The Hoya de Guadix and the a ltiplanicie de Baza y Huéscar , in the north of the province, are two extensive hollows lying between the Betic sierras. Riddled with corridors and natural shelters, these areas have been the site of numerous human settlements since the earliest of times. Indeed, the so-called troglodyte habitat , which refers to the unusual form of human existence in caverns, developed extensively in both areas, and this is reflected by the numerous archaeological remains which have been found.
Apart from the Argaric remains of La Balunca in Castilléjar, other examples of troglodyte inhabitation include the caves of La Tía Micaela and Sin Salida (both in Cortes y Graena) the Cueva Horá , the Abrigo de Luis Martínez shelter, and the Cuevas de Panoría (in Darro), as well as various natural shelters used by Palaeolithic hunter gatherers who left numerous examples of primitive cave paintings on the walls. Likewise, to the east of the Granadan town of Píñar- , are the Cueva de la Carigüela and the famous Cueva de las Ventanas , which was inhabited from the Middle Palaeolithic period. This grotto, which has been beautifully refurbished for tourist use, owes its name to the three openings which provide the only access to the cave from the outside.
The fertile land and the huge mineral wealth attracted cultures who came from the Mediterranean and took full advantage of the ideal characteristics of the terrain (composed of soft, compact, and impermeable materials) to excavate new caves on the steep riverside hills.
Although the Romans opted for their ´ villae´ exentas (autonomous villas), they were actually built near to the caves we see today, which in itself is evidence of their fine location, and the Goths followed the Roman Empire’s example.