Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Town as Agrarian Dissipative Structure: Cash Crops in the Medieval Kingdom of Galicia

Version 1 : Received: 13 January 2022 / Approved: 19 January 2022 / Online: 19 January 2022 (16:57:08 CET)

How to cite: Teira-Brión, A.; Constela Doce, X.; Sartal Lorenzo, M.; Gil Agra, D.; Rúa Carril, V. The Town as Agrarian Dissipative Structure: Cash Crops in the Medieval Kingdom of Galicia. Preprints 2022, 2022010284 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0284.v1). Teira-Brión, A.; Constela Doce, X.; Sartal Lorenzo, M.; Gil Agra, D.; Rúa Carril, V. The Town as Agrarian Dissipative Structure: Cash Crops in the Medieval Kingdom of Galicia. Preprints 2022, 2022010284 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202201.0284.v1).

Abstract

Towns emerged as dynamic economic and political centers during the Middle Ages, giving rise to the emergence of new social classes. As a result of these functions, a new relationship began to be forged with the rural world, which supplied towns with foodstuffs that satisfied new social demands. Archaeobotanical analysis (carpology) allows us to understand the flow of cash crops by tracing seeds and fruits produced in the countryside that were consumed in and redistributed from the towns. The study of waterlogged contexts from medieval archaeological sites in the Kingdom of Galicia (Santiago de Compostela, Padrón, and Pontevedra) has provided a set of species that played a crucial role in the economy of the urban dwellers and that possibly were related to differential access or food preferences. Evidence for fruits (grapes, chestnuts, figs, apples, and cherries, among others), garden crops (melon), and cereals (foxtail millet, rye, naked wheat, and oat) has been documented. Broomcorn millet is particularly abundant, demonstrating that it was important for subsistence. Some of the species found (medlar, turnip/grelo, and spinach) are novel in the archaeobotanical literature of the medieval period in the Iberian Peninsula.

Keywords

urban; rural; millet; garden; orchard; Iberian Peninsula; High/Late Middle Ages

Subject

ARTS & HUMANITIES, Archaeology

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