History of Lanzarote

Megalodon prehistoric shark fossils found near La Graciosa

Fossils from the largest shark known in history have been found by investigators from the Instituto Español de Oceanografía (IES) in Canarian waters.

Megalodon Fossil Map by Lineas Maritimas Romero

The Megalodon sharks teeth were found over 1,000m deep at the foot of an underwater mountain. The fossils were found at the base of the Banco de Concepción during October 2012, the news was only released this week, on the 2nd September. Lineas Maritimas Romero have produced this map to show the location in relation to Lanzarote.

Otodus ( Megaselachus ) or Megalodon sharks as they are commonly known grew to be around 20m in length and weigh around 100 tonnes. They were huge migratory predators, their diet consisted of whales, dolphins, seals, turtles and large fish. This super shark lived in  read more »

Egg Fossil Mystery Continues

The paleontologist team led by Antonio Sánchez Marco have discovered a new example of a fossilised egg near Famara, during their fourth season in Lanzarote.

Fossil Egg LanzaroteExcavation in Lanzarote

The latest egg is in excellent condition and was found in Valle Grande, increasing the number of eggs now found on the island to seven. What’s not known is how these ancient ancestors of the ostrich family came to be extinct on the island. Experts have been working since 2010 excavating sites along the risco from Órzola to Famara to establish more information about these birds who lived in Lanzarote from 5 to 6 million years ago. Although in good condition, this latest egg is also hollow without an embryo, like the previous ones found.

During the fourth season of excavations directed by Dr Sánchez Marco from the Instituto Catalán de Paleontología Miquel Crusafont, the team extended their radius of investigation to discover this egg, but it still does not throw any light on the questions as to how these giant birds arrived here, how they lived and why they disappeared.  read more »

Arrecife Port, The Life of Lanzarote

This short video has some lovely historical footage of the port in Arrecife & Lanzarote, explaining how the intense commercial activity led to the town becoming the capital of the island.

First products from Lanzarote were exported such as  read more »

Los Diabletes cause terror in the streets of La Villa de Teguise

This year the traditional group of Los Diabletes will be taking to the streets of La Villa de Teguise as is the tradition, warns Olivia Duque the councillor for culture at Teguise Ayuntamiento.

 

The name Los Diabletes translates to the Little Devils and the tradition dates back to a mixture of beliefs from the 15th Century. These masked he-goats can be a bit scary when they approach you in the street shaking their bells (esquilas) and bopping you with their pouches (zurrones)!

A group of 14 Los Diabletes will be out in force on the streets of La Villa de Teguise during the weekends over the carnival period. The devils will leave from the Plaza de La Mareta where the big white tent is situated at 11:00 on Saturdays and 16:00 on Sundays,. You can also find the Diabletes at the carnival processions through the towns of Lanzarote.

The Mayor of Teguise, Oswaldo Betancort invited people to come and witness one of the oldest traditional in the Canaries, he also warned that whoever receives a “zurronazo” from the Los Diabletes received a symbol of fertility and virility!

Francisco Hernández, the official chronicler for Teguise extracted the history of Los Diabletes. This popular tradition is a mix of  read more »

Giant Fossil Eggs in Lanzarote

Two more fossilised giant sized birds eggs have been discovered in Órzola, these eggs date back more than 5-6 million years and as yet there is no explanation as to how they came to be in Lanzarote.

Pedro San Ginés with a fossil Egg

The first eggs were discovered back in 2011, the latest find is part of a new campaign in 2012. It’s a bit of a mystery as to how the eggs could be here, we know that the oldest islands date back 20 million years, these eggs relate to the ostrich family who lost their ability to fly 90 million years ago. Experts have dated the eggs to between 5.3 and 6 million years old, there is a possibility is that the eggs emerged from the oceanic crust during the eruptions although there is no record of this happening anywhere else in the world.

The new discovery was found in  read more »

Lanzarote's Shipwreck

The shipwreck on the shore between Arrecife and Costa Teguise catches a lot of visitors by surprise when passing along the old coastal road by the port Muelle de Los Mármoles in Lanzarote. This ship was built in London in 1954, read on if you’d like to know how she ended up beached in Lanzarote.

Telamon Muelle de Los Mármoles LanzaroteTelamon Shipwreck Lanzarote

The Lambert Brothers Ltd were formed in 1878,  they took over the Temple Steam Ship Company in 1926. The Dornoch Shipping Company was founded in Glasgow during 1935  which included the Lambert Brothers and subsidiaries, this company was sold to Harrisons (Clyde) Ltd in 1954 when three new ships were added to the fleet including the Temple Hall which was built at the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd (yard no 489) in Dundee and registered in London.

Temple Hall 1954Telamon in Abidjan prior to last voyage

Photo: www.7seasvessels.com                       Photo: www.navymar.com

In 1969 Temple Hall was re-named Pantelis and registered in Piraeus, Greece when it was sold to Demetrios P. Margaronis who sold the ship on again a year later to Viajes Sud América in Panama, keeping the same name and flag.

Changing hands again in 1977 where she was re-named the Telamon, owned by Telamon Maritime Co. SA and managed by Armour Shipping Inc. in Greece.

The Telamon was on route from San Pedro from the Ivory Coast to Thessaloniki with a cargo of logs when she sprung a leak and was forced to run aground in Arrecife, Lanzarote on the 31st October 1981.

The story of the Telamon shipwrecking is  read more »

Lanzarote's Coat of Arms

I had seen Lanzarote's coat of arms on several occasions, especially on posters for events organized by the Cabildo de Lanzarote. I was intrigued by its design so I searched for more information, and this is what I found:

Lanzarote Coat of Arms

The design consists of two large gold cauldrons in the centre with a border of another ten smaller gold cauldrons against a red background. Originally the cauldrons were supposed to be checked in black and gold, but they have always been depicted fully in gold.

It represents the coat of arms of the Herrera lineage, one of their branches had the "Señorío" (Lordship), afterwards "Marquesado" of Lanzarote - hence the Marchis' crown on top of the crest.

The title of Marquis of Lanzarote dates back to the 16th century, which  read more »

Los Ranchos de Pascua

I wondered what the tradition ”Rancho de Pascua” was as it is mentioned on most of the Fiestas de Navidad programmes in Lanzarote.

Ranchos_de_Pascua_Ayuntamiento_de_San_Bartolomé The tradition dates back to the end of the 15th century and is also referred to as Ranchos de Ánimas. Ánimas is derived from the latin word almas which means souls. Los Ranchos were religious groups that travelled through the towns singing sad songs, collecting donations and praying for the deceased.

The Rancho choirs would leave on the 1st November (Todos los Santos), and travel through to the 2nd of February (Día de la Candelaria).

The traditional songs of the Canarian Ranchos are Spanish with some Arabic  read more »

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