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New great pre-Hispanic mystery of Tenerife: Christian cross discovered at Guanche site

Landscape in Buenavista del Norte. Image: Paweł 'pbm' Szubert [CC BY-SA 3.0]

New great pre-Hispanic mystery of Tenerife: a colossal megalith for fecundity rituals and solar calendar. The research of Gustavo Sánchez Romero, Santiago López Arencibia and Emilio Rivero, has resulted in the discovery of what could be considered as a large Guanche meeting place.

A new great pre-Hispanic mystery has emerged in Tenerife. Researchers from the Canary Islands have found, in the municipality of Buenavista del Norte, a Christian cross engraved in a megalith that suggests knowledge of Christianity by the ancient Canarian inhabitants. The cross, inscribed in the rock, perfectly identified as such oriented to the sun, is located in a space where the inhabitants before the Conquest paid respect to fertility and the observation of the stars.

The research of Gustavo Sánchez Romero, Santiago López Arencibia and Emilio Rivero, gives detail of an archaeological puzzle for specialists and a powerful magnet for independent researchers. The Guanches could work colossal stone structures. It has resulted in the discovery of what could be considered a great Guanche meeting centre, "of cult, associated with rituals of fertility and solar markers." The discovery has been published by the prestigious Austrian Center Institutum Canarium in Vienna, a scientific society dedicated to the interdisciplinary research of the Canary Islands and Mediterranean cultures for more than 50 years.

As published by Yaiza Santana in a report for ABC, Romero, López and Rivero argue that "the space is composed of two large independent rock formations, in the middle of the Laurisilva (laurel forest)". And they add that both stone cliffs, several meters high, "stand out as two stony islands" in the midst of the greenery of a "prehistoric area of ​​more than 20 million years old", experts say. In particular, they have investigated an "enormous rock shaped like a dog's head that, defiantly, looks into the abyss". The area is called precisely the Risco del Perro (Dog's Crag), though camouflaged among the greenery of the area over the years, you can see that the stone is worked in the form of a dog skull.

The stone is 3.5 meters long and 1.6 meters high, "has a carved eye, and presents the typical profile of the canine, high skull and pointed nose". The back exposes a "bowl carved in the stone, with a well differentiated concavity".

The researchers allude to the presence of "the figure of the dog in Guanche society, an animal associated with burials, since there are several mummified heads". "The dog is a key element in every pastoral society, besides being used for meat by some Guanches, probably in times of scarcity."

Resistance against the Europeans

In the area where this has been detected there are "several well-finished steps, cut squarely into the wall of rock that makes up this first formation," the researchers point out. It would be for access. It contains "channels cut in the stone, approximately six of more than one meter in length, used for the pouring of liquids, associated with rudimentary bowls, more than four of different depths and sizes". "This set would represent a kind of outdoor altar located in tall rocks, the almogarenes, sacred places of meeting to celebrate ceremonies related to fertility," they theorize.

The enigma of the cross

That's where there is a Latin Christian cross engraved on the stone, 40 centimeters by 30 centimeters. This cross is oriented at 64 ° and coincides with the sunrise on the summer solstice. According to the experts, "these crosses are found in important areas for the Guanches, places of power, worship or meeting, as also present in Teno Alto, Buenavista del Norte, relatively close to the area studied." In the areas of Daute and Icod, the Guanches were entrenched until 1517, when the Conquest ended in 1496, according to official data.

Worship of the sun and livestock

In the steep area where there is the large dog's head there is a perfect space for contemplation. "We are facing a kind of observatory or solar window whose purpose would be to register, in a precise manner, the departure of the star king, Magec for the Guanches, on such a marked date. Now it should be noted that on June 21, summer solstice, when the Guanche year began, the males were released so that they would breed goats and culminate the harvest."

They explain that in the Beñesmen, central summer day (August 7) the goats were pregnant, "so it was a ritual feast where the cycle of life began," and "the winter solstice, December 21, marked the central day of the Guanche year, coinciding with the birth of baifos (goat kids) and the formation of the new flocks, a key element in the economy, and, therefore, in the survival of the Guanche people ".

Encuentran una cruz cristiana en un yacimiento de culto guanche en Canarias [via]

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