Just over five hundred years ago the Spanish invaded and conquered a mysterious and isolated population, spread across seven islands, that had arrived during the first millennium BCE. Amongst the untold number who died, surrendered to their Hispanic captors, or were taken as slaves, many fled up to the mountains. Pliny the Elder wrote about the Canary Islands in his encyclopaedia Naturalis Historia in AD 77-79 and throughout the centuries numerous investigations have been conducted as to who these first inhabitants, collectively now called the Guanches, were and where they came from. Accounts differ as to what they looked like, but in the people of the islands today there remains a high percentage of aboriginal DNA.
Geographically located in the melting pot between Africa, Europe and the Americas, the Canarians are a people whose faces have since that first ancient account embodied centuries of migratory waves, and whose as yet undetermined historical identity continues to fascinate scholars and anthropologists alike.