Professor Luis Alberto Ortega came across the three drawings during a field trip with 85 of his students, an hour and a half from the department’s capital, Pasto.
According to initial investigations, the carvings, known as petroglyphs, display the characteristics typical of drawings created by the indigenous Pasto people, including carved circles signifying the cosmos, life and balance with nature.
“In its peak the culture … was comparable to that of the Quillacingas, the Incas, the Mayans and the Aztecs,” said Ortega, who has dedicated 20 years to teaching history.
Discovering the petroglyphs was not easy, explained the teacher, who searched through crops, weeds and bushes to uncover the 400-year-old markings.
Ortega voiced concerns that the ruins may have been damaged by inhabitants of the surrounding rural area, explaining that already one stone featuring a petroglyph had been destroyed by locals expecting to find treasure hidden inside.
The professor went on to say that excavators would begin to look for more indications of historic indigenous culture in the area.
“I sense that there are more entries, the investigation has only just begun.”