“The very existence of a white people perpetuating an advanced Neolithic Culture in the 14th Century of our era in the extreme SW of the Old World was such an unaccountable oddity that the association of the Canary Islands with Atlantis became quite a logical presumption since the problem entered the field of erudite inquiry.”- Anthropologist, Dr Rene Vernau.
For centuries, the early tribes of the Canaries and indeed the islands themselves have been romantically linked to the legendary city of Atlantis. Are these islands the mountain peaks of an ancient civilisation, forever lost to the ocean depths and are their early inhabitants Atlantean refugees?
Or if that seems far-fetched then who are they and where did these ancient people come from?
Since anthropologists discovered remains indicating that ancient Canarians were similar to Cro-Magnon man, “tall to very tall in stature (some were over 6 feet in height), with the white-and-pink complexion of an Englishmen and a long head (dolichocephalic) with a broad face and a typical triangle shaped chin. They had big and low orbits with strong eyebrows. The body was strongly built. Their hair ranged from fair to medium brown.”
So where did these white skinned giants – so different from the dark, African tribes, really come from?
It now seems that the answer lies in the Sahara desert, once a green and fertile land and the centre of a widespread popular culture that predates the ancient Egyptians.
This was proven primarily by the discovery of ancient cave paintings, detailed enough to identify fair-skinned, blond hunters. As the region is now a dry, barren desert, it’s safe to presume at some point the climate changed dramatically, forcing the people to emigrate -which eventually led some of them here. Others would have been integrated into other, darker skinned tribes, but the isolation of these islands would have kept the bloodlines pure and from as early as 500BC through to the fall of the Roman Empire, the islands were visited but never settled on.
Of course nothing lasts forever and in the 13th century the islands were rediscovered, then in 1476, the islands came under the control of Spain with fierce resistance from the native tribes who refused to accept their rule or religion.
A long struggle against their new rulers led to the extermination and absorption of the Guanche by the conquerors and through this, the culture and language of the ancients was eventually lost.
So, the last survivors of Atlantis, or ancient immigrants from a Saharan paradise? Either way, next time I look at one of the many statues of the Guanche scattered throughout the island, it will be with respectful eyes.
The above was written by and published courtesy of Marc Craig
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