Nearly as old as the Monte Verde site in southern Chile and equally old as the Taima Taima and related sites in Venezuela are a series of sites, El Abra-Tocancipá high in the Andes mostly northeast of Bogotá. Just as the Monte Verde culture sailed counter clockwise around South America from Chile around the Cape of Magellan past Brazil and the Amazon to Venezuela, they continued on to the Caribbean coast of Colombia, went up the Magdalena River, and then by foot arrived to the altiplano. Comparing the proto-Ch'orti' language of Monte Verde with the place names of the Colombian sites confirms that these were the same people.
Earlier I confirmed that the Monte Verde people arrived by sea from Asia to southern Chile and that they lived in a broad area that included Bariloche, Argentina. They circumnavigated South America, with a group settling in Venezuela. Later, in about 9,000 or 8,500 BCE one group of these proto-Ch'orti' speakers would travel to El Salvador and then settle in the islands of the Gulf of Fonseca, the beginning of the Maya and Lenca identity. (español)
The Colombian sites are all located on the Andean altiplano with most about 50 kilometers northeast and one site about 25 kilometers west of Bogota. The Abra site near Tibitó is a series of caves and rock shelters at an altitude of 2,570 meters. The first settlement has been dated to 12,400 BCE, within a few hundred years of Monte Verde. Bone fragments come from mastadons, the American horse, and deer. Perhaps it was in pursuit of the horse that the early MonteVerdeans arrived to Tibitó. The horse became extinct in the Americas by 6,000 BCE, if not earlier. By the way, the horse is originally an American animal and made it to Asia, it is speculated, by crossing the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age. Another cave near Tocanpicá has tools that date to 11,000 BCE.
To the south, a site near Tequendama, near the Bogotá suburb of Soacha, also has tools from the same time period. Many of these were brought from the Magdalena River valley, 50 kilometers west. This shows additional proof for a close relationship with the Magdalena River.
Like the sites of Monte Verde, Bariloche, and Taima Taima, many of the place names surrounding these sites are from a proto-Ch'orti' language, demonstrating that it was all the same people in the various South America sites and that the Ch'orti' Maya language is the closest relative of the base language of all the South American indigenous languages. It also means that Ch'orti', the language closest to the holy language used at the classic era Mayan sites, is the closest relative of the language spoken in Asian by the people who crossed the Pacific. Let's look at the meanings of the place names in Ch'orti':
Tibitó - A contemporary village and site of an ancient rock shelter about 50 kilometers north of Bogotá and 70 kilometers east of the Magdalena River valley
Ti: in, on, within
Bitor: any kind of rounded crest
Or "within a rounded crest" which likely describes the rock shelter. The 'or' at the end was replaced by 'ó'. This is the only occurence of Tibitó.
Cajica - A contemporary village near the Tibitó site, with a very old name.
Ik'ar: wind, breeze
Or "remembering wind", perhaps a breeze that reminded the settlers of Taima Taima or Monte Verde. This is the only occurence of Cajica.
Tocancipá - A contemporary small city near the Tibitó site.
Tok' - Breaking off, chipping, flint stone
K'an - need, desire
Sihb(p) - increase, swelling
Pa' - food
Not such a clear meaning, but could mean, "Chipping stone tools for need to increase food." This is a more abstract meaning than typical. Another possible mearning using different cognates is "breaking yellow sticks". This is the only occurence of Tocancipá.
Siria - A village just northeast of Tocancipá.
Sir - raising or lifting
Siri - lift up
Ah - one who
"One who is lifted up" or "anointed". There are five occurences of Siria in Latin America, three of which in Colombia. While some may be a modern reference to the country of Syria, it is more likely that all are based on this Ch'orti' word reserved for special people, those who are enlightened, those who discovered agriculture, etc.
Tequendama - A rock shelter and waterfall 25 kilometers west of Bogotá with tools dating back to about 11,000 BCE.
Ta - (locative)
Ker - separating
Tama - in, within, at
Or "separating to the interior". This likely signifies a new community distant from the previous base settlements. Tequendama is about 40 kilometers southwest of the earlier sites of El Abra and Tibitó. There are five occurences of Tequendama in Colombia and nowhere else in the world and each could signify a new settlement distant from previous settlements. One alternative meaning for Tequendama is base on the syllable quen, the only other Ch'orti' word similar is kene', which means banana. There is a slight chance this name refers to a plant or fruit, where the name was later used for bananas when they were introduced to Central America.
Soacha - A city, suburb of Bogotá, close to the site of Tequendama.
Sohi - bend, curve
Ch'a' - horizontal, lying down
Cha' - two, second
"Horizontal curve" or "two curves/bends". Soacha is not an exact match so it is possible it is not proto-Ch'orti' in origin. This is the only occurence of Soacha.
Chusacá - A contemporary village close to Tequendama and Soacha.
Ch'u - anything hanging, hanging fruit
Chu' - breast, milk, milky sap
Saka - white seed
"Hanging white seed" or "Sappy white seed". These are consistent meanings. This could refer to the pitaya, pitahaya, chirimoya, or platonia. There were several white fruits in northern South America. This is the only occurence of Chusacá, but there is a Chusacay in Peru.
While other early settlements of the First Peoples are all coastal, the Colombian ones are in the interior. How did they get there? The common wisdom among anthropologists and archeologists is that they walked overland from the north across the Darien Strait from Central America. However, there are no other settlements for thousands of miles to the north from the same time period, placing this assumption in doubt.
I think that the arrival to the Abra Valley of Colombia was primarily by ocean, just like Taima-Taima in Venezuela. The Magdalena River (right) is key. It is navigable for hundreds of kilometers starting at Barranquilla on the Caribbean coast to the high altiplano in the south of the country. It is easily navigable to Honda, directly west of the Abra Valley. The first inhabitants traveled counterclockwise around South America, whether originating from Monte Verde or from Taima-Taima is not clear. They may have reached the Darien Strait and then turned backed to the first major river and went upstream. Likely from Honda they left the boats and climbed up straight east to the altiplano, settling in the desirable Abra Valley.
Like Taima-Taima and Monte Verde, the first peoples of Colombia spoke an archaic form of Ch'orti' Maya, based on the place names. Today many Macro-Carib speakers live in the altiplano, with some neighboring Chibchan speakers. The Chibchan arrived at a later time from Central America. It is clear that they were formed at about the same time as the Maya and Lenca in the Gulf of Fonseca. It is most likely that the Abra Valley is the source of the Macro-Carib languages. Earlier I had speculated that El Jobo, Venezuela, might be the source, but the Abra Valley seems much more likely.