The little village of Antas is actually of great historical significance; archaeological discoveries of remains from the Bronze Age have been unearthed here and are atributed to begining of the El Algar civilization. There is also tower built by the Muslims during their occupation. The town has around 3,160 inhabitants.
The first settlements in Antas date to the Paleolithic era, but many archaeological sites identified as Neolithic are also actively excavated, such as El Aljoroque, La Gerundia, El Cabezo del Moro and La Pernera, where a slate sculpture was found.
However, the most important historical association of Antas is as the birthplace of the Argar settlement during the Bronze Age. The El Algar civilization developed in the southeast of Spain between 1900 BC and 1300 BC as a society organized around a dominant oligarchy. When the Argar culture died out, this zone lost its cultural importance. Practically no archaeological remains from the Roman and Al-Andalus periods have been found in Antas.
With the surrender of nearby Vera in 1488, the inhabitants of the town were forced either to go to Africa or relocate inland. Around 50 families moved to Antas. An Arab quarter dependent on Vera was formed and in the 1490s the inhabitants of Antas were accused of protecting raiders, almost reduced to slavery.
After the Moorish Rebellion (1569-1570), the inhabitants were expelled, even though they had not participated in the revolt. The initial repopulation was carried out by 63 individuals from Murcia, Valencia, Bilbao and Toledo. They first went to live in Vera for fear of being attacked by the Moors hiding in the mountains.
Antas village became independent from nearby Vera at the beginning of the eighteenth century.
THINGS TO SEE
Ermita de la Era
In 1930, the Brotherhood of the Virgen de la Cabeza asked the Bishopric of Almería for authorization to construct a hermitage in today’s Era del Lugar. The patron saint is brought to the town every September, and a chapel was needed so that the icon was not exposed to the elements. The Bishopric of Almería approved the request in the same year, on the condition that the Brotherhood or its neighbours covered the expenses. The completion of the work was to be communicated to the Bishopric immediately, so that the building could be blessed. The work was completed in 1943 and the Era went from being used for agricultural work to being used as a sports facility. It is located on Calle Ermita.
Iglesia Parroquial de Santa María de la Cabeza
The church was built in 1505, and is a simple building without much exterior ornamentation, which allows for its tower to stand out. It can be found on Calle de la Iglesia.
THINGS TO SEE OUTSIDE THE VILLAGE
Yacimientos Arqueológicos de El Argar y La Gerundia
This archaeological site dates to the Copper Age, taking its name from the Argaric ( or Argar) culture. It was first excavated by brothers Enrique and Luis Siret, who published their results in Castilian under the title ‘The first ages of metal in the southeast of Spain’ in 1890. The materials collected were so extensive they provided a cross-section of Copper Age culture. Location is just to the east of the present village and the dry river course. GPS 37.246653 N, -1.91295454 W. There are few remains to seen and no museum or interpretation centre in this very important site, but the place has a special charm for the curious visitor.
Yacimiento Arqueológico de El Garcel
This archaeological site dates to the Early Copper Age. As well as the remains of cabins, circular housing, silos and copper smelting slag, the oldest olive pips of the Iberian Peninsula have been found here.
Yacimiento Arqueológico Lugarico Viejo
This site has been officially classified as being of cultural interest. It is located on the east bank of the Antas River, near the Jauro neighborhood. It was once a fortified Bronze Age town that housed a group of huts and burial sites. Although its altitude is not high (212 m above sea level), its elevation and relationship with the surrounding environment would undoubtedly have been of strategic value to its original inhabitants.
Cerro de la Torre
Tower or Castle of Antas was built during the Muslim period. It is now in ruins, but the few remains of the tower and hill on which they sit have been classified as being of cultural interest.
Visitors to Antas can also enjoy the area’s great rural tourism, including hiking around Charco de las Palomas or El Cajete.
Traditional local crafts still produced today include plaster cast products and fabrics.
When visiting Antas, try dishes such as migas (fried bread with chorizo), gachas con cardo bordonero (made from flour, tomato, peppers, garlic, fish and oil, accompanied by edible thistles), guisos de legumbre y hortalizas (vegetable stew), pelotas (stew with dumplings and sausage), gurullos (bread fried in lard with ingredients such as garlic, spicy sausage and bacon) and caracoles (snails).
Popular festivals in Antas are Three Kings, Carnival, Semana Santa, Fiesta de San Isidro Labrador, Festividad de la Virgen de las Huertas, Fiestas de San Roque and Fiestas de la Virgen de la Cabeza. More>
Information about bus services to and from Antas. More>