Pottery analysis in Sierra Nevada

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The study of pottery recovered in the 2014 campaign, at Pago del Jarafi, allowed to complete the data obtained during fieldwork. This exhaustive study has provided a more concrete chronology of the settlement. We now know that the identified remains located at sondages 30.000 and 60.000 can be dated between IX-XIII centuries, after which the settlement was abandoned. This information corroborates the data obtained in the archival documentation about the development of local rural communities. More specifically, the study of pottery provides very concrete data, such as that in sondage 60.000 where all the located filled levels, including those inside the silo, were produced during the same time period, meaning the fillings were intentionally made once the silo lost its functionality, around XIII century. 

Additionally, the ceramics obtained in sondages 10.000 and 20.000 confirms the existence of a paleosoil, which could be dated in the historical period of transition started with the arrival of the Arabs and Berbers, in the VIII century. Therefore, it could be connected to the moment, during the Islamic period, when the traditional irrigation systems were built. The great importance of this element is crucial to the objectives of MEMOLA, since this could be the moment of creation of such systems; the paleosoil analysis can be key to learn the types of crops that existed related to the introduction of intensive irrigation; and foremost their connection to landscape evolution. This finding has guided the plan for next archaeological excavation which will be focused on continuing the excavation at this location in order to obtained further data.