Torre Pacheco is an important municipality in the province of Murcia where 35,676 people live (data from the year 2019) in an area of 189.4 km2. The municipality is located in the Campo de Cartagena and does not present any mountainous relief, except for the Cabezo Gordo (312 m). The distance from the urban nucleus of the municipality to the city of Murcia is 37 kilometers.
The history of Torre Pacheco dates back to the Ice Age - a period during which the Heidelberg Man and the Neanderthal Man settled in the Cabezo Gordo.
In the Cabezo Gordo, the Sima de las Palomas was discovered in 1991. It has become one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain. This site has provided remains of fauna, prehistoric tools and hominids. The remains found are between 125,000 and 150,000 years old, with highlights including the discovery of the phalanx (toe) of a Neanderthal child.
During Roman times, Torre Pacheco had no urban nucleus. However, the fertility of its lands and its proximity to Carthago Nova (current Cartagena) led to the settlement of different Roman villas in the area.
The Cabezo Gordo quarries were exploited by the Romans to supply marble to the city of Carthago Nova
Not until the 13th century did the first written references appear to Torre Pacheco. At this time, King Alfonso X ordered that this area serve as a pasture for Murcia's flocks of sheep.
The origin of Torre Pacheco is in the farmhouse and tower built by the Pacheco family, who came to the area from Portugal in 1472. Previously, other families of landowners whose names gave rise to place names - such as Saavedra (1330) and Roda (1374) - had started to settle in the area.
The municipality of Torre Pacheco became independent from the municipality of Murcia in 1836. In 1900, the municipality of Torre Pacheco was made up of around 8,500 inhabitants. Their way of earning a living was via rainfed agriculture through plantations of cereals, olive trees, vines and almond trees. Subsequently, in 1979, many of these rainfed crops were transformed into irrigated crops thanks to the arrival of the Tajo-Segura transfer, which allowed for an economic and demographic take-off that continues today.