Arnold, Felix; Canto García, Alberto; Vallejo Triano, Antonio

Munyat ar-Rummaniya

Die Gartenanlagen

21.0 x 29.7 cm, 184 p., 220 illustrations color, 59 illustrations b/w, 2 Faltkarten, hardback
69,00 €

ISBN: 9783954904075
Table of Contents

Short Description

In the country estate of ar-Rummānīya near Córdoba (Spain) the remains of an Islamic garden of the 10th century are preserved on three terraces. This book presents the results of a comprehensive archaeological study of the garden, in particular the results of archaeobotanical studies. For the first time, insights into the design of a garden from the heyday of Islamic culture could be gained.


Felix Arnold, Alberto Canto García and Antonio Vallejo Triano, Munyat ar-Rummānīya. The gardens
Islamic garden culture played a decisive role in the genesis of the garden of the European Renaissance. All the more surprising is how little research has so far been done on Islamic gardens of the Middle Ages. Our knowledge of the Islamic horticultural tradition is based almost exclusively on literary sources and historical illustrations. Only recently have archaeological projects been devoted to the study of Islamic gardens. The country estate ar-Rummānīya outside the city of Córdoba (Spain) offers the opportunity to explore a garden from the heyday of Islamic culture. Through the repeated deposition of debris from adjacent buildings, the original garden surface has remained undisturbed at the site over a considerably large area. From 2013 to 2014, the garden was the subject of a research project sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation and carried out jointly by the German Archaeological Institute, the Conjunto Arqueológico de Madinat al-Zahra and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. For the first time, insights into the design of a garden of the 10th century could be gained. The system of garden irrigation was clarified, from a large basin, which served as a water reservoir, to irrigation canals and drainages for the terrace walls. Botanical analyses were central to the investigation of the garden, including pollen analyses. Sediments in the irrigation channel in particular provide information about the richness of species that originally existed in the garden and its surroundings. The hypothesis of a monoculture - such as an olive plantation - can thus be clearly refuted. The combination of different analytical methods makes it possible to identify a number of plant species that had been cultivated in the garden, including olive, almond and pomegranate trees, vines, myrtle, lavender, as well as flowers and herbs such as thyme, lilies and marigolds. In addition, the earliest evidence to date of white mulberry trees on the Iberian Peninsula was found, a prerequisite for the development of an indigenous silk production. The small finds made during the excavation, including a decorated thimble for leather work and a yellow glazed bowl from Egyptian production, convey an impression of the luxury of life on the estate. The repairs on another bowl indicate both the appreciation for high-quality ceramics and the slow decline at the turn of the 11th century, which made it difficult to replace such goods. In this volume, the results of the project are comprehensively presented and placed within a cultural-historical framework.

Biographical Note

Felix Arnold (born 1972) is a senior research fellow at the German Archaeological Institute. As an architect and archaeologist, he is leading excavations in Egypt and Spain. Alberto Canto García (born 1954) is professor for archaeology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and a renowned numismatist. Antonio Vallejo Triano (born 1957) was director of the archaeological site Madinat al-Zahra from 1985 to 2013. The authors directed the excavations at the country estate ar-Rummānīya from 2006 to 2014.


16th century, c 1500 to c 1599 (150) || Andalusien (5) || Archaeology (526) || Archaeology by period / region (443) || Baugeschichte (18) || Cordoba (2) || Cultural & media studies (303) || Cultural studies (285) || Garten- und Landschaftsarchitektur (4) || History of art (239) || Material culture (57) || Society & culture: general (408) || Southern Europe (82) || Spain (40) || islamische Archäologie (7) || islamische Kultur (3)