According to Pharmacylib, the first evidence of human presence in the territory that makes up modern Spain is particularly ancient. For example, the lower Paleolithic is well known in numerous deposits mainly located in alluvial terraces. The industries of Cullar Baza I, near Granada, with faunas referring to Mindel belong to the pre-Acheulean complex, while very archaic paleontological remains, but with no archaeological context, have been found in Venta Micena (Granada). Different phases of the Acheulean are known, for example, in the outdoor site of Pinedo, near Toledo (ancient Acheulano), in Aridos, near Madrid (where an interesting elephant slaughtering site was found), Torralba and Ambrona (Soria) etc. In the Atapuerca cave, near Burgos, already known for the presence of Acheulean industries associated with human remains and fauna of the Middle Pleistocene, two other human skulls in a good state of conservation have recently been found, with characters reminiscent of archaic Homo sapiens. Human remains related to Homo sapiens neandertalensis or to the group of anteneanderthals they come from the Rissian deposits or, according to some authors, from the Würmian ones, from the cave of Cova Negra, near Valencia. The Middle Paleolithic is known above all in cave deposits. Some of the most important deposits, where different facies of the Mousterian are reported, are: the Riparo Romani, with levels of the toothed Mousterian without the Levallois technique and the Mousterian of the Acheulean tradition, the lower levels of the Cueva Morin and El Pendo (Santander) , Devil’s Tower and Gorham Cave in Gibraltar, with a Ferrassie- type Charentian Mousterian, the cave of Los Casares (Guadalajara), of Mollet, Toroella de Montgri and Cariguela (Granada) with typical Musteriano, the cave of El Castillo, near Santander, where a long sequence between the Mousterian and the Magdaleniano, with important manifestations of parietal and furniture art. The earliest phases of the Upper Paleolithic caves are attested in the Arbreda (Gerona) and Cueva Morin with castelperroniana industry, dated to 36,950 ± 6580 today, and levels of ‘ Aurignacian. Different levels referring to the subsequent phase of the upper Paleolithic (Gravettian) are known in the aforementioned cave of L’Arbreda (C14: 20.130 from today), in the cave of Beneito (Alicante), at the Castillo, at Cueto de la Mina in Asturias, at Mallaetes and at Parpallo (Valencia), at the Cueva Morin , in El Pendo etc. Particularly important is the expansion of the Solutrean with dates ranging between 21,000 and 16,000 years from today, identified in numerous caves, which are followed, in the general sequence of industries of the end of the Upper Pleistocene and the ancient Holocene, levels of the Magdalenian (C 14: 13.500-8300 BC approximately) and by Aziliano, with dating to around 10,500-9500 years from now. Exceptional development, in particular during the Magdalenian, but with notable examples referring to the Solutrean, have the various manifestations of parietal art in the Franco-Cantabrian region, attested in sites such as Altamira, whose Magdalenian levels are dated to 15,000 years from today. From the Neolithic times, the findings of the caves of the eastern provinces and those of the culture known as the tombs in fassa are noteworthy. A widespread facies throughout the Iberian territory is that of the bell-shaped glass; in the middle of the third millennium it appears, in the south-eastern part of the peninsula, where the mineral wealth (especially tin) is a sure attraction for contacts with people allochthonous, the rich facies of Los Millares; the particular development of this part of the peninsula, in which an early development of forms of social differentiation is also due to the need to mobilize the work of the communities in irrigation systems, made necessary by the arid climatic conditions, is also evident in the subsequent phase of El Argar, with which the culture of Las Motillas is coeval in La Mancha. In the late Bronze Age the Suroeste facies develops, while, starting from the century. X a. C., the sites of “Tartessia” culture often represent the first “village” phase of centers destined to reach, in the Iberian period, a proto-urban level.
HISTORY: THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS
In 409 armed bands of Swabians, Vandals and Alani penetrated into Spain, sowing devastation and terror among the defenseless populations. Shortly after (412) the Visigoths, “federated” in the service of Rome, entered southern France (their real kingdom until they were expelled by the Franks in the sixth century) and established an ephemeral capital in Barcelona. 1st century V and VI are convulsed by struggles, especially between the barbarians themselves (only at the end of the VI century Leovigildo he managed to eliminate the Swabians, conquering their stronghold, from Galicia to the Tagus); but also between Visigoths and Hispanoromans of the Mediterranean side and between Visigoths and the Empire of Byzantium, which in the meantime had managed to “liberate” the whole of the South of the peninsula, from Cartagena to the Algarve, then Portuguese; and finally among the Visigoths themselves, not very numerous (80-100,000 in all) but in perennial anarchy, at least until they began to become, from heads of armed bands, great landowners. The unification of the peninsula finally took shape with Leovigild and even more with Recaredo, who converted to Christianity in 587; and precisely at this moment, Saint Isidore of Seville, proud of his “victory”, exalted the Goths as a symbol of the unity of the “Hispanic nation”, which had found its capital in Toledo, also the geographical center of the country, and conferred official and legislative authority on the bishops gathered in the Toledan councils. But the political-religious unity idealized and sung by Isidoro was much more theoretical than real. The Gothic oligarchy (a few thousand people in all) held power and privileges, dominating the subjugated masses, while the urban and commercial class was now almost completely extinct. Only the Church resisted and slowly elaborated the legislative instruments (culminating in the Liber Iudiciorum of 654) which should have unified, making them equal, Goths and “Romans”. But, by binding itself to the state, the Church itself had lost much of its freedom and started a tradition that would last long in Spanish history. Thus the Visigothic kingdom remained “founded on sand” and it is easy to understand how it easily collapsed in the violent impact of the Muslim invasion of 711. A vague memory remained, soon transfigured into legend.