An engraved stone discovered in Fuerteventura could be the key to deciphering the mysterious ancient carvings that are found on Lanzarote and Fuerteventura.
The stone, discovered at the Cuchillete de Buenavista, an important archeological site in central Fuerteventura, contains parallel inscriptions in two separate alphabets that were used by the original inhabitants of the islands.
The inscriptions are written in Latin and Berber, using alphabets that were used by peoples ranging from Algeria to the Canary Islands during the Roman period. The stone appears to be a record of a birth or death, and the words “Son of Makuran and Timamasi” appear in the latin script, with the words “Son of Makuran” also appearing in the Berber script below.
The finding confirms that inhabitants of the eastern Canaries used one language, derived from North African tongues, but used two separate alphabets to write it.
José Juan Jiménez, of the Tenerife Archaeological Museum, said that the discovery confirmed the Eastern islands had been populated by one tribal group who were separated and left on each island. “The appearance of two alphabets shows that these peoples derived from a North African background under the Roman province of Tripolitania, where both Berber and Latin alphabets were used.”
The Fuerteventura engraving may also help experts to decipher the huge amount of aboriginal engravings found on the islands, which have remained a mystery so far.
Last year, a fascinating exhibition in Arrecife displayed photos of these enigmatic engravings, which are still frequently discovered on the islands.