The Bimbaches, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain

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The original inhabitants of the Canary Islands were an aboriginal tribe called “Bimbaches” who somehow arrived from North Africa and organised itself into a thriving community.

They lived here long before the Norman and Spanish conquerors arrived, in an area called Guinea - one of the oldest human settlements on the island.

The Bimbaches and the Normans were attracted to El Hierro by the abundant water supplies, good climate and excellent visibility.

Archaeologists now believe that there are in fact two Guineas where the Bimbaches lived. One area (the one we can see today) is above land. But, the other one is beneath the surface, and comprises a series of caves.

These caves are the original home of the Bimbaches. They provide fascinating insights into how this ancient civilisation lived…you can see pottery stands, desiccated food and various other indicators. Archaeologists are finding more and more every year.

These findings have become very helpful, filling in the huge gaps in the history of the remote past of El Hierro.

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