The oldest part of Puntallana

April 5, 2018

Puntallana originally grew around the spring of St John the Baptist (San Juan). Today,the spring is still there, but it’s nobody’s drinking water (which is a good thing, seeing as the water’s green.) Still, it’s a peaceful spot to visit, and they still hold a yearly procession where they take the statue of the village’s patron saint, St John the Baptist, to the spring to give thanks for the water….

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Archaeology at the Roque de los Muchachos

A spiral rock carving, Roque de los Muchachos, Garafia, La Palma
April 17, 2017

For centuries, goatherds have brought their flocks to the Roque de los Muchachos, the highest point on the island of La Palma. As the lower pastures dried out in summer, they moved to fresh pastures on higher ground. These days, farmers can drive home for the night, but of course that wasn’t the case 50 years ago, much less 500 years ago. They came up some time in June, and…

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Belmaco Cave, the Royal Palace in Mazo

October 16, 2016

  Before the Spanish invasion, Belmaco Cave was the home of the kings of Mazo. The first rock carvings were found in the 18th century, which was the start of archaeology in the Canary Islands. Today, it’s open to the public. The entrance is on the other side of the road. A little farther inside, there’s a small, two-story building housing various artefacts, like shell spoons and bone punches, and…

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Summer Solstice at El Verde

This evening will be the solstice, when the sun appears at its farthest north in the sky. For the northern hemisphere, it’s the longest day of the year. (And for the southern hemisphere, it’s the longest night of the year.) La Palma has several archaeological sites which mark the solstice. One of the easiest to get to is El Verde in El Paso. Park beside the cemetery and follow the…

June 20, 2016
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Where did the benahorita come from?

Benahoara ceramic in the museum in Los Llanos, La Palma
April 22, 2016

The people who lived on La Palma before the Spanish arrived in 1493 called the island Benahoare, and themselves Benahorita. (Or according to some people Benawara and Benawaritas. They insist their spelling is correct. I find this odd, because to me the correct spelling would be the one the people themselves used, only they didn’t write.) The Benahorita probably arrived on La Palma somewhere between 1000 BC and 100 BC,…

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Belmaco Cave, the Royal Palace in Mazo

  Before the Spanish invasion, Belmaco Cave was the home of the kings of Mazo. The first rock carvings were found in the 18th century, which was the start of archaeology in the Canary Islands. Today, it’s open to the public. The entrance where you pay (€1.50 for a resident adult) is also a handicraft shop. A little farther inside, there’s a small, two-story building housing various artefacts, like shell…

April 11, 2011
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