Thursday, 2 September 2010

Today was a day off, we went with friends to visit the Roman Gold Mines at Las Medulas, in Leon. The site is Fantastic, covering some 2000ha, with no less than 50 archaeological sites it is an UNESCO World Heritage site. The gold had first been discovered by the Asturs, people indigenous to the area, but then the Romans came. The only problem was how to extract the gold that lay within the mountain rocks. The Romans were incredible engineers and figured the best way to deal with the problem of a few mountains was to wash them away! This was done by means of building aqueducts, or rather enslaving the Asturs to build them, take water from the Sil river and several others, and just wash the problem away. They left the mines in the 3rd century, even though they were still working mines containing gold, the reason is not clear.

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