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Heading towards Pozo Negro on the FV-420, about half way down the road on the right hand side are the remains of an ancient Majorero town.
La Atalayita Fuerteventura
The town dates back to aboriginal times, and is made up of 115 structures of various types and complexity. Covering an area of 45,045 sq.mts over the malpais (volcanic lava flows known as the bad lands), the structures are made from the volcanic rock that they are sit upon and indeed under.
Its inhabitants were the aboriginal Majoreros, from before the Spanish Conquest. It is unknown for sure where the Majoreros originated from, but there are signs that lead many to believe they were Berbers from North Africa.
Many of the structures are underground, with doorways leading to 1 or 2 rooms. It is understood that these were shelters for sleeping and protection against bad weather. Otherwise the Majoreros spent their time mainly in the open air. Other structures, above ground, were usually reserved for the livestock, goats of course! After the conquest, shepherds continued to graze their cattle in the area.
Situated where it is, at the head of a causeway, it is believed that it served as a guard post. It was Professor Demetrio Casto Alfin, head of excavations in 1974, who gave the village its name of La Atalayita.
Situated to towards the top end of the site, is loma de La Atalayita, a hill of some 88 mts high, which makes a great viewpoint. There is an easy but steep track up to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with fabulous views of the town and lava fields, and all the way down to Pozo Negro and the sea.
There is a visitors centre with informational displays about the excavations that have taken place, and the artifacts that have been found there. Sadly the centre has been closed for a few years. However, there is a picnic area available for you to enjoy.
When visiting the town, please respect the area, which is of great archaeological interest;
- keep only to the marked paths
- do not take any stones or plants away
- Do not deface the stones in any way
- Do not move or damage the stones
- do not make any fires
If you are interested in the history of Fuerteventura, then this must surely be on your list of what to see in Fuerteventura!