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Soria and Garray, Spain

Celebrated by Pliny, Livy, and Cicero, the ancient city of Numancia rests atop a commanding promontory near modern Soria. In the mid-2nd century B.C. it became the stage of one of the most bloody and protracted wars waged by Rome, known as the Celtiberian Wars. The local Celtiberians were overtaken by the Roman legions between 153 and 133 B.C., after the Senate of Rome sent its most prestigious general, P. Cornelio Scipio, the conqueror of Carthage, to besiege the city. To end the resistance, he built seven encampments, connected by a wall 5.5-miles (9-kilometers) long, whose structure is still visible today, along with the nearly intact countryside that the Celtiberians themselves beheld during the bitter years of the Roman conquest.

Like the defiant Celtiberians, this important archaeological settlement and its wider historical environment have endured as a symbol of resilience. However, plans to construct an industrial park, an urban complex, and a housing development will irreversibly alter this highly significant yet undervalued landscape. It is hoped that Watch listing will bring national and international recognition of Numancia and renew efforts for its protection.


The Supreme Court ruling upheld the illegality of the government’s expropriation of the land adjacent to the remains of the ancient city of Numancia, with the purpose of building a 120-hectare industrial park. Furthermore, the court emphasized the need to protect the site from future encroachments. June 2013

Professors of History and Geography from the National University of Distance Education (UNED) in Madrid denounced the increasing deterioration of the archaeological landscape of Numancia. Sections of the historic landscape are being threatened by the construction of a housing complex and the Ciudad de Medio Ambiente—Environment City, a large scale mixed-use development that will house environmental activities, adjacent to the remains of a Roman encampment. November 2012


Numancia Resists an Urban Development Siege
July 15, 2013