Last January 15th 2016 Ferran Esquilache, collaborator in this research group, read his Thesis at the Faculty of Geography and History of the University of Valencia. It was entitled “Els espais agraris i l’estructura social d’una gran horta fluvial andalusina. La construcció i evolució de l’Horta de València entre els segles VIII i XIII” (Title in English: “The Agrarian Spaces and Social Structures from a Large Andalusian Irrigated Area. Building and Evolution of the Horta of Valencia between 8th and 13th centuries”), and it was supervised by Ph. Doctor Enric Guinot. The tribunal was composed of Ph. Doctor Antonio Malpica Cuello as president, from University of Granada, Ph. Doctor Helena Kirchner as chair, from Autonomous University of Barcelona, and Ph. Doctor Josep Torró as secretary, from University of Valencia. This thesis was qualified with the grade Summa cum laude.
It has been a long time that hydraulic archaeology has proven to be an indispensable methodology for the study of Andalusian society. This thesis intends to apply it in a large fluvial huerta of Andalusian origins in order to analyse, from physical structures such as hydraulic systems and settlements, the characteristics of that society, and to see how it evolved over the time before the Christian conquest of the thirteenth century. The research shows that it was a tribal society, as defined by Pierre Guichard over 35 years ago, and that is clearly reflected in the morphology of hydraulic systems and spaces that formed the Huerta of Valencia at that time. The dissertation has also addressed the role of the city of Valencia and the various Andalusian states in the configuration and evolution of that vast suburban hydraulic area.