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Book: Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe

Chapter: 7. The Last Islamicate Society in South-western Europe: The Projection of Power in the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.36076


The Nasrid kingdom of Granada was the last Islam-ruled territory in the Iberian Peninsula. It occupied a region in the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula between the 13th and 15th centuries. Archaeological analysis of the Nasrid Kingdom is a relatively recent phenomenon, although substantial progress has been made in recent years. The study of this kingdom by archaeological methods has greatly contributed to its historical reconstruction. The present paper aims to examine and understand the territorial projection and implications of political power at all levels in order to analyse the changes undergone by this Late Medieval Islamicate society and their archaeological expression. I intend to show that archaeology is well-poised to reconstruct a historical period and the role played in it by political power, a subject traditionally regarded as the exclusive abode of historians working with the written record. A new open and holistic approach to archaeology presents the material projection of different power structures, including no only political power, but also other economic and social manifestations.

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