Postdoctoral researcher

Jaume I University, Castelló

Contact: ferran.esquilache@gmail.com


Research Avenues

  • Hydraulic Archaeology of large irrigated areas (‘hortes’)
  • Social organization of the landscapes in Al-Andalus
  • Christian colonization
  • Rural History in Late Middle Ages


Doctoral Thesis

  • Title : «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».
  • Supervisor: Enric Guinot Rodríguez
  • Abstract : The scholarly debate around the Roman or Muslim origins of Mediterranean alluvial hortes has been going on for a long time. This debate, strongly coloured by ideological considerations, has often lacked solid research-based knowledge, and was at any rate but poorly oriented from the outset. The determination to find ‘the beginning’ of agricultural systems which, it was assumed, had originally been built exactly as we know them today, totally precluded any attempts to define the social characteristics of the social groups which created and worked these same agricultural spaces. The Andalusi origin of the horta of Valencia was demonstrated some time ago. This thesis is aimed at examining the social features of the Andalusi society that built it and the transformations undergone before the arrival of the Christian colonists in the wake of the 13th century conquest, through the examination of the remains of its agricultural structures (hydraulic systems, settlements, etc.). To date, research has shown evidence for a segmented and tributary society, as defined by Pierre Guichard in his work on al-Andalus, published over 35 ago. This clearly reflects on the morphology of the system in operation in the horta of Valencia during this period. In summary, the objective of this research is to analyse the agricultural spaces created by peasant groups in order to reveal their social organisation and work processes. This will be achieved through the application of the methodology of so-called hydraulic archaeology, which combines: (i) the survey and reconstruction of hydraulic spaces; (ii) their morphological interpretation and the identification of different construction phases; and, finally (iii) the combination of the data thus obtained with the information provided by the written record and other archaeological investigations.
  • Grade : Summa Cum Laude
  • pdf text: You can read the thesis here (visualització)