Pre-Hispanic Burial Cave Bones Found In Canary Islands

These images show the pre-Hispanic burial cave packed with the bones of around 80 people which has been found in the Canary islands by an amateur archaeology group.

The archaeological discovery took place on a crag on the island of Gran Canaria in the Spanish Canary Islands next to the coast of Sahara in the southwest of the island.

The cave was found by amateur archaeology group El Legado, formed of Ayose Himar Gonzalez, Jonay Garcia and Jesus Diaz who are keen on exploring the archaeological sites on the island.

Credit: CEN/@El_Legado_
The cave with the archaeological findings

Ayose Himar Gonzalez told Central European News (CEN): “We were flying a drone and we took some pictures of the cave. It is in a very difficult place to access and you would need to climb the cliff to reach the site. People thought the photos were fake because of all the bones.”

The archaeology enthusiast told CEN that they discovered the cave at the end of June but they decided to report the finding to local authorities later as they were afraid the site might be vandalised or looted.

“The cave should be preserved and closed leaving the bones there to respect the site. We decided to report it because we want local authorities to preserve it but also respect it.”

The local government in Gran Canaria have hired the local archaeology company Tibicena to asses the cave and create a report about the potential of the site to be excavated.

Credit: CEN/@El_Legado_
The cave with the archaeological findings

The Head Archaeologist of Tibicena, Marco Moreno, confirmed to CEN that there are bones all over the cave of around 70 and 80 corpses that belonged to the indigenous inhabitants of the islands known as ‘Guanches’.

These aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands are believed to have migrated to the archipelago around 1,000 BC and lived there until they were ethnically and culturally absorbed by Spanish settlers. Spain colonised the islands between 1402 and 1496.

Moreno told CEN: “We need to asses the cave thoroughly but it has a lot of potential to be excavated. There are around 1,000 archaeological sites on the island of Gran Canaria and we need to focus on those with the biggest potential for investigations. We do not have enough resources for all of them.

“It also seems like part of the cave roof has fallen and the bones are exposed to the sun, but thanks to its difficult access the site does not seem to have been looted.”

Credit: CEN/@El_Legado_
The cave with the archaeological findings

Some material which may have belonged to the shrouds used in the burials have also been found at the site, according to the archaeologist.

Moreno told CEN: “We need to determine the age of the findings and then come up with an excavation proposal.”

According to the Heritage Commissioner of the Gran Canaria Government Javier Velazco, the local government will decide whether to go ahead with excavations before the end of this year once they have the report from the archaeologists.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Jonathan MaciasSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

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