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Parking lot replaces historic Roman city

UPI News Service, 04/30/2006 

Ecija, a small town in southern Spain, has paved over a treasure trove of Roman history to put in a parking lot.

The Sunday Times of London said the last vestiges of the lost city known as Colonia Augusta Firma Astigi have been destroyed to build an underground municipal car park.

Archeologists say the site contained a well-preserved Roman forum, bath house, gymnasium and temple -- as well as dozens of private homes and hundreds of mosaics and statues. Terracotta urns from Ecija have been discovered as far away as Britain and Rome.

Research has shown that Ecija was almost as important in the Roman world as Cordoba and Seville.

The socialist local council says the remains never would have been found had the town not dug up the main square, Plaza de Espana, to build the car park in 1998, the newspaper said.

Mayor Juan Wic said the parking lot is "essential for the commercial future of the square and city."

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Copyright 2006 by United Press International


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