Book: The Archaeology of Medieval Spain, 1100-1500
Chapter: Technology, Craft and Industry
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.
In this chapter the author explores the topic of archaeological research into industrial activities during the Middle Ages is in its infancy. Working tools and devices, have been found in many late medieval rural sites, always in relation to the activities of everyday life. Industrial facilities are less well known as most of those investigated belong to the last centuries of the Middle Ages. Archaeological excavations carried out in recent years however have significantly increased our knowledge of medieval industry, making it one of the most progressive research fields in medieval material culture. There is abundant evidence for textile production, tanning and leatherworking, mining and metallurgy, pottery and glass making; and waterworks for powering olive oil or sugar cane production.