The peopling of Tenerife

We are interested in contributing to our knowledge on the peopling of the Canary Islands, a biological and cultural process involving cultural diffusion, adaptation, and innovation. With this aim, we have started to explore las Estacas Cave, located on the coast in Buenavista del Norte, Tenerife. It overlooks the open sea in an aggressive, exposed setting just a few meters from the steep coastline. The cave preserves a stratified deposit possibly dating to around 2000 years ago, possibly recording the earliest human occupation of the island.

Our research at the site involves several lines of work including microcontextual geoarchaeological investigations, sclerochronology and absolute dating. The goal is to obtain detailed information on site formation, the paleoenvironmental context associated with these early Guanche coastal occupations and any clues about the human activities taking place in the cave.  approaching us to the conditions taht the earliest Guanches encountered.  Previous excavations at the site under the direction of ULL Archaeology Professor Bertila Galván yielded a rich material record including obsidian and basalt artifacts, ceramic shards, limpet shells, fish bone, cut-marked goat bone fragments and combustion residues. This evidence points to domestic occupation of the cave.  


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