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Historians Hunt Lancelotto's Tower

Thursday August 25, 2011

Historians Hunt Lancelotto's Tower

Local historians are currently on the hunt for traces of the first European navigator known to have arrived on Lanzarote, Lancelotto Malocello. The Genovese seaman first visited the island in 1312 and major celebrations are planned next year to mark the 700th anniversay of this historic event.

The councillor for Historical Patrimony at the Cabildo of Lanzarote, Juan Antonio de la Hoz, yesterday confirmed that a series of excavations on the volcano of Guanapay in Teguise have revealed the existence of a tower or fortification that dates back to Malocello's arrival.

This structure would have been erected to protect Lancelotto from the Franco Norman invasion and whilst little remains of the actual building, archeologists are currently studying the site for fragments of the materials used in its construction.

At present, the main archeological discoveries are of extremely thick exterior walls, although there is not enough evidence available yet to determine the exact nature of the building and its uses. The location of the site is very close to the Caldera of Guanapay, where the Castillo de Santa Barbara was later built to protect the former capital of Teguise.

Sr de la Hoz expressed the hope that guided tours to the site will be possible, even whilst the archeologists are still at work at the location, especially as 2012 sees the seven hundredth anniversary of Lancelotto's arrival on the island.

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