Archaeology of the landscape and archaeology of farmed areas in the medieval hispanic societies

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This article is a reflexion on the achievements of field system archaeology in medieval Spanish archaeology. It goes throught the recent orientations in agrarian history and the limited involvement of archaeologists in this subject matter until recently. Only the so-called 'hydraulic archaeology', developed for the study of the irrigated areas of al-Andalus, which has some application in feudal hydraulic systems, and the research undertaken in the mountain fieldsystems of Asturias stand out as archaeological approaches before the end of the 20th century. More recently, several archaeologists have begun to develop new methodologies for the study of medieval farmlands, most notably among which are the application of archaeological excavation techniques, radiocarbon dating, and microgeomorphological analysis of the actual forming areas. In this way hydraulic archaeology is applied to the study of the impact of the feudal conquest upon the agrarian landscape of al-Andalus. Finally, this article reflects on the necessity of satisfactorily combining the resources provided by archaeology and textual records in research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-86
JournalImago Temporis - Medium Aevum
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Agrarian archaeology
  • Al-Andalus
  • Feudal society
  • Field systems
  • High Middle Ages
  • Hydraulic archaeology
  • Irrigation
  • Landscape archaeology


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