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The oldest pottery discovered in the Americas, found at San Jacinto, dates to 5000–4000 BCE.Indigenous people inhabited the territory that is now Colombia by 12,500 BCE.At Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period (~8000–2000 BCE) have been found.

When Venezuela, Ecuador and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, the former Department of Cundinamarca adopted the name "Republic of New Granada".New Granada officially changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation.The Spanish set foot on Colombian soil for the first time in 1499 and in the first half of the 16th century initiated a period of conquest and colonization, ultimately creating the New Kingdom of Granada, with as capital Santafé de Bogotá.Independence from Spain was acquired in 1819, but by 1830 the "Gran Colombia" Federation was dissolved.Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes at the El Abra, Tibitó and Tequendama sites near present-day Bogotá traded with one another and with other cultures from the Magdalena River Valley.

Between 50 BCE, hunter-gatherer tribes transitioned to agrarian societies; fixed settlements were established, and pottery appeared.

The oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 kilometres (62 mi) southwest of Bogotá.

These sites date from the Paleoindian period (18,000–8000 BCE).

is a sovereign state largely situated in the northwest of South America, with territories in Central America.

Colombia shares a border to the northwest with Panama, to the east with Venezuela and Brazil and to the south with Ecuador and Peru.

They farmed maize, potato, quinoa and cotton, and traded gold, emeralds, blankets, ceramic handicrafts, coca and especially rock salt with neighboring nations.