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The earliest evidence of human life in Spain are a collection of fossilised human bones found on a site near Burgos, dating back around 800,000 years.Another site nearby contains human fossils dating back 300,000 years and represents 3/4 of all known human remains from that time.
Old Stone Age (30-40,000 years ago) Iberian man was probably centered around Santander, although other relics from that time have been found near Malaga. Along with the development of tools using stone, it is thought language was developing for the first time in this period.
Then came the last Ice Age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. As the ice melted and deer and other game moved north, then so did many of the hunter gatherers, possibly with others moving into the south of Spain from North Africa.
It has been suggested that the Basques may originate from a group of hunter gatherers who decided to stay put.
It appears that the new stone age reached Spain around 3,000 BC, when more sophisticated stone tools were developer along with a type of plough used to cultivate the land, with influences coming from Egypt.
It is believed that around 2,500 BC there was a cultural capital around Almeria at the time that the use of metal (copper) was being developer.
Also around this time, large burial chambers were in prominence, one of the best known being at Antequera, just north of Malaga. At this location, large stones weighing up to 130 tonnes were transported and used within the chamber.
Around 1,500BC it is thought that much of this activity moved north into the Guadalquivir valley, an area better suited to agriculture while metal deposits in the surrounding hills included copper and silver.
Later, possibly around 1000BC, Celts moved across the Pyrenees from the north to occupy much of central Spain and Phoenicians moved in from the south. The Poenicians were strong traders and controlled much of the trade around the Mediterranean at the time, and possibly founded the city of Cadiz, while other Phoencian colonies formed at what are now Malaga, Almuñecar and Adra, making use of copper and silver deposits not too far away.
Greeks settled on the shores of Catalunya around 600BC and developer olive, wheat and wine production.
The Greeks were however stopped by the Carthaginians, an off-shoot of the Phoenicians, developing around the same time as Rome.
The Punic wars of around 250 to 150 BC between the Carthaginians and the Romans resulted in the latter gaining a foothold in Spain.
On to The time of the Romans - 218 BC to AD 409