This study has its main goal in analyzing the transformations on the settlement pattern and the territorial organization in the area of central Catalonia between the 6th and the 11th centuries; this is, from the end of the Western Roman Empire to the arrival of the feudalism to the area after the conquest by the counts of Osona, Cerdanya and Urgell. Accordingly, an archaeological-based research has been completed through both own and alien data, although written sources and toponymic register have been utilized as well. Thus, throughout a chronological journey, several archaeological sites from different phases, nature and character are analyzed in order to define which are the principal diachronic guidelines of occupation and organization of the territory. In the opening section, which covers the period from the 6th to the 9th centuries, we first stress out the issue of the end of the traditional system of roman rural settlement, exemplified by the villae and fundus pair, and then we characterize the settlements from the next centuries, when it is observed the presence of several-room-establishments which are often surrounded by perimeter walls and are recurrently associated to presses, following the economic path of the late roman villae. At the same time, the existence of churches in this historic context is reduced to a few examples, surely related to the territorial centres, and some new data is given about the reoccupation of protohistoric settlements placed in altitude. Anyway, it is remarkable the high number of necropolis found in this region, one of the most reliable evidences of the early medieval settlement. Still in this first section, toponymic and written sources are used in order to identify public and fiscal establishments related to the islamic conquest, following some other authors’ lead as we have also done somewhere else. Finally, we utilize written sources to present an hypothesis on the political frame developed in this area during the 9th century, when the region maintains its independence from the Carolingian counties and the Andalusian districts. In the second section, focused on the 10th-11th centuries, we deal with the process of conquest and expansion by the counts in this area. On one hand, we try to identify the new type of settlements related to that time frame. In order to achieve so, establishments related to power, such as churches and fortifications, are studied both through archaeological and written evidences, as well as their new role in the construction of a new social order represented by the formation of feudalism. On the other hand, we pay special attention to the archaeological description of the rural settlements of this moment and their productive facilities.
|Date of Award||16 Jun 2011|
- Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)
|Supervisor||Ramon Marti Castello (Director)|