Las Saladillas is one of the most interesting Bronze Age archaeological sites in Castilla-La Mancha. Its discovery was fortuitous, during the construction of a golf course. After the discovery, a team of archaeologists from the University of Castilla-La Mancha carried out the first interventions between 1993 and 1994, documenting 25 pits that shed light on this type of Bronze Age settlements in La Mancha, until then little known.
Almost 30 years later, between 2021 and 2022, research work has been resumed at the site, locating 25 new pits, of which 14 have been excavated. After excavation, the pits have been backfilled and marked with white gravel for better preservation and identification. Much of the material found inside the pits can be seen today in the Municipal Museum of Alcázar de San Juan.Show more content
The Bronze Age of La Mancha or Motilla Culture (2200-1350 B.C.) is a Bronze Age culture in which we find settlements in height and in plain. The latter are characterized by the motillas, a unique type of settlement in the peninsular prehistory. However, research carried out in La Mancha has also revealed the existence of a large number of pit fields, which are related to very short-term settlements linked to livestock, agriculture or strategic resources such as salt, which is very abundant in the area surrounding Las Saladillas.
In “pit field” type sites, it is common to find dozens or even hundreds of pits dug in the ground and distributed in an anarchic manner. The holes do not always have the same size, shape or content, so researchers have suggested that their use may vary. Some would serve as storage silos and others as hut bottoms, quarries, areas for fire lighting, burials or could even function as rural deposits where different offerings could be deposited. However, when they lost their original use, most of them were used as garbage dumps.