Turismo de Alcalá de Guadaíra

First presences

PALEOLITHIC (500,000 - 35,000 years B.P. BEFORE PRESENT TIME)

Only material remains from the most archaic Prehistory provide us information about such periods. In the area of Alcalá these remains are concentrated in the north-western sector of the present municipal district. What do we find there? There are mainly carved stones, signs of the passing through this zone of prehistoric inhabitants.

Oldest signs date back to Middle Palaeolithic, with a chronology between 80,000 and 35,000 years B.P. In sites like Torrequinto and La Torrecilla, there have been found primitive stone tools, like choppers (pebbles carved on one side). They are instruments fit to beat and cut, without excessive technological complexity. Later on, the stone tools become more perfect, when being used for different activities: Bifaces (stones carved on both sides) to beat and cut, cutting knives, racloirs to scrape... An important site from this date is found at the surroundings of the UPO (Pablo de Olavide University), but there are other ones: Laguna de los Arrayanes, Cortijo del Acebuchal, Cordel de Pelay Correa, etc.

The carved stones are indications, but what do they indicate? Who made and handled them? The flint culture found in the Palaeolithic sites of Alcalá is identified like Mousterian, and is often associated to groups of Homo neanderthalensis. Neanderthals dispersed all over the South of the Iberian Peninsula during the Upper Pleistocene (between 125,000 and 35,000 years B.P.); remains at Andalusian sites have been found, like the one of El Boquete de Zafarraya (Granada).

El Paleolítico
Lower Guadalquivir during Prehistory

What attracted these first inhabitants?

Just like today, 80,000 years ago Los Alcores were placed in the eastern border of the Guadalquivir Valley, but the landscape was quite different. The whole lower course of the valley was a vast gulf, surrounded by the foothills of the Aljarafe (West) and Los Alcores (East). At the valley borders, the river terraces made up area rich eatable plants and hunting: There were hippopotamuses, rhinoceros and elephants. At the terraces it could be also found plenty raw material to manufacture the primitive tools of stone, this explains the presence of carving zones that have reached our time as archaeological sites.

These inhabitants did not leave traces of permanent settlements, since his way of life was essentially nomadic, depending on the hunting routes and the collecting areas of seasonal plants. We do not have human bone remains of this period either, since its conservation is very difficult, and there are only a few sites at the whole Iberian Peninsula in which these first hominids existence has been able to be documented.

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