Lidar reveals Roman gold mines

The Romans’ thirst for gold was legendary, fueling mining operations that rival the scope and scale of modern mines. The Las Médulas mines, for example, near what is now León in northwest Spain, were massive, extending for many kilometers along the Erica River Valley. A new look at this region using lidar has revealed the extent of the ancient mining works, as well as the complex hydraulic systems used by the Romans in the first century B.C. to extract the gold.

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Mary Caperton Morton

Mary Caperton Morton

Morton ( is a freelance science and travel writer based in Big Sky, Mont., and an EARTH roving correspondent.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015 - 06:00

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