Sierra del Bentayga-Roque Bentayga

The solid rock mass that makes up Roque Bentayga stands as the epicentre of the Caldera de Tejeda crater and houses one of the most exceptional examples of pre-European population fortresses, with more than one hundred natural and artificial caves that had multiple uses: houses, granaries and burial grounds.

Especially noteworthy is the almogarén or sanctuary of the Bentayga, which was an important sacred site for the inhabitants and functioned as an equinoctial marker, indicating when the autumn and spring had arrived. Controlling time is essential for societies based on agriculture and livestock, as it indicates when to sow and harvest crops or move livestock to graze on the best pastures. Therefore, it is not surprising that these high areas were sacred, as they are close to the sky, which surrounds everything and is the source of rain and abundance, or of drought and hunger.

On the south side of Roque Bentayga there are caves with engraved pubic triangles and bowls. In addition, on this side and to the west, there are also two areas of alphabetic inscriptions in Libyco-Berber, this being the language used by the ancient Canarians.

Along with Roque Nublo, Roque Bentayga is one of the most important rocks formed by the erosion of a massive volcanic layer produced by explosive eruptions about 5 million years ago and known as the `Roque Nublo breccia´. This gigantic stratum, present throughout the entire Cuenca de Tejeda Basin, was relatively easy to excavate, thus allowing the enormous profusion of artificial caves, which characterise the Cultural Landscape.