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Gáldar "Beyond the Beaches of Gran Canaria"
October 29, 1999

Other caves at the site were being excavated in 1998 when I visited. The Gáldar project, now finished, was directed by the late Celso Martin de Guzmán and Jorge Onrubia Pintado.


Excavation of cave houses at Gáldar. Left, note the cross-shaped form of the cave rooms. Above, a carved depression inside one of the caves, probably made for storage

The caves inhabited on Gran Canaria were not all natural formations. At Gáldar, the ancient Canarians dug into soft rock to create a number of rooms in the shape of a cross, a layout found in many of the caves and houses throughout the island. Holes were made in the floors and walls of the caves' rooms to form furniture and other features needed by the families that lived in them. These included beds, hearths, and storage facilities. Living in caves at sites like Gáldar provided islanders with homes that were cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

It is projected that Cueva Pintada and the other caves at Gáldar will be opened in 2001, once restoration work is finished. The construction of a museum at the site is also envisioned to display the artifacts found during excavation.

GáldarBack to MapEl Agujero/La Guancha

© 1999 by the Archaeological Institute of America