The excavation works in the Plaza de Los Remedios next to the Cathedral of La Laguna in Tenerife have revealed skeletal remains that could date back to the 16thCentury, and might be the first archaeological evidence of the early inhabitants of the Canary Islands.
The Municipal Heritage Council, chaired by the Mayor Jose Alberto Diaz, this week reported the discovery of bone remains in the area of Calle Bencomo after a second excavation. He said “It would be the first archaeological evidence of the first inhabitants of this city, whose society would be part of the first years of the founding and growth of La Laguna.”
These archaeological excavations in the Plaza de Los Remedios have been commissioned by the Municipality of La Laguna and the Government of the Canary Islands.
PRORED is the company that is in charge of this excavation, and issued a press release that explained that two bone samples have been sent to their laboratory. One of a goat tooth that has been dated around the first third of the 19thCentury, and a molar of an individual from the first half of the 16thCentury.
These dates make it possible to confirm that these remains reflect 400 years of history in the Plaza de Los Remedios, and includes information about the destruction and construction processes that took place in the area.
From these findings and the information obtained from the exhumed human remains, it has been concluded that a primary funeral deposit of unique characteristics has been found with a line of blocks next to the body that coincides with the cut of the natural clay soil.
The body maintains its original position, respecting the rules of Christian rites that bodies are buried facing east, and placed in a supine position accompanies by a coin along the left femur. This was a young woman aged between 18 and 25 years, based on dental and other bone characteristics. However, the cause of death could not be concluded due to the poor state of preservation, as a result of the pressure of different strata of soils and the influence of nearby tree roots. Also, there were scattered human remains that have been located in a secondary position that seems to correspond to a more robust and older person.
The location of these remains raises questions about the origin of the burials outside the original church, as if they were exceptional burials due to the causes of death or if they were buried in that place by the social conventions of these inhabitants corresponding to the 16thCentury. These findings also include buttons, nails, pins, ceramics of different typology and epochs that are dated between the 17thCentury and the 18thCentury.
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