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Book: Archaeology, Politics and Islamicate Cultural Heritage in Europe

Chapter: 8. Damnatio Memoriae: Islamic Medieval Archaeology in the Balearic Island of Menorca

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.38089


The Muslim occupation of Menorca lasted approximately four centuries and had a deep, if little known, impact on the island. Muslim heritage may be found in material culture, artefacts and sites, as well as in surviving modern toponyms. The landscape was also heavily transformed, not only by the reoccupation of prehistoric sites but also the cultivation of new land and the introduction of new agricultural crops. The imprint of these centuries is still very much present on the island, but has attracted little archaeological or historiographical attention. Only in the past couple of decades has there been some interest in the medieval Andalusi past of Menorca. Scattered teams have investigated irrigation systems, land cultivation, domestic spaces and necropolis. Archaeological excavation has yielded substantial evidence, and a new picture of the almost four centuries of Arab influence can now begin to be drawn.

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