Looking up at the sky

The Cultural Landscape of Risco Caído and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria cannot be separated from the sky as it is an integral and inseparable part of the Earth.

Apart from the physical quality of the observable sky as seen from the centre of Gran Canaria (proved by the fact that it has been officially recognised as a Starlight Tourist Reserve and Destination), the sky over the Cultural Landscape is the place where spiritual beings-deities are found or inhabit, but it is also the scenario in which relevant occurrences and events take place.

What happens in the sky can have either exclusively spiritual or more practical implications that are especially related to the understanding and management of time (atmospheric and chronological-calendrical). These are both essential in agrarian societies, the survival of which depends, to a very high degree, on what happens in the sky, as it indicates when to sow and when to harvest; whether it is going to rain or not; to whom or to what to pray so that everything goes well and also when things do not go as they should.

There has been a tradition of Cultural Astronomy studies for two decades in the Canarian Archipelago. The statistical relevance of the astronomical implications regarding a certain number of sites and the spectacular nature of some of the astronomical hierophanies (manifestations of the sacred in the stars) that have been discovered, clearly point to intentionality in the astronomical relations discovered up until now. All these arguments strongly suggest that the tracking of the trajectory of celestial bodies probably played an important role in the setting up of, as well as the reason for, many pre-Hispanic sanctuaries.