Medieval Muslim Archaeology


a) Study the archaeological remains in al-Andalus, between the 8th and 15th centuries, namely the roads as means of communication, the cities and rural settlements, as well as the material culture.
b) To know how archaeological data reflects the cultural, social, economical, religious and political changes in al-Andalus, between 8th and 15th centuries.
c) To know about the structure and organization of urban centres, their main buildings, edification methods and techniques but also about artefacts used in urban and rural daily life in al-Andalus, between the 8th and 15th centuries.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Rosa Maria Mendonça Gonçalves Varela Gomes


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





- Castro, F.R. (coord.) 2004, Paisaje y Naturaleza en Al-Andalus, El Legado
Andalusí, 362 pp, Granada.
- Picard, C., 2000, Portugal Musulman (VIIIe-XIIIe Siècle), L’Occident d’al-Andalus sous Domination Islamique, Maisonneuve & Larose, 422 pp, Paris.
- Gomes, R.V., 2002, O Século XX e a Arqueologia Muçulmana em Portugal, Arqueologia e História, pp.203-221, Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses, vol 54, Lisboa.
- Gomes, R.V., e Gomes, M.V.,(Coord.), 2007 Ribāt da Arrifana. Cultura Material e Espiritualidade, 120 pp., Assoc. de Defesa do Património Histórico e Arqueológico de Aljezur, Município de Aljezur, Aljezur (de colab. com M. V. Gomes).
- Gomes, R.V., 2011, Silves (Xelb)-Uma Cidade do Gharb al-Andalus. A Zona da Arrochela. O Espaço e o Quotidiano, Trabalhos de Arqueologia, nº 53, 411 pp., Lisboa.


Teaching method

Theoretic classes, with audio-visual information. Practical classes, with archaeological materials. Study visits to museums and archaeological diggings.


Evaluation method

two writing tests(100%)

Subject matter


1.1Written sources, tradition and archaeological diggings.

1.2. The muslim ideology.

1.3.The Islam in  the Iberian Peninsula - new settlement strategies.

1.4.Al-Andalus - territory and culture.

2.Urban planning and architecture.

2.1. From the ideal town to the towns of al-Andalus.

2.2. The main towns.

2.3.Sanctuaries, mosques and madrazas.

2.4.Houses and palaces.

2.5.The hamman. The zuq. The maristán of Granada.

2.6.Necropolis and funerary rituals.

2.7.Areas outside the towns (suburbs and ports).

2.8.Military architecture (ribat, castle, hisn, and control tower).

2.9.The rural space.

2.10.The water (dams, conduits, wells and cisterns)

3. Material culture.

3.1. Architectonic elements, in stone, ceramic, wooden and plastering.

3.2. Armoury.

3.3. Metallic artefacts.

3.4. Bone or ivory objects.

3.5. Jewellery and  textiles        

3.6.Ceramics (8 th -13 th centuries) - Techniques, forms and decorations.


Programs where the course is taught: