The zooarchaeological identification of a ‘Morisco’ community after the Christian conquest of Granada (Spain, early 16th century): sociocultural continuities and economic innovations

Marcos Garcia Garcia, Guillermo García-Contreras, Michelle Marie Alexander, Rowena Banerjea, Aleks Pluskowski

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This article presents the results of the zooarchaeological analysis of an
assemblage dating to the second quarter of the 16th century that was
discovered on the current university campus of Cartuja, on the outskirts of
Granada (Andalusia, Spain). During the Middle Ages, this area was largely
used for agricultural purposes, including as estates owned by high officials of
the Nasrid dynasty, the last Islamicate polity in the Iberian Peninsula. The
Castilian conquest of Granada in 1492 brought significant changes to the area,
with the construction of a Carthusian monastery and the transformation of the
surrounding landscape, including changes in property structures, different
agrarian regimes and the demolition of pre-existing structures. Among these
transformations was the filling up of a well with construction materials, and its
further use as a rubbish dump. This fill yielded an interesting and unique
zooarchaeological assemblage, the study of which is presented here. The
results advance our understanding of changing patterns in animal consumption
during the formative transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern
period at the heart of the former Nasrid Kingdom of Granada and indicate the
continuity of some Andalusi consumption patterns along with specialised
production and distribution systems of meat products that have no
archaeological precedent in the region, suggesting that the bones were dumped
by a possible ‘Morisco’ community (autochthonous Muslims forced to convert
to Christianity in 1502).
Original languageEnglish
Article number57
Number of pages21
JournalArchaeological and Anthropological Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2021


  • Early Modern period
  • Zooarchaeology
  • Meat consumption
  • Identity
  • Crypto Muslim

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