FROM THE CAVES TO THE FIRST SETTLERS
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Man has appeared in the Malagas lands since he first learned to use rocks as tools. In the Lower Palaeolithic he prepared them for hunting in the terraces of the Guaro river in La Viñuela, Marchamonas in Periana, and in the Correa reserve in Marbella. 35.000 years ago, in the Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal man occupied open spaces and caves in many points of the province, especially near the mouths of some rivers in the Axarquia: the Grajas cave near the Zafarraya hollow, in Alcaucin where the Zafarraya man lived, and in the small caves and shelters of the Araña cave complex near the sea in the municipality of Malaga.
Little by little, the cave began to be the preferred place of our ancestors, and in the Upper Palaeolithic became the preferred shelter in prehistory. The caves of Doña Trinidad in Ardales, Nerja, La Pileta cave in Benaojan and the Tajo cave in Jorox Alozaina, are important examples of this tendency. With some 10.000 years left before arriving in our era, in the era called the Epipaleolithic, primitive man began to discover the attractiveness of the coast.
During the Neolithic era, the settlements in the province were scattered between the coast and the mountain. Apart from the Nerja caves, there are signs of mans presence in the Torcal sierras in Antequera, La Camorra in Mollina, Sierra Blanca in Marbella, and in the Hundidero-Gato complex between Montejaque and Benaojan. In the final stages of prehistory, in the era known as the Calcilithic-Bronze towards the middle of the 3rd millennium, man extends over most of the province, taking up megaliths, of which there are extraordinary samples in the dolmens of Montejaque, Chopo, and the Giganta in Ronda, but above all in the sepulchres of the Menga corridor, Viera and Romeral in Antequera, and the necropolis in the artificial caves of Villanueva de Algaidas and Alameda. The town of Llano de la Virgen, in Coin, is one of the most characteristic examples of an urban settlement in the Bronze Age. Now, theses types of settlements are beginning to appear, but the caves prevail not only in the coastal lands but also inland, in Teba, Almogia, etc.