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Title: From Hispalis to Ishbiliyya : the ancient port of Seville, from the Roman Empire to the end of the Islamic period (45 BC - AD 1248)
Author: Cabrera-Tejedor, Carlos
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 081X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This Thesis focuses on the history and development of the topography, layout, and facilities of the ancient port of Seville, which is located in the lower Guadalquivir River Basin. From a maritime archaeology perspective, it combines terrestrial and maritime archaeological evidence, literary and epigraphic material, as well as palaeo-geomorphological and palaeo-environmental studies. This Thesis is a longue durée or diachronic study ranging between the 1st century BC and the 13th century AD. The Thesis is divided into three main historical periods, and in addition to the port itself, studies the palaeo-geomorphology and palaeo-hydrology of the Guadalquivir River, as well as of the palaeo-climatology of the region during each of these eras. The first third of the Thesis examines the port of Hispalis during the Roman era. By considering the natural hydrography of the river and the meander of Hispalis, the Thesis proposes a model for the distribution of harbour facilities and their development through the Roman period. Building on this, it becomes possible to assess the extent and scale of these, as well as of the maritime commerce that the Roman port sustained. The second third of the Thesis focuses on the Late Antique period. Despite the lack of direct archaeological evidence for the port in this era, the Thesis suggests that there was a decline but continuity in the commercial activities in direct connection with the Mediterranean maritime networks. This section also examines the historical events that occurred in Hispalis from the maritime archaeology perspective, arguing that the port was at the core of all these historical episodes because of its geopolitical and strategic importance. The last third of the Thesis concentrates on the study of the port during the Islamic period. By understanding the extreme changes that occurred in the hydrography and geomorphology of the river in this epoch, the Thesis deciphers the process that led to the progressive siltation of the ancient channel of the river. The study of the archaeological material from the 1981 Plaza Nueva excavation, in combination with other proxies, allows a chronology to be proposed for the demise and subsequent disappearance of the ancient port. The transformation of the meander of the river resulted in the relocation and construction of a new port, which had a prominent role in the maritime history of the world during the centuries that followed.
Supervisor: Robinson, Damian ; Mango, Marlia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Archaeology ; Late Antiquity ; Seville ; Islamic ; Guadalquivir River ; Al-Andalus ; Roman ; Harbour ; Port