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Saturday, October 10, 2009

History mystery

It's not easy to get a good understanding of the Guanache people who first settled the Canary Islands.

They are believed to have been blonde-headed, blue-eyed Berbers from Africa. They lived in caves and made pottery using clay from the abundant volcanic material on the island.

That's all we could really figure out from the archaeology museum in Puerto de la Cruz. There are "pyramids" on the islands, but they are shrouded in controversy. The Guimar Pyramids were discovered in 1996 and thought to be of great significance. However, the terraces of rock yielded no artifacts and resemble the agricultural terraces still in use on the island today.

Only one pottery figurine (El Guatimac) was discovered at the site but it was found in a cave, along with bones fragments and potsherds.

However, founders of the museum at the site go to great lengths to try to make an arguments that the islanders were great pyramid builders, like those in other parts of the world. The museum has photo after photo of pyramids from Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Egypt.

Yes, I believe that there was contact between early civilizations, but the assumptions and connections made by the Canarian museum were based on the research of a Norwegian man who recreated full-size reed boats, made like those from antiquity, and sailed across the Atlantic successfully.

He just happened to settle in the Canary Islands toward the end of his life and after talking to people on the island about his theories someone decided to take a pile of rocks and build pyramids and call them ruins.

Now, if someone comes forward with more compelling evidence, I'm willing to entertain the idea, but for now, I remain skeptical.

If you're ever in Tenerife, pay a visit to the Pyramids of Guimar to decide for yourself . . . if you are willing to pay the 10 Euro ($15) entrance fee.

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