We present a methodological proposal for the study of agricultural landscapes from medieval Spain, some of whose main features have been preserved until today. The combined analysis of hydraulic structures, fossilised plots, and habitats allows us to isolate a particular landscape, enabling us to understand the society that created it and used it. When comparing different agricultural landscapes that emerged in al-Andalus, we realize that they are significantly homogeneous, something that is also evident among Christian medieval landscapes. This helps us to clearly distinguish between these historical landscapes and understand their respective societies, which some times coexisted and some times overlapped.
Taking the archaeological data and the documental sources about the ‘arrabal de la Arrixaca’ in Murcia (Spain), the central question is to address the process of creation of neighborhoods outside the walls in Islamic cities and their functioning. The data obtained in the archeological excavations developed in the site of San Esteban (Murcia) has allowed to gather key information about the internal organization of this type of urban spaces between the 11th and 13th centuries in al-Andalus. The juxtaposition of domestic, commercial, religious and funerary areas and road spaces allows to question the traditional interpretation of the ‘arrabales’ as peripheral entities in the Islamic Medieval cities and to propose some hypotheses about their creation and evolution.
Rural al-Andalus fortifications (hisn) have been since the beginning one of the main topics in archaeology of al-Andalus. This is due to the role of the hisn as a central place of the settlement organization. These would secure the defense of the Islamic communities and would have been built by them – occasionally in connivance with the State, that would eventually achieve its control. Thus, they are the material place where the relationship between local communities and the Andalusian State is most evident. In this communication we contribute to this topic with the results of the application of Spatial Analysis – visibility, Least Cost Path, Thiessen polygons- through GIS to the research of the Andalusian fortifications networks. The case study will be the Alpujarra, a mountainous region of the Southwest Spain where the Islamic presence spanned from the 7th to the 16th century.
The written sources are the first contact to study a historical fact. However, it is not unusual that the information that we can obtain from them is not enough for that purpose. Since 2016, we are analyzing the battle and siege of Alcala la Vieja (1118) and the data provided by the texts is too brief to understand some of the aspects, like the attack route. In order to solve it, we used GIS to find the best way to access the castle. With this work, we want to show the significance of the landscape archaeology to fill those gaps.