The prehistoric art is without a doubt the most unknown of all. Sometimes we link that distant period of the past only with the rock paintings made in caves, whose greatest exponents are the sets of Altamira or the Caves of Lascaux. However, Prehistory is not reduced to that ancient period.
Motilla del Azuer
Do not forget that Prehistory is divided into Paleolithic and Neolithic, and within this last phase there is aIron Age and a Bronze Age, the closest to the historical phases, that is, when we begin to have some type of writing.
Well, this amazing prehistoric monument located in the region of La Mancha belongs to this last phase of the Bronze Age, in Spain. A monument that archaeologists and historians date to a period ranging from 2,200 to 1,300 BC.
Motilla del Azuer it is an impressive specimen. It is a kind of circular fortress built in stone and surrounded by the flat landscape of La Mancha. There the surrounding population could take refuge, they had space for warehouses and to keep the herds. All this arranged around a kind of central patio.
In addition to access to the water table of the Azuer River, so the essential water supply was guaranteed. Something thatmakes it the first hydraulic engineering structure on the Iberian Peninsula.
Motilla del Azuer was completely excavated. It was hidden under tons of earth forming a mound in the middle of the La Mancha plain. In fact today when looking at this part of the plateau in the center of Spain, you can see that among the large crop fields there are suddenly certain mounds that can exceed 10 meters in height and that develop along circumferences of about 50 meters. Dimensions that coincide with those of this site. And the truth is that it is thought that under many of those mounds, the vast majority of them located in the province of Ciudad Real, there may be similar places. That is why we speak of a culture of motillas. However, there is still much to be excavated to learn more about these primitive settlements. What does seem clear, seeing the complexity of the construction of Motilla de Azuer, that they had quite advanced forms of life, exploiting both agriculture and livestock, and that they would have enemies, since the spirit of these constructions would be that of serve as a refuge in times of harassment.
However, as in so many things related to Prehistory, there is a lot of interpretation and few certainties. Surely that is why it is a fascinating period that represents the beginning of civilization.