View Chapters

Book: The Archaeology of Medieval Spain, 1100-1500

Chapter: Urban Settlement

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.21866


The Iberian Peninsula represents a very particular case within the European context. During the Middle Ages Christians, Muslims and also Jews coexist in cities and the countryside. The territory was divided in Christian kingdoms and al-Andalus, both parts changing drastically between the 12th and 15th century. This book attempts to focus on differences, similarities and influences of these various cultures that developed during this crucial period between High and Late Middle Ages, as well as their heritage in present Spain.

The volume is the first modern account in English of medieval archaeology in Spain benefiting from the extraordinary development of Spanish archaeological research arising from the creation of regional governments (Comunidades Autónomas) in the 1980’s.

This chapter considers some general parameters for the study of medieval towns in Spain: the nature of the remaining archaeological evidence, including standing buildings; types of town and the periods and places where medieval town-planning evidently took place; and the archaeology of public buildings and works, especially extensions to towns which indicate real or intended growth. Certain urban themes, for instance on fortification, palaces, shipyards and industries, are taken up in more detail in the chapters which follow.

Chapter Contributors

  • Magdalena Valor ( - book-auth-214) 'University of Seville'
  • Avelino Gutierrez ( - book-auth-215) 'University of Oviedo'