The configuration and distribution of Aboriginal villages in the island territory reveal a complex pattern of occupation by the ancient canaries. The characterization of such a model involves, on the one hand, the island’s own biogeographical conditions – illustrated in the map in the center of the room – but other variables such as the economic strategies deployed by this population, its socio-political structure, its technological means, etc. also play a prominent role.
This identifies settlements consisting of a large number of units, which suggest having borne a significant population burden, with some of them playing an important socio-political role in the island framework. Such would be the case of nuclei such as El Agujero (Gáldar), Arguineguín (Mogán), the Caserones (La Aldea de San Nicolás) or Cendro and Tara (Telde) and of which archaeological images and materials are exhibited in the room. Many of them are located in areas of canyon vegas, areas especially conducive to agricultural production, a selection in terms of location that is not strange when we consider the important role that agriculture played in the society of the ancient canaries. Alongside these large nuclei are other population entities of smaller dimensions, which probably had a dependency relationship with these other larger centres.
As for the physical appearance of the houses, two are the modalities identified: stone structures and caves, being able to observe in the room the characteristics of each of them by means of two models.
– The one located in the center represents a house built by overlapping stones without the use of mortar (dry stone). With this procedure a double wall was erected whose intermediate space was filled with small stones. Its interior floor is configured from a central room to which other sides are added, originating a cruciform morphology. They were covered by a roof of wooden beams on which slabs were arranged and ground tamped.
– The second model recreates a troglodyte village. This type of settlement was in some cases made up of natural caves and, more often, artificially modified natural caves and entirely artificial caves, that is, manually excavated in areas of tub or other soft stone materials. The floors have a similar scheme to the one described for stone houses: a central room to which other sides open. In these villages, as with those consisting of surface structures, there is a clear ordering and structuring of the spaces.
The stone constructions and caves that made up the settlements were not intended exclusively for housing uses. Some of these spaces were linked to culinary activities, storage, the collection of the livestock hut, political practices…, and in the vicinity were located the burial enclosures. In short, everything points to the addition of these villages to accommodate different generations and, therefore, to be occupied over a long temporal space.