The Millares, located in Santa Fe de Mondujar, has been declared the most significant historical location in the Bajo Andarax. In this territory an extensive culture was developed approximately 5,000 years ago, which today still lives on in the walls and ruins of this enigmatic place.
Nowadays visitors can visit the ancient remains, or go to the Interpretation Centre to learn about the life of these millenary villages. There one can view the houses and workshops where they worked, and there are even nine burial sites and other characteristic signs of their culture.
Known as the Archaeological Site of The Millares, or simply The Millares, this town has been described as the most important Copper Age site in Europe, dating from the year 2700 BC.
It is a fortress that measures four metres high by 310 metres wide, built on a hill that is guarded by the ravines of the Andarax river and the Huechar dry riverbed. Its height was invaluable in enabling the citizens to watch over and protect the town.
Within the four walls of this prehistoric city, visitors have the opportunity to enter the spaces of a civilisation that was characterised by metallurgy, burial sites and defence of the territory.
Currently there is an Interpretation Centre that is open to visitors, where they can learn all the details of the millenary culture that resided there. Also, on a free tour, tourists can walk through the town between its walls and defensive bastions.
Its height allows people to visit a series of forts located in the vicinity and inside are the necropolises, which functioned as collective tombs; these are housed in caves with stone passages where the funeral rituals took place.
The archaeological remains indicate that an organised society developed in this territory, which was quite advanced in many aspects, in comparison with other civilisations of the time.
The Millares civilisation was established in this area of the Bajo Andarax during the prehistoric era, between the years 2700 and 1800 BC. It is believed that between 1,000 and 1,500 people lived there, who were skilled in agriculture and metallurgical development, as indicated by the tools found in the site.
The town built an incomparable defensive system, constructed with four lines of walls, together with approximately ten forts and semicircular towers.
The longest wall is 31 metres in length and extends from the escarpments of the Andarax river to the Huechar dry riverbed. In the necropolis you can see a collection of more than one hundred tombs that attract the attention of all its visitors. Each tomb is a place of rest for members of the same clan, who were buried with their tools, weapons, idols and other pieces of property.
These features show that in The Millares, the provision of facilities and rituals for the dead, as well as the living, was very important. Its inhabitants were mainly engaged in metallurgical activities, thanks to the proximity of the Sierra de Gador, which is full of important mineral deposits.
According to research, the Millares established and spread their customs throughout the Almeria region and were a demographic link between the Stone Age and the Age of Metals. A key factor that enabled development of life in this arid territory was the control of water supply.
The Millares were characterised by their creation of different types of weapons, idols, stone tools for domestic use, and copper accessories.
In Santa Fe de Mondujar, lovers of tradition and prehistoric civilisations can find an authentic jewel that is worth visiting. The Millares are preserved almost intact so that researchers and tourists can travel through time and learn more about this millenary culture.
The archaeological site is open from Wednesday to Sunday in the mornings and it offers guided tours through the remains of this civilization, which last for two and a half hours. There you can come into contact with the mementos of a town that promoted a pioneering way of life in the advancement of copper metallurgy.
Finally, in the Interpretation Centre, you can view a replica of an area of the town where its structures and elements of prehistory are reproduced in their original size.