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Archaeology & History

El Dorado - was it a place or a person ?

By T.K. Randall
January 16, 2013 · Comment icon 24 comments

Image Credit: CC 1.0 Andrew Bertram
The fabled lost city of gold lured conquistadors on futile treks through the rainforest for centuries.
The myth of a lost city arose following Columbus' discovery of the Americas in 1492 and prompted several expeditions over the next few centuries aimed at locating its whereabouts and claiming its treasures. To this day however no such city has ever been found, but was there ever really a city made of gold to find in the first place ?

Researchers now believe that El Dorado was not a place at all but a person, a ruler who was so rich he'd cover himself in gold every morning and wash it off at night. The story stemmed from a succession ritual of the Muisca peoples who lived in Central Colombia from 800 AD to the present day. The concept of a lost city, it seems, was nothing more than the product of a combination of myth and the unquenchable thirst for gold of early European conquerors.[!gad]The myth of a lost city arose following Columbus' discovery of the Americas in 1492 and prompted several expeditions over the next few centuries aimed at locating its whereabouts and claiming its treasures. To this day however no such city has ever been found, but was there ever really a city made of gold to find in the first place ?

Researchers now believe that El Dorado was not a place at all but a person, a ruler who was so rich he'd cover himself in gold every morning and wash it off at night. The story stemmed from a succession ritual of the Muisca peoples who lived in Central Colombia from 800 AD to the present day. The concept of a lost city, it seems, was nothing more than the product of a combination of myth and the unquenchable thirst for gold of early European conquerors.
The dream of El Dorado, a lost city of gold, led many a conquistador on a fruitless trek into the rainforests and mountains of South America. But it was all wishful thinking. The "golden one" was actually not a place but a person - as recent archaeological research confirms.


Source: BBC News | Comments (24)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #15 Posted by burt_ie 11 years ago
Abramelin, I was just about to post the same thing as you above. I remember seeing the story about the tribes people covering themselves with gold dust and entering a lake. It was even on a kids TV show back in the early 80's which just happend to be called "The Mysterious Cities of Gold" (fantastic show and I highly recomend it).
Comment icon #16 Posted by nothinglizx2 11 years ago
So are you equating them to the egyptians? They did the same thing to be in likeness to their gods.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Abramelin 11 years ago
So are you equating them to the egyptians? They did the same thing to be in likeness to their gods. Did the Egyptians cover themselves in gold dust, you mean? Never heard of it. The Muisca/Tairona did it for a very different reason, btw.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Abramelin 11 years ago
Abramelin, I was just about to post the same thing as you above. I remember seeing the story about the tribes people covering themselves with gold dust and entering a lake. It was even on a kids TV show back in the early 80's which just happend to be called "The Mysterious Cities of Gold" (fantastic show and I highly recomend it). Lol, that kids TV show, was it "Blue Peter" (BBC) ?? I remember that I first learned of the Yonaguni structure in 1985 or 1986 from that same show.
Comment icon #19 Posted by King Cobra 1408 11 years ago
or maybe there is a lost city of gold but they just don't know where to find it.anyway columbus did not discover america you can't discover something where someone lives at already.and besides i know how he got there in the americas.truth is he got losy no lie.anyway whether it was a ruler with lots of gold or city its still worth looking for i always say.i called it rediscovering it lol
Comment icon #20 Posted by DKO 11 years ago
Definitely a person. I've spoken to him on here before. Nice guy. All jokes* aside, great article. *Lame Joke.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Abramelin 11 years ago
So now we're going to use Hollywood movies as source of information? And, btw, the Akakor/Tatunca Nara thing was one big hoax: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?app=blog&module=display&section=blog&blogid=2684&showentry=23178#commentsStart .
Comment icon #22 Posted by Abramelin 11 years ago
You won't have to write 'tons of info', it is a wellknown fact that the Akakor/Tatunca Nara story was an elaborate hoax. = Steven Spielberg messed up things for his movies? What's new, eh? This guy wanted to create a movie, not a documentary. People who like his movies want to be entertained, not informed. I am quite certain Spielberg wasn't "well informed", he only used spectacular accounts to fabricate the plot for his movie. If he was 'well informed' he wouldn't have made the "Crystal Skulls" movie, for it has been proven these crystal skulls are modern German creations. Spielberg doesn't c... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by Abramelin 11 years ago
Jesus, I have been responding to someone who has already been banned, including his posts, and now my posts hang in mid-air. .
Comment icon #24 Posted by Eldorado 11 years ago
I'm not that hard to find. . You might not like what you get though, cos it deffo won't be gold.


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