Following our favourite cliché of „continent in miniature“, today we will try to persuade you, that Gran Canaria have something to offer even for the archeology lovers. To be honest, now we can leave all the modesty apart, because Gran Canaria could be proudly considered a small archaeological paradise. In this article, we will introduce you some of our most known archaeological sites as well as some less known spots that definitely deserve your visit.
CUEVA PINTADA (Painted Cave in Spanish) – a recently discovered cave in the city of Gáldar with painted signs that have been interpreted as the aboriginal calendar, or maybe signs of fertility. The cave is now conserved, air-conditioned and opened for public as a part of a great interactive museum. You can find here also samples of the typical prehispanic houses, ceramics and other objects found during the excavations and you can see 3D videos of aboriginal history. It is probably the most important archaeological site of the island, entrance fee 6€/person. More info here.
CENOBIO DE VALERÓN – system of approximately 300 of caves. There are many theories and interpretations of their function, but most probably they were an aboriginal grainery. Entrance 2-3 euros. More info here.
ROQUE BENTAYGA – Rocky formation in the heart of the island that is believed to be the worshipping place to the Gods of the aboriginal islanders. In the altitude of more than 1400 meters you can observe spectacular views of the island. Free entrance, includes a small museum. More info here.
NECROPOLIS OF ARTEARA – the largest aboriginal necropolis of t he island with more than 800 tombs. It probably used to be also an astronomical observatory. Entrance 2-4 euros. More: http://www.grancanaria.com/patronato_turismo/52134.0.html
NECROPOLIS OF MAIPES – the antient cemetery where the aboriginal people used to burn their dead with more than 700 tombs discovered. Located in the beautiful area of the green valley of Agaete. After the colonization the area was covered by soil to enjoy the fertil area for farming. Includes open air interpretation center. More www.spain-holiday.com/Aga-ete/articles/necropolis-de-maipes-the-buried-treasure-of-agaetes-badlands
BARRANCO DE GUAYADEQUE – impressive valley have been proclaimed a natural protected area with a great density of archaeological sites spread along both slopes of the ravine among which troglodyte habitats abound and all this in a stunning natural scenery. There is an interpretation center with indications about the sites in the area. There is also a small village in the area where people still live in cave-houses, there is a cave-church and a cave-restaurant.
LA FORTALEZA (The Fortress in Spanish) – aboriginal cave city with a small museum. Fortaleza was probably the last place resisting to the hispanic conquerors. After defeating Fortaleza the colonization of Gran Canaria had been finished. More info here.
CAÑADA DE LOS GATOS – an example of a pre-hispanic coastal population more than 1300 years old. It is situated in the ravine of Mogán. With examples of aboriginal stone houses, burial pits, tombs and burial caves. Entrance fee: 2-4€. More info here.
CUATRO PUERTAS – a sacred site presided over by faycanes (highest priests) was called according to the four doors leading to the capacious chamber. There is a small settlement in the proximity. Free entrance, great views. Area of Telde. More info here.
CUEVAS DE CABALLERO – Group of seven caves with spectacular views over the Tejeda ravine. For the female pubis signs associated with the fertility rites the place is believed to be a ceremonial site of religious significance and probably also associated with the practice of witchcraft.
THE SETTLEMENT OF BERBIQUE: When you will be descending the slopes of the valley of Agaete, suddenly a complex of approximately 30 caves will appear in front of you. Some of them are accessible. One of them in the basement is called “The cave of bones” that served for funeral purposes and many carbonized bones and funeral objects have been found inside. The complex had its own grainery for the cereals produced in the flat areas below the caves. The settlement had a perfect location with good views for their protection, proximity of wooden resources and water and the good climate of the valley.