The ash fall from the volcano endangers an aboriginal town of archaeological interest in La Palma


For this reason, the cabins of the Barranco de las Ovejas are being digitally documented in a preventive way since, as explained by the autonomous area of ​​Culture in a statement, the Government of the Canary Islands and the Cabildo de La Palma after analyzing the assets that could be affected by the ash from the volcano on La Palma.

The specialized company Tibicena. Archeology and Heritage has offered to carry out, altruistically, a photogrammetric survey and 3D modeling of the entire archaeological and ethnographic complex for this purpose.

The town of cabins in Barranco de las Ovejas is one of the most interesting settlements on La Palma, not only because of the number of buildings that still stand, but also because it was inhabited from Aboriginal times until the beginning of the 20th century.

The fern root cellar in this area of ​​the pine forest was very common to make gofio or flour, so the specialized personnel believe that these cabins were occupied for this purpose.

For several years the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, the Ministry of Culture and Historical Heritage and the City Council of El Paso have carried out different actions to value this enclave such as cleaning the vegetation and the pinillo, the delimitation of the complex , the placement of several explanatory panels and the realization of several stratigraphic soundings.

According to María Antonia Perera, general director of Cultural Heritage, her area “had among its objectives to work on this site to make it accessible to visitors, but we have had to delay it due to the incidence of the volcano,” she says.

However, the important thing “now is to focus on guaranteeing its conservation with this digital reproduction” since it is very close to the volcano, he explains.

The town of Barranco de las Ovejas, an archaeological-ethnographic park

The inspector of Historical Heritage of the Island Council, Jorge Pais, considers that this enclave “has sufficient values ​​to be an archaeological-ethnographic park” but until then it is necessary to carry out a “preventive documentation of the entire set so that we have information detailed not only of the town but of each one of the structures “.

At the beginning of the eruption, Tibicena. Archeology and Heritage offered its free services to the Government of the Canary Islands to carry out any task that could be entrusted to them in these exceptional circumstances on La Palma.

With this performance, a 360-degree still photo is created in an extension regardless of the volcanic situation, that is, “a memory of what this space is like,” says the director, Marco Moreno.

“We can monitor the deposit, if it is degraded by the ash, that image will allow us to have a starting point to rebuild the whole if necessary,” he said.

Two weeks ago, both public administrations coordinated the transfer of the movable property of the Church of San Nicolás de Bari due to the proximity of the volcano to this area of ​​Las Manchas.

In a complementary way, a 3D survey of the hermitage and its altarpiece was also carried out, in fact “the most correct way of transferring it if the circumstances worsen has been studied,” Perera emphasizes.

Against this background, the regional and insular inspection maintain direct and close contact for future urgent interventions.

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