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Title: Aqueducts and water supply in the towns of post-Roman Spain (AD 400-1000)
Author: Martínez Jiménez, Javier
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Despite the recent interest in late antique archaeology and the increasing number of publications on the transformations of towns (both in Spain and in the Roman world as a whole), the concern shown towards aqueducts has been almost non-existent. Some studies have focused on exceptional local examples, such as Rome or Constantinople, but there have been neither general nor regional syntheses of the chronology of the abandonment of aqueducts on a broad regional scale. This thesis consequently fills this gap in our knowledge by offering an all-encompassing study and compilation of the available material and written evidence for aqueducts in Spain in Late Antiquity, it looks at aqueducts in the late Roman period, and how they evolve through the Visigothic and the Umayyad centuries. For this purpose, each aqueduct in the Iberian Peninsula is assessed according to the available information and studied in its wider urban context. By the end of the thesis it is possible to put forward some clear results on the degree of continuity of aqueducts in Spain. The information is used to analyse how the presence or absence of aqueducts affected the development of urban settlement and housing patterns away from a traditional Roman context. Aqueducts had not been at first an essential part of urban life, yet by Late Antiquity they had become so intimately related to it that the end of aqueduct supply modified urban landscapes. Finally, I present various scenarios to explain why aqueducts ceased to function and how the various elite groups of the period (urban aristocrats, the Church, the Visigothic monarchy and the Umayyads) tried to take over the control of the aqueducts, as they were not only extremely useful functional monuments, but also reminders and legitimising links to the Roman past.
Supervisor: Ward-Perkins, Bryan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archeology ; Islamic archaeology ; Roman archeology ; Late antiquity and the Middle Ages ; Visigothic Spain ; Roman Spain ; Umayyad Spain ; aqueducts ; water supply ; Roman urbanism