PALEOLITHIC (800,000 – 5000 BC)
First evidences of Prehistory in Spain are found in Andalucia and Atapuerca. They are from the Lower Paleolithic such as the Orce man as well as Homo Antecessor from Atapuerca. Homo Antecessor is a homo erectus; these remains are considered the oldest human remains in Europe and they were hunter-gatherers and maybe they made stone tools.
Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens also lived in the Iberian Peninsula and they have left important cave art.
- In the Canatabrian region we find Cueva del Castillo and Altamira with big naturalistic animals.
- The cave paintings in Eastern Spain show shcematic and monochrome figures forming hunting and ritual scenes. They include human beings representations.
NEOLITHIC (5000 – 2500 BC)
Neolithic reach the Iberian Peninsula from the North of Africa as well as through the Mediterranean. Spanish Neolithic cultures were located mainly in Catalonia and Andalusia. The most representative culture was the Cardium pottery which is a decorative style that gets its name from the imprinting of the clay with the shell of the cockle, an edible marine mollusk formerly known as Cardium edulis.
METAL AGES (2500 – 1000 BC)
Metal works were itroduced in the Iberian Peninsula by peoples in search of metals. The main periods and cultures were:
- Copper metalworking ( 2500-1000 BC) was concentrated in the culture of Los Millares (Almeria) which was a walled settlement with dolmens and corridor tombslike the ones in La Menga in Malaga.
- Bronze metalworking (2000 – 1000 BC) was based in two cultures:
- El Argar culture extended from Almeria to Granada and had individual tombs and earthware pottery.
2. The Balearic Islands culture was characterized by the megalithic monuments they built: taulas, talayots and navetas.
- Iron metalworking ( 10000 BC – Roman period). Iron was brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Celtic peoples as well as by the Phoenicians and Greeks. The Iberians intoduced writing then this event marks the beginning of historical times in the Iberian Peninsula.