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Agriculture, food and fuel at the foot of the High Atlas: the city of Aghmat (Morocco) between the 12th and the 16th c.

Abstract : Aghmat, medieval city of the Haouz region (Marrakech), is described by textual sources as a prosperous commercial city, surrounded by fertile lands. Located at the foot of the High-Atlas, at the opening of the Ourika valley, it benefited from a geographical situation favourable to the development of an important irrigated agriculture. However, Aghmat was hit by the great crisis that struck Morocco at the end of the 14th and during the 15th c., and was abandoned. It is only in the course of the 16th c. that the locality found a new dynamism, while knowing a deep spatial, demographic and economic reorganization. Indeed, Aghmat seems to take at this period the shape of a dispersed habitat, entirely dedicated to a new agricultural development of the lands. Since 2005, the extensive excavation of the medieval urban centre and of its levels of abandonment makes it possible to locally approach this transitional period between two socio-economic systems. Thus arises the question of the agricultural evolutions and of the role played by the various socio-economic components on lands management. The recent creation of an archaeobotanical program that includes both carpological and anthracological analysis seems to be the most promising way to document these questions. Based on nearly thirty archaeological samples extracted from varied contexts (hearths, dumps, plantation pits), dated between the 12th and the 16th c., this work allows proposing a first diachronic synthesis on cultivated/gathered plants, agricultural practices and exploited lands. Our work will consist in (1) characterizing the exploited plants (food, fuel) and lands, and (2) highlighting the archaeobotanical evidences of a possible evolution of the practices between the Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern time.
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Contributor : Jerome Ros <>
Submitted on : Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 9:37:43 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 9:51:03 AM


  • HAL Id : halshs-02582289, version 1


Jérôme Ros, Violaine Héritier-Salama, Chloé Capel, Abdallah Fili, Ronald Messier. Agriculture, food and fuel at the foot of the High Atlas: the city of Aghmat (Morocco) between the 12th and the 16th c.. 9h International Workshop for African Archaeobotany, Jun 2018, Las Palmas, Spain. ⟨halshs-02582289⟩



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