Three levels of repurposed domestic space

Three levels of repurposed domestic space

The summer archaeological research works culminate in the
archaeological site of Cueva Pintada, a center managed by the Ministry of Culture of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, with interesting advances for the knowledge of the well-known pre-Hispanic town. During the two weeks of field work last July, the archaeological research team has been able to identify, in the so-called
Structure 12the remains of at least three floors that account for various moments of use and abandonment of this domestic space during the 16th century.

According to the material evidence, the first reports of the campaign, in which the universities of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and La Laguna have participated, the archeology company Prored and specialist personnel from the Gáldar Museum and Archaeological Park itself, reveal that on
The volcanic tuff gradually formed different surfaces, using soil, pottery remains and stone industry.

In addition, during this time of reuse of the house, the works have discovered that the space was
continuously restructured.

two years without archaeological interventions in the town of Cueva Pintada, the traditional summer field research at the site has finally returned this July in two structures:
the 53 and the 12.

different levels

The performances have been completed with the
photogrammetric documentation of some areas excavated during the last campaign, carried out in 2019, and in the progress in the resolution of historical problems, as is the case of the location of the different levels of occupation of structure 12.

Detail of the work carried out in the Galician deposit. /


More than half of the remains of ceramic objects found in structure 12 comprise fragments of
imported pottery, made on a wheel. the remains of parts
made by hand, of indigenous invoice, they represent approximately a fourth part of the total.

Finally, a series of pieces identified as
'of Transition'. They are few in number, although they are of great interest to the research team due to the possibilities of studying the production of local ceramics after the conquest.

Structure 53 is a
complex archaeological site while enriching. This is due to the evidence in it of different times of occupation.

In the first place, the successive investigations have identified a troglodyte phase, with the holes of several silos, probably used for the storage of food and various belongings. It is a moment that would correspond to the
first phase of occupation of the town (7th and 8th centuries).

Second, this area previously excavated in the rock was reused in a
second phase of indigenous occupation. And finally, this structure was reused in a third
colonial phaseas evidenced by the numerous materials of Hispano-Canarian origin collected in the excavations.


Among the most outstanding findings of the campaign is the appearance of
a coin, preliminarily identified as a white rhombus of Enrique IV of Castile, and a fragment of pintadera. The faunal remains include a
first subset of domestic animals, as the most numerous. To a lesser extent, remains of malacofauna (limpets and burgaos) have been recovered, as well as ichthyofauna (bone remains of the usual fish species in the site, especially the old one).

Beyond the results of the archaeological investigation, the set of actions has been complemented by the success of the traditional guided visits to the works by the public who requested them.

As confirmed by the director of the museum and archaeological park,
Carmen Gloria Rodriguez«the growing interest of the population around this research program allowed 60 people to approach, in two sessions, the research work and the field and laboratory work».

Since 2015

The traditional excavation campaigns carried out in the month of July were carried out within the framework of an archeology campus that had become
a benchmark for intervention and university training since its inception in 2015.

A moment of the vacuum work. /


However, as the director and curator of Cueva Pintada, Carmen Gloria Rodríguez, explained, “it did not seem opportune to program the campus this year without even having evidence of having left behind all the threats that this virus generates.
The coexistence of the group is intense during the two weeks of this program, which not only excavates, but also includes seminars, visits to other sites on the island and accommodation in the same residence. The fact that we are in a seventh wave seems to confirm the pertinence of a prudent attitude in this sense”, clarifies the person in charge of the site.

To carry out the research actions in two structures, 12 and 53, there has been
the help of NOE project staff (New Employment Opportunities) and the
Scholarships 'Insert', programs promoted by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria and the University Foundation of Las Palmas.

The project is completed by the technical team of Cueva Pintada, headed by the director of the museum, Carmen Gloria Rodríguez,
Jose Ignacio Saenzconservative, and
Patricia Prietorestaurateur, in addition to
Jorge Onrubia Paintedscientific co-director of the campaign.

This has made it possible to offer a certain continuity to archaeological research, from a museum point of view, without having to carry out a major operation and with a large group of people, as has been done up to now. «
The year 2023 will be the time to return to the usual excavation campaigns», details the director of Cueva Pintada.

The Cueva Pintada Museum and Archaeological Park is linked from its conception to the conservation and investigation of the archaeological zone in which it is located and which gives it its reason for being.

Hence, after its opening in 2006, and once the museum dynamics had been consolidated, the center's research plan was designed.
The project is based on three strategic lines: archaeological research, conservation research and research related to audience management and content dissemination.

The sifting technique was used during this archaeological campus. /


Within the framework of the collection's study program, there are a series of specific projects for the analysis of the archaeological structures themselves (materials, construction techniques and reading of walls, elaboration of virtual hypotheses...), as well as of the objects and associated materials, from the lithic industries to the very sediments that host them.

The first performances of this program
They started in 2013. However, the arrival of
the covid 19 pandemic led to the suspension of campaigns of archaeological excavations proper, which are expected to finally resume in 2023.

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