Tuesday, 25 December 2007
The Flintstones – they’re living in Gran Canaria
The world of Fred Flintstone is not as far removed from reality as we might think. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created the popular animation series and cartoon The Flintstones, in which Fred gets some relief from the ardours of stone age world by playing a round of golf. He also drives an automobile. And when Fred drops cooking oil on his tie, he can always get it cleaned in a washing machine.
We would not expect cavemen to drive an automobile. However, that is exactly what present-day cavemen do. Their most frequent expression is not Yabba-Dabba-Doo! But Buenos dias, since these cavepeople are Spaniards living in Gran Canaria, a popular tourist island to which millions of Europeans fly each year to escape the rigours of winter.
Some of the cavepeople live in a village called Guayadeque. These 21st century Flintstones drive automobiles and keep them in cave garages. They have electric lights and modern appliances in their homes they have made for themselves in caves.
These cavepeople are descendants of the Guanches, an ethnic group of tall, blond, blue-eyed people who have lived in the Canary isles since around 500 B.C. With the coming of the Spaniards in the 15th century A.D., many Guanches were killed by the invaders but some remained and most of them intermarried with the Spaniards.
The Guanches were by no means primitive. While their islands lacked metals and they had to make stone tools, their pottery and even clothing resemble those of the Graeco-Roman cultures. They mummified their dead like the Egyptians and performed surgical operations, for instance trepanation, or the drilling of a hole in the skull as a proposed remedy for some illnesses.
It seems that we have been conditioned to think that cavepeople are primitive. We would expect them to have become extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. We would definitely not expect cavemen to use their leisure time on a golf course. The popularity of the Flintstones is probably due to it breaking this thinking that is obviously based on the evolution model.
However, the true history of our planet shows that the world of Fred Flintstone is closer to reality than the popular explanation of caveman culture. Even today, cavemen and urban dwellers live side by side and probably even play golf together.
It is good to remember that the Bible also talks about people who lived in caves. For instance, Abraham’s grandson Lot lived temporarily in a cave with his daughters after their escape from Sodom about four thousand years ago (Genesis 19:30).
dos Santos, Arysio Nunes. 1997. The Mysterious Origin of The Guanches. http://www.atlan.org/articles/guanche_origin/
Walker, Amelie A. 1999. Beyond the Beaches of Gran Canaria. Archaeology, Oct. 29, 1999. http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/canary/guayadeque.html