News FocusArchaeology

Economic Crisis Forces Spanish Archaeology to Rethink Its Roots

Science  24 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6097, pp. 909
DOI: 10.1126/science.337.6097.909

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Summary

The real estate boom and economic bonanza were the foundation of commercial archaeology in Spain. The country has many precious remains, from the ancient hominins of the Atapuerca Mountains—where fossils were first discovered when digging for a railway—to cities such as Seville, where key remains go back to the Lower Paleolithic. In bustling regions such as Madrid, there has been so much commercial archaeology that ancient physical landscapes of each period could be reconstructed almost completely, archaeologists say. Archaeologists salvaged thousands of artifacts during the boom, but now many worry about the future of commercial archaeology, and some call for reshaping the field.

  • * Elisabeth Pain is a contributing editor for Science Careers.