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Book: The Archaeology of Medieval Spain, 1100-1500

Chapter: Life, Death and Memory

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.21873


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 we deal with attitudes to life and death as revealed by archaeology, especially the kinds of funerary tombs and rituals; but also the archaeology of beliefs. Differences in religious belief produce differences in food and diet, customs, medicine and health care, as well as different rituals at the graveside. At the same time, both Muslim and Christian burial customs employed a variety of forms, from the simplest grave to the most complex monuments. So differences and variety may have many reasons.

Chapter Contributors

  • Fernando Gil ( - gil)
  • Magdalena Valor ( - book-auth-214) 'University of Seville'