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El Dorado – was it a place or a person ?

El Dorado - was it a place or a person ? 1

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.

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.

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