The Madinat al-Zahra is a medieval palace city built in the mid-10th century, and vacated in the 11th. It displayed the power and prestige of the Islamic reign in Iberia.
Researchers from the Bournemouth University are now exploring this iconic city located in Southern Spain. Most of their archaeological unearthing and interpretation has thrown light on the palace’s architecture. However, almost the whole of the surrounding 100-hectare city is yet to be explored.
The Madinat al-Zahra excavations reveal a lot about the people who lived here and the products they made.
"The reason we're interested in that production is because at the time, there was a lot of technology transfer in the Islamic world between Spain and North Africa and across all of that trade route” says Professor Kate Welham, one of the researchers.
Alongside the traditional geophysical surveys, they are employing a new archaeological technology called Portable X-Ray Flurosence Spectroscopy (pXRF). This would help them to know the type of kilns and materials produced.
The combination of both techniques will help in pinpoint the production areas and the types of materials and kilns produced. This is expected to make the findings exciting.