents Beyond El Dorado power and gold in ancient Colombia an exhibition organised with Museo del Oro on view 17 October 2013 – 23 March 2014.

The exhibition features over 200 fascinating objects from Museo del Oro, Bogotá, and around 100 from the British Museum’s collection. They show technologically advanced and sophisticated goldworking techniques, including the use of an alloy composed of gold and copper, and the use of textiles, feathers, stones and ceramics. These beautiful and detailed works display a level of complex craftsmanship that perfectly marries art and skill, and show the differences in techniques and designs across the region.

With a focus on the craftsmanship of peoples we know as the Muisca, Quimbaya, Calima and Tairona, the exhibition presents the complex network of societies in ancient Colombia – a hidden world of distinct and vibrant cultures. The remarkable objects reveal glimpses of these cultures’ spiritual lives, including rituals of hallucinogenic transformation, engagement with animal spirits and objects animated through music, dancing and sunlight.