Back in the 1960s, archaeological excavations began in Lanzarote on a site which dates back to the 15th century where the first permanent European settlement in the Canary Islands was located. The dig continued in the 1980s and in 2019, the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage brokered an agreement between Yaiza Town Council, the Canary Islands Government and the two Canary Islands universities to allow work to continue in this enclave.
According to general director, Nona Perera, ‘once the excavations have made further progress, the idea is to open the San Marcial del Rubicón archaeological site to visitor’s, making it an open-air museum, with trails and detailed information panels.’ The Mayor of Yaiza, Óscar Noda, agrees with this vision, ‘It’s a question of history, not only of Yaiza, but of the whole of the Canary Islands. This is why it is so vital that we make people aware of the importance of protecting this site with a view to opening it up to guided tours in the future.’
Perera explains how the digs underway in 2020 and 2021 have shown excellent results, throwing up a large quantity of important finds. ‘Thanks to the use of new technologies, we have unearthed the remains of defensive structures and dwellings of both European and indigenous origin as well as other types of infrastructure, numerous objects, vessels, coins, medals, etc.’ He adds that, ‘the finds are currently being examined and a report will be presented by the beginning of the new year. Meetings have already been scheduled to sign a new agreement to allow further excavation work in the near future, probably the summer.’