Archaeology versus Urban Development in Cartagena

Francisco Segado Vázquez, José Manuel Maciá Albendín


Archaeology has taught us what our origins are, but frequently it works in an independent way, avoiding any kind of collaboration with other disciplines such as Urban Development. Most often, archaeologists, managed by different government bodies, tend to work independently of urban planners. This system has led to archeologists getting the recognition for their discoveries while at the same time depriving society of the knowledge of the cities origin. As a consequence, urban development cannot fulfill its role. The fact that archeological and urban development projects are carried out separately is the main reason for the absence of any relationship between current town planning in the cities and old and buried urban planning. As a result, society is the loser in a battle in which there are no winners. In Cartagena (Spain), Pedro A. San Martín (1921-2013), an architect, a member of the Department of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture, Local commissioner of Archaeological Excavations and Director of the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Cartagena, developed a multi-layered approach (technical and urban) in the pursuit of one central objective: the revaluation of the city in its entirety. He tried to be an architect among archaeologists, learning the methods and ways in which archaeologists worked, and also an archaeologist among architects, trying to explain to them how they had to coordinate their discoveries in order to achieve a viable relationship between the old and the new city in Cartagena. His efforts are a great example of how both disciplines should be combined.


Archaeology, Urban Development, Tarragona, Mérida, Cartagena

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