University of Leicester
2024SubinasHPhD.pdf (75.88 MB)

Beyond private: The household and the domestic assemblages of Islamisation in Early Medieval Iberia (8th-11th centuries)

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posted on 2024-03-15, 15:52 authored by Mikel H. Subiñas

The Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in the early 8th century was the starting point of a series of social and political transformations that created an Islamic society in the European continent. Yet how Iberian society was transformed from a Late Antique into an Islamic one is a matter of continuous debate. Amidst this debate, the house has been understood as the private realm, the result of a social Islamic (trans)formation that is distinguished by privacy and urban life. However, what occurs inside the house, and how these households came to be is not well understood. I argue this lack of understanding is partially due to the weight that the characterisation of the house as private has held on the study of domesticity within the Islamic world, and more particularly al-Andalus.

This thesis analyses the evidence from houses and their associated finds from Early Islamic (8th-11th century) sites in Iberia to understand social continuity and change during this period, and how the domestic relates to wider social phenomena such as Islamisation. To this end, this thesis approaches the domestic environment as an assemblage, a continuous becoming stemming from the relation of various elements that conform the worlds of the domestic. This thesis looks at both the architectural spaces, as well as the archaeological finds and features associated with these domestic spaces. In turn, the analyses presented in this thesis allow us not only to better understand the emergence and organisation of the household in Early Islamic Iberia, but also how can the world of the house can provide new answers to questions about what Islamisation, or ‘becoming Islamic’, is.



José Carvajal López; Penelope Allison; Daniel Reynolds

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Archaeology and Ancient History

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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