El Ejido has reached a well-deserved international prestige thanks to the quality of its fruit and vegetable and its ability in innovative cultivation systems, but under the economic development, consequence of its inhabitants’ skills to adapt themselves to an unfavourable physical environment and turn it into an opportunity of sustainable development, El Ejido also presents other singularities that will positively surprise the visitors.
The history of El Ejido dates back a long time. A settlement from the beginning of the third millennium BC appears in the archaeological site of Ciavieja. This site shows an uninterrupted prehistorical sequence between the Chalcolithic period, with a clear similarity with other settlements of the “Civilisation of Los Millares”, and the Bronze Age (Argaric culture). Later on, it sustained a Punic traders community and, during the Roman period, it was the plot of the ancient city of Murgi. Archaeological tests suggest a thriving community, with several villages, rural villas and a port in Guardias Viejas.
From the 4th century on, the population dispersal inland was more evident and Murgi was permanently abandoned around the 7th century, until it disappeared as a city. During the Middle Ages, this place became a stockbreeding area. As a consequence, the current landscape of El Ejido shows many aljibes . (medieval cisterns), some of them with almost a monumental nature. After the Morisco rebellions, the land turned virtually deserted.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, cereal farming spread inland. The fishing activity continued on the coast, including the building of tuna fishing and fish-salting factories. The Castle of Guardias Viejas, as well as the fortified towers of Balerma, Entinas and Cerrillos also date back to that era.
The intensive agriculture began in the middle of the 20th century. From that moment onwards, the history of El Ejido would be linked to that kind of agriculture, to investigation and to innovative production.
Visitors are invited to discover the history of this kind people, to enjoy the touristic services of the city and the resources the land might offer, to personally know the pioneers of the so-called “Miracle of El Ejido”, to share their experience and to immerse themselves into the historic roots that fed their vigorous and enterprising spirit. History goes on.