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Cuatro Puertas and Nearby Sites "Beyond the Beaches of Gran Canaria"
October 29, 1999

[image]Los Pilares (The Pillars) is a group of caves on the opposite side of Bermeja Mountain from Cuatro Puertas. The name comes from the pillars of volcanic rock which support the cave ceiling. Inside, the caves are linked by tunnels and stairs. Outside, they are linked by a passage damaged by small landslides. Until recently, these caves were used for livestock. On the walls are engravings of triangles; these are most likely modern.
   Los Pilares was used in the 1950s as the setting of the film Tirma (by Italian directors Paolo Moffa and Carlos Serrano de Osma). Unfortunately, the site was noticeably modified, with fake rock paintings and chalk lines in the original engravings left behind. The caves have also been defaced by graffiti and are threatened by erosion.

Right: Graffiti now defaces the walls of some Los Pilares' caves.

[image]Right: A tunnel connecting cave groups

   These caves were probably residential. Legend has it that this was a "convent," where young girls stayed until marriage. Los Pilares has more area than granary-type caves, and so is a likelier prospect as a "convent" than Cenobio de Valerón and other sites where this designation has been suggested.

Left: View out to ocean from the Cave of Pillars


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© 1999 by the Archaeological Institute of America