The zooarchaeological identification of a ‘Morisco’ community after the Christian conquest of Granada (Spain, early 16th century): sociocultural continuities and economic innovations
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AuthorGarcía García, Marcos; García-Contreras Ruiz, Guillermo; Alexander, Michelle M.; Banerjea, Rowena Y.; Pluskowski, Aleks
Early Modern periodZooarchaeologyMeat consumptionIdentityCrypto-Muslim
García-García, M., García-Contreras, G., Alexander, M.M. et al. The zooarchaeological identification of a ‘Morisco’ community after the Christian conquest of Granada (Spain, early 16th century): sociocultural continuities and economic innovations. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 13, 57 (2021). [https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-021-01288-2]
SponsorshipDeveloped in the framework of the ‘Landscapes of (Re)Conquest’ Project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (grant number AH/R013861/1); The archaeological excavation was funded by the Vicerretorado de Infraestructuras of the University of Granada
This article presents the results of the zooarchaeological analysis of an assemblage dating to the second quarter of the 16th century that was discovered on the current university campus of Cartuja, on the outskirts of Granada (Andalusia, Spain). During the Middle Ages, this area was largely used for agricultural purposes, including as estates owned by high officials of the Nasrid dynasty, the last Islamicate polity in the Iberian Peninsula. The Castilian conquest of Granada in 1492 brought significant changes to the area, with the construction of a Carthusian monastery and the transformation of the surrounding landscape, including changes in property structures, different agrarian regimes and the demolition of pre-existing structures. Among these transformations was the filling up of a well with construction materials, and its further use as a rubbish dump. This fill yielded an interesting and unique zooarchaeological assemblage, the study of which is presented here. The results advance our understanding of changing patterns in animal consumption during the formative transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern period at the heart of the former Nasrid Kingdom of Granada, and indicate the continuity of some Andalusi consumption patterns along with specialised production and distribution systems of meat products that have no archaeological precedent in the region, suggesting that the bones were dumped by a possible ‘Morisco’ community (autochthonous Muslims forced to convert to Christianity in 1502).