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The first evidence of human presence in the area dates back to the Neolithic era, in the so-called Culture of the Caves, where the Nieles and Almecena caves particularly stand out. Ceramic and imprint remains from the fifth millennium BC have been discovered. The Argar Culture and the progressive Iberian, Phoenician and Carthaginian hordes gave way to Roman domination.

The name of Paterna seems to originate in Paternum or Paternus, although the remains of Iberian swords found in the Gaviarra mines cast doubt on this assumption. The dramatic and challenging landscape of La Alpujarra meant that its Arab occupation took some centuries, but the Mozarabic population was very important in the times of the Caliphate. In 913, the young Caliph Abd al-Rahman III had to cross Sierra Sulaira.

The name Instinción is believed to be of Latin origin, dating from the time of Augustus, in Romanized Hispania. However, is has also been argued that Instinción was the name of a Muslim Princess from the Nasrid family. The town was a Muslim farmhouse during the Middle Ages, sitting in a privileged enclave next to fertile and strategic land on the Alpujarra road.

The first recorded evidence of this town dates from the Al-Andalus period, documented by the twelfth century geographer Idrisi, which inscribes it within the Urs al-Yaman region as one of the twenty castles in the territory. At the time of Al-Andalus, the town was located in a higher area than its present situation, called lugarejo. The author, Jorge Lirola, says that Íllar comes from the Arabic word al-Aliya, meaning “the high”.

The first cultural settlement of Terque is likely to have been prehistoric, evidenced by the millenary cave town found by the occupants of the Millares, heirs of the Neolithic culture. However, Terque was formerly known as Marchena.

Santa Cruz de Marchena originated in the Al-Andalus period. It was known as Haratalgima, which translates as “mosque district”, due to the location of the high mosque. Together with Bolodu, it made up the Area of Alboloduy. With the Christian conquest, it was one of the first mosques to turn to the Christian faith with the name of Santa Cruz (Holy Cross).

The history of Castro de Filabres dates to the Roman era, although there are some vestiges of prehistoric times, particularly from the Copper Age. Remains of polished stone instruments with axes, known as “Lightning Stones” , have also been found, made with a material called diorite. The foundation of the town is framed between legend and reality.

Benitagla was founded by the descendants of the Berber Tribes that settled in the Sierra de los Filabres between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in the Nasrid period. The earliest data of Benitagla stretches back to July 1488. On June 23, 1492, the Catholic Monarchs give the towns of Albox, Arboleas, Albanchez and Benitagla to Don Pedro Manrique de Lara, Duke of Nájera.

The origins of the village lie in the times of Roman domination, an era when baths were the main focus. The twelfth century Muslim geographer and chronicler, Idrisi, links the town to Roman hot springs at a health spring, known as the Poznilla fountain.

The origins of Dalías date to the Al-Andalus period. The current population corresponds to the old Muslim town of Ambrox, although other data indicates that the primitive population was located 2km from the current situation, in El Campo, where there are remains of tombs, aqueducts, houses and streets. Its name comes from the Arabic word dalaya, which means vineyard.

Although the origins of Alcolea are uncertain, the oldest vestiges discovered locally correspond to the Neolithic period, which were found at the beginning of the twentieth century in Barranco de los Caballos. These are thought to be the remains of animals.

Berja is thought to be of Iberian origin. Its Roman heritage is more assured, having been the Vergis of Roman Betica, from which period the remains of the Villavieja amphitheater stand out. The Romans left other artistic vestiges including the early Christian sarcophagus of Alcaudique (currently exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum).

The origin of Somontín dates back to the Roman era (second century AD), although evidence suggests that the original nucleus of the village was situated south of the current enclave. The village is likely to have been a place of importance since Emperor Marco Aurelio gave it authorization to coin money.

Since prehistory, Serón has been settled by numerous cultures. Among the most interesting local archaeological findings is the presence of the wine glass formation, which occurs along the Almanzora River and spreads throughout Europe.

Mojácar has a long, complex history that stretches over 4,000 years. Populated by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, and Moors, it remains an intersection of many cultures. It was under Moorish rule that Mojácar really began to flourish. The castle was built and the town walls were expanded and fortified.

The Story of Mary Herbert and Joseph Gage. Lady Mary Herbert, daughter of the second Marquess of Powis, and her lifelong admirer Joseph Gage, were legendary 18th-century adventurers who ran the Guadalcanal and Rio Tinto mine from the late 1720s to 1740s.

Carmona is one of the most historic cities of the province. Its different denominations proclaim the role of the city in the different invasions. Its name is of Semitic origin, 'Kar' meaning 'city', and is explained by its probable Phoenician foundation. The Romans called it 'Carmo', and the Arabs 'Qarmuna'.

Copper is a metal and chemical element with the symbol Cu. Its name derives from the Latin cuprum. It is a soft ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a reddish/orange colour.

A fascinating history of this pivotal point in Spanish and European history, this is an important new look at the conquest of Granada The sultanate of Granada was the last bastion of Islamic rule in Western Europe. Situated in the mountainous regions of Southern Spain, it survived and even prospered for over two and a half centuries and was then overwhelmed in less than a decade.

This title features: dynamic two-colour layout for clear navigation; magazine style, combining stunning photography, itineraries and the authors' personal take on the country; extensive listings of hotels and restaurants - all personally visited and recommended; top 'Don't Miss' sights at the start of every chapter, plus new 'Author Choices' of personal favourite places to stay and eat; clear, designed two-colour maps throughout for increased ease of use; and, the only guides with full-colour touring maps of the whole region.