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Andalusi Populations at La Dehesilla Cave (Sierra de Cádiz, Southern Iberia): An Interdisciplinary Approach to their Rural Economic Systems

AuthorsGarcía-Rivero, Daniel; Taylor, Ruth; Pérez-Aguilar, Luis-Gethsemani; Pérez-Jordá, Guillem; García-Viñas, Esteban; López Sáez, José Antonio ; Zurro Hernández, Débora ; Peña-Chocarro, Leonor ; Bernáldez-Sánchez, E.
KeywordsTaifa kingdoms
Almohad period
Plant macro-remains
Issue Date2019
PublisherEquinox Publishing
CitationJournal of Islamic Archaeology (5/2) : 119-151 (2018)
AbstractFew studies have dealt with the occupation of caves during the Andalusi period in Southern Iberia. This may be explained by the attention placed traditionally on the trinomial mudun (cities), ḥusūn (fortresses) and qurà (farmsteads), in which other forms of rural occupation have been generally overlooked. In this paper we explore the sequence at La Dehesilla Cave –based on the analysis of animal skeleton remains, pollen, seeds and fruits, and phytoliths- with the aim to define the economic systems of its Andalusi inhabitants. Because the sequence displays two different occupation phases, the first during the Taifa Period in the second half of the 11th century and the second during the Almohad Period in the second half of the 12th century, this study characterises the ecological and economic systems of the two periods and highlights the differences between them. The data suggest that the economy of both periods was mainly based on livestock, and especially on sheep herds. Nevertheless, the comparison between them enables us to observe a few significant differences that indicate dissimilar behavioural and economic patterns. Plant macro-remains show a larger amount of cereals and leguminous seeds, as well as of domestic fruits, in the Taifa Period than in the Almohad Period. The zoological record displays clear differences between the two periods. The Taifa Period shows a greater proportion of herds while the input from hunting increased in the Almohad Period. Also, there are proportionally opposite patterns in the age of sacrifice of sheep. The earlier period may correspond to a more sedentary herding and partly farming population, while the second period to a mainly herding, perhaps mobile, population. These results are discussed within the political dynamics of the historical framework of the surrounding territory, and contribute to the knowledge of the rural economic dynamics of the Andalusi period.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1558/jia.36443
Appears in Collections:(IMF) Artículos
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