1) AGE OF COPPER / CHALCOLITHIC (3300-2000 BC)
During the Copper or Chalcolithic Age took place an increase in population and social differences. This fact is evident in the Jabalón basin in the various settlements that now appear on the different terraces of the river, such as Fuente la Teja, Cerro de los Conejos, El Castillón or El Toril.
These communities lived in huts made of perishable materials, such as timber and mud, and their economy was largely dependent on agriculture and livestock, especially sheep and goats. But these are groups in which there is already a high mobility of people and ideas.
Thus, the use and metallurgy of copper are now widespread and, along with other raw materials that are difficult to obtain –such as ivory or variscite– two groups of inhabitants begin to be created: those who had access to exotic materials and those who did not.
2) THE LITIC PERFECTION
During the Copper Age some previous technological traditions are still present, such as the use of local quartzite and polished stone – axes and hoes– although the small size of some pieces shows a more ritual than functional use.
However, it was the flint lithic reduction that reached unprecedented levels of specialization and complexity. Such flint, like the fibrolite of some axes, was brought from other territories to create a wide variety of basic tools for subsistence, whether for harvesting, hunting or domestic processing of materials.
3) SOCIAL DIFFERENTIATION
Some archaeological materials from the Chalcolithic Age reflect the incipient social differentiation of the population, as they were not accessible to all members of society. In ancient times (3,300-2,500 B. C. ) the variscite necklaces and ornaments seems to be the distinguishing element. Later, at the end of the period (2500-2000 B. C. ), bell-shaped ceramics – in the shape of an inverted bell and richly decorated, ivory buttons with «V» perforations, archer’s bracelets or tips / spearheads and daggers made of copper appear to be associated only with a small section of the population. That is the symbolic legitimation of the social preeminence of one group over another.
4) THE BRONZE IN LA MANCHA (2200-1300 a.C. approx.)
Around four thousand years ago there have been some notable changes in the different settlements, the material culture and social relations among the different peninsular communities. These changes occurred, among other reasons, due to the new influences from Central Europe and Eastern Mediterranean, a rise in the aridity and, mainly, because of the new metallurgy of bronze.
Prototypic sites in this phase, such as «Motillas» or Castellones, are not documented. Nevertheless, places like El Castillón show this first blurred example of bell-shaped tradition and its drift to more rough, graceless decorative styles, like Dornajos.