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The first human settlements in Hinojares date back to the 7th and 6th centuries BC, as the remnants of the 4th century BC Iberian archaeological site of Castellones de Ceal show.

Hinojares gained independence Pozo Alcón and the status of a town in 1690. It is a small town with a slow, peaceful way of life. The tower of the parish church of “San Marcos Evangelista” (St. Mark the Evangelist) points to the sky in the lower part of the town.

The landscape is defined by geology. In this area of the nature reserve the arid land was once the bottom of a huge lake. Only 20 thousand years ago, a long time after the mountains of Sierra del Pozo and Quesada were formed, the entire region between the provinces of Jaén and Granada was an immense inland lake that accumulated mud and sediments from the mountains. However, the rivers changed their course when a massive movement of the earth’s crust shook the region 11 thousand years ago, and the lake disappeared.

The landscape has eroded over the last 110 centuries, and the rain, seasonal torrents and streams have washed and dragged the rocks that were once in the bottom of the lake. If you go to the town, you’ll see a horizon made up of ochre and white coloured earth, the result of the materials that accumulated at the bottom of the former lake.

Amongst the materials from the bottom of the lake we can find rocks rich in salt. Some of the streams dissolve them, making their water salty. This circumstance permitted the extraction of salt using traditional techniques in places like the saltworks in Chillar river, which are no longer in operation.

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