Plant use in Muslim Spain: Preliminary results from the medieval town of Madīnat Ilbīra
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Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Centre for Archaeology of Hills and Uplands, Sławkowska 17, 31-016 Kraków, Poland
Institute of Archeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Centre for Medieval Archaeology of the Baltic Region, Kuśnierska 12/12a, 70-536 Szczecin, Poland
Online publication date: 2020-12-30
Publication date: 2020-12-30
Acta Palaeobotanica 2020; 60(2): 296–306
The paper presents preliminary results of archaeobotanical studies carried out at the Madīnat Ilbīra site in Spain. The functioning of the town, which was the capital of one of the administrative districts (kūras) of al- Andalus, falls in the period between the second half of the 9th century and the 11th century. However, the analysed soil samples were collected from archaeological contexts dated mostly to the last decades of the 10th century and to the 11th century. The samples yielded an interesting set of data about the preserved plant remains. Although the taxonomic diversity of the plants is not high, the analysis revealed remains of naked and hulled wheat (emmer wheat), millet, poppy seeds, perhaps peas, cucumber or melon, and grapevine. Although crop plants played an important role in the everyday diet of the town inhabitants, wild plants also were probably collected and used. The latter are represented in the analysed materials by, for example, wild strawberry, common mallow and common purslane. The preserved charcoal remains confirm the use of different species of wood as fuel.