Archaeologists in Spain have uncovered sophisticated mining operations in Munigua, which were in operation as long ago as 4,000 years, but first Carthage and then Romans hijacked them for the vitally important metals iron and copper.
Iron and copper were important in those days for weaponry and tools and in international trade. An article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz says the substances were “valuable enough to kill for.”
The Romans had a habit of taking over mines that were already in operation in Spain, Israel and elsewhere in their far-flung empire.
Some of the Roman ruins at Munigua go back to around the 2nd century BC. (Wikimedia Commons/Photo by Cybergelo)
Researchers believe the mine in the ancient city of Muniqua in southern Spain was developed by the Turdetani people more than 4,000 years ago. The archaeologists have found ventilated underground rooms, shafts and tunnels dug into the earth that they believe were later developed by the Romans, who hijacked the operation from Carthaginians, who had stolen it in the 3rd century BC from the locals.
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