An 8th to 10th century grave containing 72 pre-Hispanic ‘Guanche’ natives has been discovered on Gran Canaria. In June last year an amateur archaeologist from the group ‘El Legado’ flew a drone over the Valley of Guayadequeon on the island of Gran Canaria, part of the Spanish Canary Islands, and identified the ancient sacred site. But the team of researchers only recently told authorities of the “cave-tomb” fearing it might be looted or vandalized.
Unearthing Adult and Newborn Guanche Mummies
The Guanches were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands and in 2017 the first genome-wide data project confirmed they were of North African origin – descended from the Berbers of Libya. These hunter-gatherers migrated to the archipelago around 1,000 BC and lived in caves and huts with a rudimentary knowledge of farming. Similarly to ancient Egyptians, their rituals led them to embalm and mummify their members of higher social standing, who were left in caves, while lower classes of people were buried in the ground.
The amateur archaeologists identified a unique site that archaeologists found contained the mummified ancient remains of 72 pre-Hispanic ‘Guanche’ natives – comprising 62 adults and 10 newborns – dated to the 15th century AD.