Supervisor: Dr Umberto Albarella
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal husbandry in Sicily during the Islamic-Christian Transition, 8th–12th centuries
This project aims at answering a series of issues related to animal exploitation in Sicily in the transitional period between Muslim and Christian rules. These two political systems, backed up by substantially different cultural contexts, are likely to have impacted differently on husbandry strategies. In particular, the different perspectives and ambitions of the Muslim administration would have led to the introduction of new technologies; at the same time, dietary taboos and imported traditions could have been loosely or strictly imposed on the dominated population.
The impact of these technological and cultural innovations may have varied geographically and on different site-types. The persistence or demise of such practices during the Christian period would have depended upon the requirements and capability of the new administration and on the receptiveness and adaptability of the productive sector.
Zooarchaeology plays an important role in understanding the economic and social dynamics of past societies. Periods of transition between two different cultures, such as the one between Christian and Muslim rules in Sicily, are likely to benefit substantially from zooarcheological analyses, which provide essential information on the changing relationship between humans and animals. When these studies are integrated with other archaeological and historical sources, it becomes possible to assess the extent and nature of the impact of these different cultures on animal husbandry.