I fell in love (as only industrial archaeologists can) with this seemingly unprepossessing area of Murcia province whilst driving through it in 2008. Pockmarked and scarred by mine workings and waste heaps, the landscape was peppered with the remains of scores of mines - headgear, chimneys, topside buildings and heaps of debris. Arid, mostly treeless, and often ugly, the area has been mined since before the Romans arrived to establish the centre now known as Cartagena, an attractive and interesting city that still boasts a Roman theatre.

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