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Munigua, Seville province

Ancient city lost in the Seville countryside

Who needs to go to South America to discover ancient cities lost in jungles? Alive and well in the heart of Southern Spain and, in common with many of the excellent ideas to come out of this part of the world, the concept was probably formulated here and then exported.

Munigua is a Roman village located deep in the heart of the Andalusian countryside and is situated to the north of the small town of Villanueva del Rio y Minas, a town that owed its existence to the product that brought the Romans here in the first place.

For this is mining country. The hills of this part of the Sierra Morena, in the north of the Province of Seville, are full of iron ore and the town was, until the early twentieth century, the epicentre of the mining industry.

We came away from Munigua full of questions. Looking back, as the fortress that had been dominating the high ground for the last 2000 years slowly sunk beneath the crown of the trees, my mind was filled with doubts about the reasons for the abrupt abandonment of the settlement; an abandonment that lasted until late in the middle of the XVIII century (1765). Was it simply that the mines became exhausted or was the reason more sinister? Imagination runs riot.

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January 2018
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