Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Sogamoso Valley

Author(s): Sebastian Fajardo Bernal

Year: 2016


The results from a settlement pattern study covering 123 square kilometers in the Sogamoso Valley in the northern part of the Muisca area are presented. The survey revealed that sedentary occupation there began during the Herrera period (400 BC-800 AD) and consisted only of a few small hamlets and some scattered farmsteads. After 800 AD population increased dramatically, reaching a few thousand inhabitants organized in several local communities within the survey area. The largest of these local communities was centered on the settlement at Sogamoso where the major Temple of the Sun described in sixteenth century documents was located, although the total population of this community numbered less than 1,000. After 1200 AD, regional population diminished. The inhabitants of the valley avoided locations prone to flooding, but there is no indication of major construction efforts to increase production and no sign that chiefs gained wealth through agricultural or other economic activities.

Cite this Record

Prehispanic Settlement Patterns of the Sogamoso Valley. Sebastian Fajardo Bernal. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403264)


Geographic Keywords
South America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -93.691; min lat: -56.945 ; max long: -31.113; max lat: 18.48 ;