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The Lost Pyramids of Guimar

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Guanche of Tenerife
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« on: May 29, 2008, 12:03:42 am »

The Guimar complex



Archaeologists still know surprisingly little about the pyramids that form the complex although excavations indicate that there was a community based around them. The complex comprises of six step pyramids, which are aligned to the East, suggesting that they were used to worship the sun. During the solstice, they are reported to line up with the sunset in a distinctive spot on the mountainous horizon.

Terraces and ceremonial pathways lead up to the pyramids from all directions. Pens or enclosures, thought by archaeologists to be used to keep sacrificial goats, are still evident. It should also be said that goats also played a part in the invocation of the Gods without always being sacrificed.

Although the Guanches appear to have believed in one supreme deity, there does seem to have been a reliance on possibly earlier beliefs, as Gods were invoked during times of calamities such as droughts. One of the methods used to ask for rain was to remove the adult goats from their kids and make them fast for three days, the bleating of the hungry young goats were thought to please the gods who would reward the people with the much needed rain.

Interestingly, the Canarian natives are known to have practiced a form of mummification known as ‘mirlado’ although this funerary practice seems to have been restricted to the highest of social classes.

There are undoubtedly parallels between the Mesoamerican cultures and the Canary Island cultures. Artefacts have been found on the islands that are almost identical to ones found in South America. On the neighbouring isle of Gran Canaria, there is a small cave named “Cueva Pintada”. What is interesting about the cave is the unique geometric paintings from the native Guanche. The paintings consist of red, black, and white squares, spirals, and triangles. Their meaning is not clear, some researchers suggest they are symbols of female fertility or the expression of religious beliefs, but they also seem strangely reminiscent of artefacts and colours and designs used in Bolivia at around that time. Tenerife and its surrounding islands were colonised by the Spanish in 1496, causing significant changes to the social, political, religious and cultural life of the aboriginal world. This Spanish colonisation resulted in a new city built over the aboriginal settlement and thus, the "Cueva Pintada" cave was lost for many generations.

Conclusion

Dr Thor Heyerdahl spent his life gathering evidence that seafaring sun-worshippers crossed the oceans in prehistoric times. The pyramids of Guimar are probably one of the biggest indicators we have so far found that he was correct.

Dr Heyerdahl was an ardent exponent of the diffusionist school of cultural anthropology, which holds that cultural similarities between geographically separated societies (such as the building of step pyramids that are aligned to the sun), are not necessarily spontaneous coincidence but are sometimes the result of actual contacts in antiquity. After a lifetime of research, he commented:

"I have proved that all the ancient pre-European civilizations could have intercommunicated across oceans with the primitive vessels they had at their disposal. I feel that the burden of proof now rests with those who claim the oceans were necessarily a factor in isolating civilizations”

The pyramids of Guimar seem to echo that sentiment and place the ball once more firmly in the court of conventional archaeology.

Related link:

There are over 70 photographs of the pyramid complex of Guimar in our Gallery. Check them out, by clicking here.


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