Las aldeas de los historiadores y de los arqueólogos en la Alta Edad Media del Norte Peninsular

Quirós Castillo, Juan Antonio (2007) Las aldeas de los historiadores y de los arqueólogos en la Alta Edad Media del Norte Peninsular. Territorio, sociedad y poder, 2. pp. 63-87. ISSN 1886-1121

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Abstract

ESPAÑOL: En los últimos años se ha reabierto un debate en varios países europeos acerca del proceso de formación de las aldeas campesinas en la Alta Edad Media. Frente a los planteamientos propugnados a inicios de los años ochenta por la historiografía francesa, en los que se asociaba la génesis del espacio aldea y del "enceldamiento" señorial con la creación de un nuevo modelo social en torno al año 1000, los estudios arqueológicos han cuestionado esta propuesta interpretativa. Las excavaciones de despoblados y aldeas altomedievales, especialmente abundantes en los últimos años en el sur de Europa, han llevado a plantear nuevos escenarios y problemas. En este trabajo se pretende discutir cómo este fenómeno ha sido abordado en el norte de la península ibérica en los últimos años, cuando se han formulado las primeras propuestas de construcción de los paisajes medievales, en particular a partir de la documentación escrita. Asimismo, se pretende analizar el papel que ha jugado la arqueología en este debate, discutiendo por qué no se ha consolidado una arqueología de los despoblados y de los espacios agrarios. / ENGLISH: In the last years, there have been excavated in several areas of the north of the Peninsula a series of early medieval villages and farms that do not fit easily in the dominant historiographic paradigms. On the other hand, in the same years it has been reopened in some European countries the debate around the formation process of villages in the Early Middle Ages. The opposition among different theoretical raisings around the role that "village" has played in the medieval landscapes configuration process, has provoked that some authors differentiate the "historians' villages" from the "archaeologists' villages". This debate has not taken place in Spain due to the lack of a proper archaeological register. The concept of village used by the historians in the Early Middle Ages in Spain and the reasons why an archaeology of the early medieval villages has not been developed until recently are discussed in this paper, and some interpretative proposals will be made to discuss the results of the recent archaeological investigations. The historiography of the peninsular rural world has just incorporated the idea of village and the problem of the origins of the villages from the 80’s on, under the influence of the French historiography. In fact, in this tradition where models as the incastellamento, the encellulement, the "mutation féodale" and the beginning of the villages around the one thousand year have been created, in which the implantation of the feudalism has been identified with the creation of a new way of social organization of the space. In the Spanish historiography these themes are traced in the investigations made around proposals as the social organization of the space and later, in the numerous territorial studies made in the 90's. It has been accepted the characterization of the early medieval settlement as disperse and unstable, until the year one thousand, when a concentrated and stable network was settled. Whereas these raisings have been refuted in France and other European countries by a dynamic archaeology of the deserted villages, it is still accepted even in the most recent papers of peninsular authors. On the other hand, it must been pointed out that in the base of these difficulties, we can find a lack of an archaeology of the deserted villages. The excavations of deserted villages and rural centres have been the basis of the medieval archaeology of the rural world in Europe. The main motivations that are behind the absence of an archaeology of the villages are four. In the first place, the monumental tradition that has conditioned during decades the archaeology of the historical ages, studying churches, castles and cemeteries, but not the domestic structures. In second place, the nature of the strategies and the excavation techniques used or the absence of bio-archaeological studies explain the kind of evidences found; in fact, the timber and soil architecture has been invisible until recently. In the third place, it must been pointed out that the historiographic themes have conditioned the study of the material register, so that concepts, problems and so on have not been made from the archaeology. In the fourth place, small archaeological interventions or site-walking projects have prevailed over open area excavations, so the early medieval villages have not been located. This outlook has been deeply modified in the last years by the development of the public archaeology that has allowed finding, identifying and excavating many early medieval farms and villages, away from the historiographic themes. The results offered by these excavations make possible to redefine basic aspects of the early medieval rural landscape. It has been possible to set that presence of disperse and unstable settlements is exceptional in the north of the Peninsula in the Early Middle Ages, whereas villages based in the intensive cereal cultivation associated to complex cattle farming predominate. The formative processes of these villages are different in several sectors of the Peninsula and reflect very different moments in the creation of local power networks, very active during the Early Middle Ages. The differences observed among the Basque Country, Galicia, Castile, Leon or Madrid are significant. In methodological terms, there have been developed specific strategies of excavation in these sites, so that only if they are excavated in open area, with mechanic means and with bioarchaeological studies, there will be meaningful results. Finally, we must say that our sampling is still partial, but it starts to raise basic problems about the nature of the agriculture and the farming of the early medieval ages, the exploitation systems or the role of the churches in the origin of the medieval spaces.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aldea, Alta Edad Media, Arqueología, Poblamiento, Village, Early Middle Ages, Archaeology, Settlement
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Depositing User: dr Vincenzo De Luise
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2015 04:51
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2015 04:51
URI: http://www.rmoa.unina.it/id/eprint/1379

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