The little town of Galdar, on the north coast of Gran Canaria Island, is a traditional Canarian town, with a busy market and shopping promenade, town square, and central church. Just steps from the main square is one of the most significant archaeological sites on Gran Canaria Island – Cueva Pintada de Gáldar – or the Painted Cave of Galdar.
The site is huge – covering several city blocks – and took over 18 years to excavate. After the excavation was complete it was converted into a museum.
The cave sits in the center of the site that contains the better part of a Gauche village. The Gauches are the pre-Hispanic people of the Canary Islands, and thought to have come from Northern Africa. On Gran Canaria, it is thought that they numbered around 40,000 before the Spanish arrived.
Around half of the site were the homes – a central area and two sleeping areas off to either side:
The Painted Cave was a little below the main homes, and was thought to be a ceremonial cave. We weren’t allowed to take photos in the cave – it was sealed off behind glass to protect the pigments, but you can see a photo on this site.
The entire site was amazing, with cat walks and elevators and a small museum.
The only part that was a little strange was that someone decided to “recreate” four of the structures in the center of the dig (see behind the blue pole).