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The Zooarchaeology of Medieval Alava in its Iberian Context

Idoia Grau-Sologestoa
Publication Year:
210pp. Illustrated throughout in black and white
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This book, based on the author's doctoral thesis, is focused on understanding social and economic aspects of the medieval rural world on the basis of the zooarchaeological analysis of seven different assemblages of animal remains located in the north and centre of the Iberian Peninsula. Multiple lines of analysis are utilized and combined in order to understand animal husbandry practices, subsistence strategies, the use of animal bones and antler as raw material, and site formation processes. The main contributions of this work are understanding the economic system of medieval peasant communities and changes over time, as well as understanding the ways of social differentiation through diet in medieval Iberia. Also, worked bone and antler and butchery practices are analysed. Other aspects related to the social dimension of the use of animals are discussed, such as the presence of companion animals, the introduction of species, and the veterinary knowledge of the peasant communities. The use of animals in possible ritual or symbolic contexts is also analysed. This book is a substantial contribution towards understanding animal use in the medieval Iberian Peninsula.

Idoia Grau Sologestoa is a zooarchaeologist who has mainly worked with historical faunal remains from Spain and England. She completed her PhD at the University of the Basque Country and is now a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sheffield, where she is working on changes in animal husbandry between the Late Middle Ages and the early post-medieval periods.