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.
Since the Watch
Court decisions in 2009 and 2010 halted construction of the industrial park Soria II due to illegal expropriation. The controversy over the Ciudad del Medio Ambiente, a commercial and residential real estate development, has been ongoing. CEU San Pablo University organized a roundtable discussion of the legal issues surrounding these projects near Numancia in March 2010. Advocates from the National University of Distance Education in Madrid denounced the increasing deterioration of the archaeological landscape of Numancia and received the support of cultural heritage organizations and other educational institutions. In 2013, the court decisions against the development were upheld on appeal by the Supreme Court and by the Constitutional Court of Spain. May 2014