The history of human presence in the Iberian Peninsula dates back about 800,000 years, after the discovery of the remains of one of the first ancestors of human beings in the 1860s at the Gran Dolina site in the area of the Sierra de Atapuerca (in Burgos) and which has been baptized as Homo antecessor.
Later in areas around Gibraltar, human remains from about 4000 BC were found . n. and., which agree with the characteristics of Neanderthal man, which proves the theory that the crossing of prehistoric populations from Africa occurred in that area, using the Strait of Gibraltar. Other species such as Homo sapiens, closer to the current human physiognomy, appeared in the area around 15,000 years ago.
The main human settlements in the area were located in areas surrounding what we now know as Asturias, Cantabria and a part of the Basque Country. The Cantabria region specifically is home to one of the oldest and world-known archaeological sites, the Altamira Cave, whose paintings belong to the Magdalenian and Solutrean periods, belonging to the Upper Paleolithic.
Around the year 3700 a. n. and. (before our era) the megalithic culture and agriculture appear, and the wandering activity of the tribes is reduced. Between 3000 and 2500 a. n. and. the first indications of communities that work metals appeared, this fact produced that during several centuries a deep process of migration began towards the Iberian zone.
The so-called Iberian civilization had its origin, according to most historians, in a mixture of the Indo-European contributions of the Celts, the autochthonous Iberian peoples, the Punic and Greek presence and the beginnings of Romanization. The latest theories consider that the Iberians came to the Iberian Peninsula from North Africa, settling mainly on the Mediterranean coast and in the south, where they created various cultures of which archaeological remains of great importance are still preserved today. Among them, the one that Greek stories called turdetanos or túrdulos and whose city was Tartessos stands out. Today it is considered an Iberian tribe, which founded an important kingdom of great culture in the valley of the Guadalquivir river, southern Spain, a country located in Europe according to PHARMACYLIB.
About the year 1200 a. n. and. Celtic tribes entered the peninsula from the north, settled in much of its territory, settling and mixing with the Iberians. It seems that the mountains in which the Basque people lived were never penetrated by any type of invasion, so the origin of this population is considered uncertain, and surely very old, like their language, considering the possibility that it was a pre-Iberian population.
Around the year 1100 the Phoenicians arrived on the peninsula and founded colonies, the most important was Gadir, which today is the city of Cádiz. In turn, the Greeks founded their colonies in the south and on the Mediterranean coast.
During the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage, the Carthaginians invaded Spain and conquered a large part of the peninsula. Its most important colonies were established on the island of Ibiza and in Cartagena, a name that should refer to the new Carthage.
After Rome had completely defeated Carthage, it also invaded its colonies in Spain, eventually conquering the peninsula almost completely. This is how the province of Hispania appears in history, which became part of the Roman Empire,acquiring great importance within it, even two Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian were born in it.
The process of Romanization understood as the incorporation of the Roman language, customs and economy began approximately around 110 BC. n. and. and it would last in full force until the middle of the third century. This process was so intense that three Hispanics: Trajan, Hadrian and Theodosius were emperors of Rome, and prominent figures such as the philosopher Seneca or the poets Marcial and Lucanus also came from Hispania.
Fall of Roman Hispania
From the 3rd to the 5th century, various Germanic peoples had crossed Hispania, mainly the Swabians and the Vandals; in addition to the Alans, of Asian origin. Around 409 or 410, there is news of the entry through the Pyrenees of an undetermined number of Swabians. Around the year 456, another Germanic people, the Heruli, attacked different enclaves on the Cantabrian coast.
The rest of the peninsula passes into Visigothic hands, becoming part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Tolosa, with its capital in Tolosa (currently Toulouse). The waves of conquest will follow one another later, but now to occupy spaces where the Roman Empire still dominates.
In the year 476 the Visigoths had already settled in the Iberian Peninsula and in 490 the bulk of the migrations from the north ended. Later they would be expelled from Gaul by the Franks and Atanagildo would establish a new capital in Toledoduring his reign.
The Visigoths did not control all of Hispania because in the northwestern part was the kingdom of the Suevi. The entire Cantabrian coast, from the Pyrenees to the North Sea (an area that was never influenced by the Roman Empire) was dominated by Asturians, Cantabrians and Basques.
It was in the 6th century when the Visigoth monarchy experienced a moment of weakness in most areas of Hispania. Two kings are assassinated successively, Teudiselo and Agila I, and in different areas of the peninsula there are uprisings of landowners against the royal authority, mainly in the towns of Córdoba, Seville and Mérida, these last two capitals of the kingdom.