La Bastida is not an excellent place to live. As a result, human communities avoided it for hundreds of thousands of years, from the earliest Paleolithic until one day about 4,200 years ago. Then, that forgotten hill was so appealing that it was inhabited for more than six centuries until it was abandoned some other day almost 3,550 years ago. Since then, the people who have lived the longest here have been the “Bastida Project” members.

Interactive virtual photogrammetric survey of the lower southeast slope sector of La Bastida (© Habitat Serea, SL).


From the Guadalentín valley and even some 80 meters above the riverbed of the Lébor  watercourse, you can barely spot the hill of La Bastida.

From the Guadalentín valley and even some 80 meters above the riverbed of the Lébor  watercourse, you can barely spot the hill of La Bastida.

Around 2200 BC, a community occupied the hill of La Bastida for the first time. Its fortification was the

Around 2200 BC, a community occupied the hill of La Bastida for the first time. Its fortification was the “founding act” of the oldest city in continental Europe.

At the foot of the settlement, surrounded by small huts, Argaric people constructed a unique building with masonry walls and large posts. It was 14 meters long and six wide, still conserving 2.62 m in height today.

At the foot of the settlement, surrounded by small huts, Argaric people constructed a unique building with masonry walls and large posts. It was 14 meters long and six wide, still conserving 2.62 m in height today.

The rare objects found inside and the absence of tools related to food preparation and consumption highlights the uniqueness of this building, possibly for collective use.

The rare objects found inside and the absence of tools related to food preparation and consumption highlights the uniqueness of this building, possibly for collective use.

At the foot of the settlement, following the now arid and eroded riverbed of the Lébor watercourse, in full urban effervescence around 1800 BCE, La Bastida would have been majestic, dominant. At that time, that humanised mountain was an impregnable fortress.  Its hustle and bustle would probably echo in the walls of the ravines that, naturally, defended it from its enemies.

At the foot of the settlement, following the now arid and eroded riverbed of the Lébor watercourse, in full urban effervescence around 1800 BCE, La Bastida would have been majestic, dominant. At that time, that humanised mountain was an impregnable fortress.  Its hustle and bustle would probably echo in the walls of the ravines that, naturally, defended it from its enemies.

From the beginning of the second millennium BC, the topography of La Bastida began to undergo a radical transformation. The steep slopes were

From the beginning of the second millennium BC, the topography of La Bastida began to undergo a radical transformation. The steep slopes were “tamed” by artificial terraces, on which buildings with stone walls usually rectilinear were erected. Thus, the typical Argaric urban architecture was inaugurated.

The first constructions were distributed with some open spaces between them. However, the urban plot thickened around 1850/1800 BC and remained so until the end of El Argar. During this last period (which we know as Phase III), the top construction and demographic density were reached, with an estimated population close to 1000 inhabitants. At this time, buildings leaned against each other, sometimes leaving narrow alleys and, of course, nothing like squares or any other type of open spaces.

The first constructions were distributed with some open spaces between them. However, the urban plot thickened around 1850/1800 BC and remained so until the end of El Argar. During this last period (which we know as Phase III), the top construction and demographic density were reached, with an estimated population close to 1000 inhabitants. At this time, buildings leaned against each other, sometimes leaving narrow alleys and, of course, nothing like squares or any other type of open spaces.

Nowadays, La Bastida has recovered 9% of its urban layout. However, it is crying out to re-emerge from the mountain's bowels and display the majesty of a place where, millennia ago, a few started the politics and the struggle to exercise power over the majority.

Nowadays, La Bastida has recovered 9% of its urban layout. However, it is crying out to re-emerge from the mountain’s bowels and display the majesty of a place where, millennia ago, a few started the politics and the struggle to exercise power over the majority.

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