Lost tomb with 72 ancient skeletons from extinct Canary Islands civilisation found by drone after 1,000 years

A TOMB containing the ancient remains of people from a lost pre-Hispanic civilisation has been found by amateur archaeologists on the holiday island of Gran Canaria.

The mummified remains of 72 skeletons belonging to natives of the 'Guanche' society were discovered by drone.

The amazing find included 62 adult skeletons and 10 newborns.

They were found in the Guayadeque ravine on the island of Gran Canaria, which is part of the Spanish Canary Islands.

Experts have confirmed the discovery and have linked it to the Guanche civilisation as the cave dates back to between 800-1000AD.

Guanche people are thought to be the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands and may have travelled there from North Africa.

Historians think that the Guanches people were ethnically and culturally absorbed by Spanish settlers when they colonised the islands.

Archaeologist Veronica Alberto told local media: "There are many burial caves in Gran Canaria, but not many like this one.

"The discovery of the newborn remains is important as they were not included in previous findings until very recently.

"We know now they can be found in these types of cave burials."

Archaeologists went down to the burial site and found tradition burial shrouds made from vegetable fibres and animal skin.

Alberto added: "We can confirm that all the pre-Hispanic people in the Canary Islands were prepared the same way for the burial ceremony."

Experts had to travel down 23 metres to reach the tomb.

Members of the amateur archaeology group 'El Legado', formed by Ayose Himar Gonzalez, Jonay Garcia and Jesus Diaz, found the cave via drone.

Gonzalez said: "We were flying a drone and we took some pictures of the cave. It is in a very difficult place to access and you need to climb a cliff to reach the site.

"People thought the photos were fake because of all the bones there.'!

They found the cave back in June last year but only reported it recently because they were concerned it would be vandalised.

Gonzalez explained: "The cave should be closed off and preserved with the bones left there to respect the site.

"We decided to report it because we want the local authorities to preserve and respect it."

What was the Gaunche society?

Here's what you need to know…

  • The Guanches were the indigenous inhabitants of the Canary Islands
  • They are thought to have been of North African origin and arrived on the islands off the coast of Morocco sometime in the first millennium BC (1,000 BC)
  • Experts think they lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle similar to a lot of other Stone Age societies
  • They lived in caves and huts and had a basic knowledge of farming
  • Evidence of their pottery has also been found
  • They mummified their dead like the Ancient Egyptians and may be responsible for several pyrmaids that have been found across Tenerife

In other archaeology news, a new study has claimed that ancient humans romped with a mystery species 700,000 years ago.

The posh grave of an Iron Age "warrior" buried 2,000 years ago in Roman Britain has been uncovered.

And, from headless vikings to ‘screaming’ mummies, here are some of the most gruesome ancient corpses ever found.

What do you think of this lost tomb discovery? Let us know in the comments…

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