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History

Huelva and its environs is a Mecca for those interested in Christopher Columbus, with a number of significant tourist attractions relating to the famous explorer. Cristóbal Colón (as he is known in Spain), is thought by most to have been born in Genoa, Italy around 1451.

The 200 archaeological settlements catalogued in Marmolejo are testaments of the occupation of these lands during Prehistory and Antiquity, the oldest dating back to the Paleolithic era, located on the terraces of the rivers.

Lopera has its origins in the Bronze Age, with remains from this period having been found in the farmhouses of Almazán, Lanzarino I and Cuatro Hermanas. From the Iron Age period, remains of Iberian culture stand out, such as the deposits of Cerro de la Casa, Cerro de los Pollos and Cerro de San Cristóbal.

The oldest documented occupation of Lahiguera dates back to the final Neolithic era, a period in which the agricultural economy began to be consolidated. This process led to the development of the Copper Age in the definitive sedentism of the village population.

Espelúy has an impressive legacy from prehistoric times. Among the numerous settlements established locally throughout time, that of Las Tiesas stands out, a town from the third millennium BC, evidenced by remains of circular huts and slags, testimony to its metallurgical activity.

The town is in a first-class archaeological zone, the cradle of the Iberian civilization, where multiple Iberian settlements and funerary nuclei, such as the nearby Cerro Venate, have been discovered.

Archaeological remains found in the area surrounding Escañuela confirm that there has been human settlement in this municipality since the third millennium BC. In the place known as Pozo de Marisancho, remains of dark pottery from this period of the Copper Age have been found.

There is documented proof of human presence in Cazalilla dating as far back as the Copper Age (third millennium BC), indicated through both the ceramics of this period collected in its urban area and by the settlement of the Cerro de la Coronilla in the fortified farmhouse of La Atalaya.

Lithic materials found in the area suggest the existence of early Paleolithic settlements that already inhabited the mouth of Río Piedras. In 1971, 208 pieces of quartzite were found whose chronology goes from the ninth to the third millennium B.C.

The oldest remains found in the area date from the Paleolithic era, belonging to the Acheliense Culture, but it was during the Neolithic period and in the first part of the Bronze Age that the population of the area began to develop more seriously, supported by the development of agriculture in its fertile lands and mining in the Sierra Morena.

Valverde del Camino has traditionally been a resting stop for travellers crossing the province of Huelva from the ports on the coast to the Sierras in the north, and onward to Extremadura. Its origins date back to the time of the construction of a farmhouse and an inn and lodging for merchants and couriers. This inn was known as, Facanías, a name apparently of Hebrew or Arabic origin.

The geographical situation of the town in the Andarax River Valley, a topography of easily defendable mounds between the river and the Sierra Alhamilla, has favoured settlements of various civilizations since the third millennium BC.

The first local traces of the Iberian people date from the sixth and seventeenth centuries B.C. The Roman era was characterized by the proliferation of these villas through the whole area. Their occupation lasted from the first century to the fifth. In the Al-Andalus period, Vélez Blanco began to grow in importance due to its strategic position, with the name Velad al-Abyadh./p>

The town’s current location dates from the late fifteenth century and is due to the abandonment of the old city located on a hill to the south called Castellón. Although no specific Upper Paleolithic sites have been found, the settlement of this area has been known since this time. From the Neolithic period there is the Cerro de Los López site, with the existence of cabins, pottery and tools.

The town’s origin comes from a set of farmhouses in the Los Vélez manor. It obtained its municipal independence from Vélez Rubio in 1895. There is not much agreement on the meaning of its name. According to the Arabists, its name means “kiss of Allah”, whilst more recent research has associated its toponym with an Arab verb meaning “to drink”, or “drink from the highest source”.

In the eighth century, the Berbers of Queen La Kahima found refuge here, before being Romanized and Christianized like the Spanish from the southeast. From then until the twelfth century, some Mozarabic communities lived here in peace, and many went with King Alfonso “el Batallador” to repopulate the Ebro Valley in 1125-1126.

In surveys carried out in 1982 in El Castillejo, Neolithic ceramic remains were found. It is therefore presumed that a stable settlement existed on this plot between 7000 BC and 700 AC. The municipal term of Abrucena is situated in the old Bastetana region, which included the current provinces of Almería, Granada, Murcia and parts of Jaén and Albacete.

The origins of Olula de Castro date to prehistoric times, evidenced by some rock engravings found at Huerto del Moro or de los Rodeos. Between the seventh and eighth centuries, Romanized and Christian Berbers arrived from Africa, known as Yarawás, under the command of Queen La Kahima, who, settled in the Sierra de los Filabres.

It is believed that the village’s name comes from Thabernax, named for the Greek legions, because it was the place where the troops were supplied in many inns or sales. Prehistoric settlements have been found, such as the town of Terrera Ventura (2850-1950 B.C), a Neolithic agro-pastoral and livestock settlement.

Láujar de Andarax occupies a hillside position at 920m. With a backdrop of rocky peaks and dense pine forest, it has stunning views over the fertile plain of the Andarax River. The town is famous for being the residence of Boabdil, the last Nasrid ruler of the Moorish Kingdom of Al-Andalus, who sought refuge in Láujar in 1492 after he was expelled from Granada following the city’s capture by the Catholic Monarchs.