Novelties and legacies in crops of the Islamic period in the northeast Iberian Peninsula: The archaeobotanical evidence in Madîna Balagî, Madîna Lârida, and Madîna TurtÛša

Natàlia Alonso, Ferran Antolín, Helena Kirchner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA. Written sources provide plentiful information on the agricultural plant species present in al-Andalus, and they are also informative with regard to which species were introduced into the Iberian Peninsula during this period. This work approaches the matter from an archaeobotanical perspective, in order to make a first assessment of the species and agricultural practices found in northeast al-Andalus, the new techniques adopted and the legacy of Roman agriculture. This is a pioneering study in the field of medieval Islamic agriculture.Archaeobotanical samples obtained from the excavations at Pla d'Almatà (Balaguer), Lleida and Tortosa, and more specifically, from the levels corresponding to the Islamic period (Madîna Balagî, Madîna Lârida and Madîna TurtÛša), have yielded a large volume of data. Analyses have been carried out on a considerable number of seeds and fruits found in a charred or mineralised state. Cereals are particularly abundant, and consist mainly of hulled barley and naked wheat. Evidence for several oil plants (gold-of-pleasure, flax) and fruits (fig, olives, grapes, pomegranates, walnuts, apples, melon/cucumber, peaches, pine nuts and almonds) has also been noted. The taxa cited in the written sources as having been introduced during the Islamic period have proven to be very difficult to characterise archaeobotanically, and few have been identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
JournalQuaternary International
Volume346
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Al-Andalus
  • Archaeobotany
  • Crops

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