Photo. The Guimar Pyramids, also called the Black Pyramids of Tenerife. There is no doubt: these stone structures are pyramids. © Travel Explorations.
Tenerife is for most people associated with hot sun and a enjoyable beachlife. The island covers over 350 kilometres of coastline, with many beautyful beaches of golden and volcanic sand. For they who explore the island more thouroughly will understand that there are some amazing historical wonders and mysteries there too.
In July 2008 I took a break from the beachlife in Tenerife. Eagerly I followed my countryman Thor Heyerdal`s footprints to the Ethnographic Park Pirámides de Güímar. Here I could explore a step pyramid complex, believed to be oriented astronomically to the summer and winter solstices. Guimar is a little town on the east coast, located up in a montainside between Santa Cruiz and Los Christianos.
Thor Heyerdahl became interested in the site after reading an article i a newspaper in 1990. Six step pyramids were discovered in 1998 near Guimar, a town on the eastern shore of Tenerife Island, the Canary Islands. They were built of blocks, gravel and soil.
So why took it so long for before the pyramids started to be explored? Before the excavation of the pyramids, they looked like agricultural stone terraces such as are common throughout the Canaries, so the locals didn`t think that the site had any historic value.
Photo. Locals thought the stone structures were just piles of stones or farmers' terracing on the slopes of the mountains.
The site was bigger than I expected. Its covers 60.000 square metres. It`s was beautiful with gardens, teracess, plants and flowers.
The site has received an investment of more than six million Euros for preservations.
In the steaking sun I walked around the site two times observing the pyramids from different angels. The mountains in the background created a wonderful background scene for the pyramids. There were six stepped pyramids at the site, lot of terraces and a recently discovered cave under one of the pyramids.
The six step pyramids are still a mystery to archaeologists. They have a rectangular ground plan reaching a maximum height of about 12 metres. According to some researchers, these pyramids have a noticeable similarity to the pyramids built by the Maya and Aztecs in Mexico. They are rubble-filled with facings of black volcanic stone and have been constructed through several periods.
The Black Pyramids of Tenerife are one of the island's many mysteries and resemble similar structures in both Mexico and Peru, with six angular stone steps.
Here I got a real insight into the ancient civilications that once inhabited the area.
Between 1991 and 1998 with the agreement of Thor Heyerdahl multiple excavations of the site by archaeologists of the University of La Laguna (Departamento de Prehistoria, Antropología e Historia Antigua) took place.
Heyerdahl received financial support from his friend, the Canarian businessman Fred Olsen, who owns the largest transport company in the Canaries and whose family came to the islands from Norway in the 1900s.
Based on Thor Heyerdahl research, he believed it was a transatlantic link between Egypt, Central America and Tenerife. His finds indicated possible parallels between the Canarian terrace structures and pyramid structures in Egypt and Central America.
Thor Heyerdahl believed that at one time the pyramid-building peoples of the world travelled the seas on rafts and he himself sailed from Morocco to Barbados on a papyrus raft known as Ra II to show this sort of thing could be done. At the site there is possible to observe a copy of this raft. There are also displayed small copies of his other rafts.
Heyerdahl`s hypothese was that the Canarian pyramids formed a temporal and geographic stopping point on voyages between ancient Egypt and the Maya civilization.
Another unexplained mystery lies on the west side in the north of Tenerife, where similar impressive pyramids could be seen in the farmland of La Suerte in the villages of San Marcos, Santa Bárbara, La Mancha and at Santo Domingo.
I also took my time in the information centre where I got more information about Heyerdahl’s research journeys and his ideas about the pyramids.
There are controversy among historians, archaeologists, astronomers, and those with a general interest in history about Thor Heyerdahl`s theories, but the interest for the amazing pyramids live stronger than ever. The reason for their construction and its socio-cultural background is still waiting to be completely explained.
Stein Morten Lund, 12 July 2008
For more information about the pyramids in Tenerife, see photos and films on the website of the Pyramids of Guimar: www.piramidesdeguimar.net
The FOUNDATION FOR EXPLORATION AND RESEARCH ON CULTURAL ORIGINS (F.E.R.C.O.) was founded in 1992. Its central office is based in the museum Casa Chacona - Pirámides de Güímar - Tenerife. Its main goal is to organize excavations and investigations in the Canary Islands, as well as other parts of the world that may throw light on the origins of pre-European settlements and on oceanic voyages in pre-European types of watercraft.
The scientific activities of FERCO are co-ordinated by a Scientific Committee which consists of international archaeologists and scientists, together with Founding President Dr. Thor Heyerdahl.
FERCO's web page www.ferco.org
Read an interesting article about the Guimar pyramids on Thothweb (www.thothweb.com):
Read more about mysteries and ancient wonders on our global travel guide www.TravelExplorations.com