Mesa de Acusa

La Mesa de Acusa, which, in itself, forms an impressive geological monument, is home to one of the largest and most spectacular troglodyte enclaves of the native Canarians. This striking settlement skirts the escarpments of the great fertile plain on top of the plateau.

The settlements were excavated in strategic places but mainly at the base of the escarpments. The collective granaries occupied the most inaccessible parts of the cliff, and some were definitely impregnable, such as the Álamo, the most fortified of the granaries which have been preserved on Gran Canaria. Sometimes, the cave rooms also contained a silo.

Caves used as burial sites have also been discovered. They are usually located in areas away from the settlements on the upper platforms in isolated areas or close to the granaries. In Acusa, mummified remains of adult men and women have been found, from which the viscera had not been removed. Their remains were wrapped in goat skins and reed mats.

Cueva de las Estrellas is of particular interest within this large site. It is an artificial hollow that displays a decoration of a white stippling on a black-smoked background, resembling the view of a starry sky.

Acusa Verde, Acusa Seca, Los Corrales, El Álamo, La Candelaria, El Hornillo, Fortamaga and El Vedado del Tablón are the current names of the different `troglodyte neighbourhoods´ which are now recognised in Acusa. Many are no longer inhabited but it should be noted that until the eighteenth century, Acusa had more inhabitants than the town of Artenara, which is the seat of the municipality. Acusa thus becomes a paradigmatic example of the continuity of the pre-Hispanic troglodyte habitat from the time of the conquest up until the present time.