Fumier deposits in medieval Cártama (Spain)?

  • Rowena Banerjea (Speaker)
  • Alonso Eguiluz, M. (Contributor)
  • Vrydaghs, L. (Contributor)
  • Devos, Y. (Contributor)
  • Arnaud Schenkel (Contributor)
  • V. Meurice (Contributor)
  • F. Melero-Garcia (Contributor)
  • Lionello F. Morandi (Contributor)
  • Jérôme Ros (Contributor)
  • G. Garcia-Contreras Ruiz (Contributor)
  • Alex Pluskowski (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Samples for soil micromorphology and phytolith analysis were collected in 2019 from excavations in Plaza de la Constitución, Cártama, Málaga, from medieval urban occupation relating to an area considered to be a landfill throughout the Andalusian period, located below the castle. The profile from which samples were collected, showed a refuse pit with a fill containing material culture from the early 13th century (Almohad period), which cut into occupation layers. The occupation may relate to a period of urban decline prior to the Islamic Conquest, which is a hypothesis that will be tested through further excavation.

Two block samples were collected for micromorphological analysis and five bulk samples for phytolith analysis. The upper micromorphology sample was collected from the refuse pit and the lower micromorphology sample was collected from occupation layers below. The combined analysis of soil micromorphology and phytolith morphometrics, and their examination under UV and Blue light has revealed the presence of dung, the deposition of fodder and bedding and the in situ burning of this material.

The term fumier is commonly used to refer to archaeological sediments that are composed of burnt animal dung and vegetal remains and interpreted as arising from pastoral activities. These sediments or sequences of sediments have been identified in rock shelter and cave sites in the Mediterranean region, dating from the Neolithic to Iron Age. They have not been conclusively identified outside of these contexts. In this paper, we highlight the similarities between our data from the urban occupation at Cártama, Málaga, with fumier deposits.
Period1 Apr 2023
Event titleIntegrated Microscopy Approaches in Archaeobotany
Event typeConference
LocationReading, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational