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The Archaeological Park of Tolmo de Minateda is included in the Archaeological Parks Network created by the 4/2001 Law of the Regional Government of Castile-La Mancha. That network was founded with the aim of protecting, improving and transmitting the unique elements of the archaeological heritage from this region and to spread this heritage. The Archaeological Park of Tolmo de Minateda arises with this purpose of coordinating the archaeological richness with the cultural and environmental values of that region. In this park are included Minateda's cave paintings, which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Research project

In 1988 a systematic project driven by the University of Alicante and the Albacete Museum      was commenced. It was funded by the Regional Government of Castile-La Mancha and several institutions like the Hellín Museum and the local office for culture in Albacete collaborated. The project is run by L. Abad, S. Gutiérrez, B. Gamo and P. Cánovas.

This piece of research has an effect on superimposed sites and consequently on historic problems which are very different in their own diachronic sequence. Among the developed lines, it is interesting to stress -for this context purposes- the significance of Tolmo de Minateda for researching the Early Middle Ages. The unusual diachrony of the settlement -almost uninhabited before the 7th century and abandoned as a town after the 9th century- turns it into an ideal laboratory to examine the Early Middle Ages stages which are usually dissolved in other urban centres of Roman or Islamic origin.

Some aspects such as urbanism and material culture allow to analyse this process in a stage prior to complete social Islamisation. For example, if Tolmo had been abandoned two centuries later, the urban reality that we could study today would have been the typical Islamic town in a transformation process -with the characteristic patio-houses- whereas the material culture would have been similar to the ones from other settlements from the Taifa period. On the contrary, Tolmo shows an urban space from the Visigothic time in an Islamisation process, but one which does not reflect the triumph of Islamic society yet. Therefore, we find new investigation perspectives which demand redefining the problem of re-settling in certain Visigothic towns in the context of a supposed urban life crisis, the transformation of domestic structures, the influence of Islamisation in this development, the survival of indigenous cultural traditions, the material indicators of social and cultural change, etc.





Basic bibliography

ABAD CASAL L., GUTIÉRREZ LLORET, S.; GAMO PARRAS, B. y CANOVAS GUILLÉN, P. (2011): Tolmo. Guía del parque arqueológico. Una ciudad en el camino, Junta de Comunidades de castilla-La Mancha, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla La Mancha, Albacete.

ABAD CASAL, L.; GUTIÉRREZ LLORET, S., GAMO PARRAS, B. y CÁNOVS GUILLEN, P (2012): “El Tolmo de Minateda (Hellín, Albacete, España): un proyecto de investigación y puesta en valor del patrimonio”,Debates de Arqueología Medieval. N. 2 (nov. 2012), Consejo Editorial de la revista DAM,Granada. Pp. 351-381. 

AMORÓS RUIZ, V. (2012): Contextos cerámicos del siglo VIII en el Tolmo de Minateda, I.E.A., Albacete.

AMORÓS RUIZ, V., CAÑAVATE CASTEJÓN, V., GUTIÉRREZ LLORET, S. y SARABIA BAUTISTA, J., (2009): “Cerámica altomedieval en el tolmo de Minateda (Hellín, Albacete, España)”, in S. Gelichi (a cura di), IX Congresso Internazionale Association Internationale pour l’Etude des Céramiques Médiévales Méditerranéennes (Venezia, 23-27 novembre 2009), Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia. Pp. 246-257.

CAÑAVATE CASTEJÓN, V., MELLADO RIVERA, J. A. y SARABIA BAUTISTA, J. (2009): “Uso, residualidad y la problemática del siglo VIII en el palacio visigodo del Tolmo de Minateda (Hellín, Albacete)”, Arqueología y Territorio Medieval, 16, Universidad de Jaén, Área Historia Medieval, Jaén. Pp.9-32.

GUTIÉRREZ LLORET, S. (2011): “El Tolmo de Minateda en torno al 711”, 711, Arqueología e Historia entre dos mundos, Zona arqueológica, 15, vol. I, Comunidad de Madrid: Museo Arqueológico Regional, Madrid. Pp. 355-374.

GUTIÉRREZ LLORET, S. y CÁNOVAS GUILLÉN, P. (2009): “Construyendo el siglo VII: arquitecturas y sistemas constructivos en el Tolmo de Minateda”, en CABALLERO ZOREDA; L.,  MATEOS CRUZ,  y  UTRERO AGUDO, Mª-A. (eds.): El siglo VII frente al siglo VII. Arquitectura, Anejos de AEspA XLVIII, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid. Pp. 91-131.

GUTIÉRREZ LLORET, S. y CAÑAVATE V. (2010): “Casas y cosas: espacios y funcionalidad en las viviendas emirales del Tolmo de Minateda (Hellín, Albacete)”, Cuadernos de Madinat al-Zahra7, Junta de Andalucía, Consejería de Cultura, España. Pp. 125-50.

GUTIERREZ LLORET, S. y SARABIA BAUTISTA, J. (2013): “The episcopal complex of Eio-El Tolmo de Minateda (Hellín, Albacete, S pain). Architecture and spatial organization. 7th to 8th centuries AD”, Hortus Artium Medievalium19, 2013, Brepols Publishers. Pp. 267-300.


THE PLACE OF THINGS (6-14 centuries AD). HAR2015-67111-P

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