Mining and its significance in the framework of the great cultural routes, with a special reference to the Spanish Royal Road ("El Camino Real")

García de Miguel, José María (2005) Mining and its significance in the framework of the great cultural routes, with a special reference to the Spanish Royal Road ("El Camino Real"). In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]


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Abstract (in English)

The necessity of mining metals and other minerals for different purposes, including trade, has constituted the real motor for a great number of historic movements which have produced considerable social and economical development and changes, migratory flows, new local foundations and reciprocal influences over different periods of the history of mankind. In the ancient world, the gold, tin and copper mines of the Iberian Peninsula attracted people from the ancient Tarshish, as well as Phoenicians, Hellenes and Romans who established different settlements in its territory, while at the same time the Carthaginians, more bellicose, exploited the iron. All of them left their characteristic mark on the local culture and also received its influences. But the most significant event from a historic point of view took place after the discovery of America. The search for precious and valuable metals, the so-called “El Dorado Myth” produced an explosion of dynamic rush which gave way to an extraordinary amount of expeditions to explore the New World. The discovery of silver and gold mines in New Spain (today Mexico) and Peru determined the establishment of the Royal Road (the “Camino Real”), as the official way of communication for the transport of the tools, materials and instruments which were necessary for the construction of the mining structures, as well as a means for sending back to Europe the rich minerals obtained. In this way, the Camino Real became the arterial system on which were based communications as well as the administrative organisation and the control of territory within the huge Spanish Empire. Even though some cultural properties of this important Cultural Route which was created on the basis of the mining interests have already been inscribed on the World Heritage List, a common approach to their historic origins and related significance as a whole is necessary in order to understand correctly their full meaning and to provide for their most adequate management.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
García de Miguel, José María
Languages: English
Keywords: cultural routes; mining; historical survey; integrity; authenticity
Subjects: H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 07. Cultural routes
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 16. Industrial and technical heritage
Name of monument, town, site, museum: Almadén, Spain; Camino Real
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2010 17:09
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2023 14:45
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3. MANSILLA PLAZA, L. et al (1997). Actas de la Primera Sesión Científica sobre Patrimonio Minero y Metalúrgico de la S.E.D.P.G.Y.M. celebradas en Almadén el día 21 y 22 de octubre de 1996. Publications Department of the Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government.

4. MANSILLA PLAZA, L. (1997). El Patrimonio minero de Almadén camina hacia la declaración de patrimonio de la humanidad. Scientific Meeting of the SEDPGYM, Belmez.

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7. GONZÁLEZ TASCÓN IGNARO, ROMERO MUÑOZ DOLORES, SÁENZ SANZ AMAYA Los caminos del mercurio de Almadén a Nueva España. Proceedings of the II International Congress on Spanish Roads. Volume III, pp. 683-692. Castilla-La Mancha Study Centre.

8. GARCÍA DE MIGUEL, J.M. Poblaciones Históricas Mineras. Almadén. Regional Sub-Committee for Historic Cities and Towns for the Iberian and American Area (CIHIB) of ICOMOS. Scientific Meeting, Madrid (Spain), September 27th-29th, 2004.

9. GARCÍA DE MIGUEL, J.M. Patrimonio histórico minero: Almadén. Congress: Legal protection fo archaeological heritage. Mining Route. Ministry of Culture, Sept. 2004.

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