The permanent exhibits in Bogota’s archeological museum center on pre-Columbian ceramics created and used by the country’s Indigenous peoples. While many museums highlight items owned by royalty and other powerful people, the pieces here are more commonplace: cups and pitchers, musical instruments, small statues, and funeral urns. That so many of these everyday items were well-designed and richly decorated gives some insight into both the skills of the makers and the pride of the owners.
Both English and Spanish language descriptions for the exhibits are projected on the walls. These descriptions note that the ceramics not only serve practical purposes but also express the world views of the cultures where they were made.
A few of the display items are reproduced and available for you to touch. For example, there are what looks like two types of spice grinders or shredders reproduced, one of which has obsidian-like shards embedded in the base so you can share the same tactile experience as the owner.
The museum is housed in an 18th-century colonial-style mansion that has a central courtyard. The home was built for Don Jorge Miguel Lozano de Peralta, who received the title of Marqués de San Jorge in 1787. Several interior walls have restored portions of opulent murals. The museum is located three blocks from the more famous and visited Botero Museum in the Caldalabria district.
Know Before You Go
The museum offers lectures, conferences, and hands-on workshops for creating ceramics. See the Cultural Activity section of the museum website for the schedule.
The museum building includes a coffee shop and a gift shop where you can buy books, t-shirts, and replicas of ancient ceramics.