By Carmen Trillo San Jose
Journal of Medieval History, Vol. 31 (2005)
Abstract: This paper concerns the outer urban area of the town of Granada in the Nasrid period (13th-15th centuries). Most agricultural land was irrigated because of the characteristic drought of the Mediterranean climate, and also because of the needs of certain crops which had been brought by the Arabs from monsoon climates. Water distribution followed patterns that were not only hydrographical and topographical but also social. In this way, social structure was reflected in land irrigation, and even its evolution can be seen in the way in which this distribution changes. It evolved from a family criterion to a topographic one, and finally to the buying and selling of allotted times independent of the land itself. Furthermore, the example of one of the acequias in this irrigated land shows that the allotted times coincided with the Islamic prayer schedule, so that the Moslem call to prayer served also to divide the day for the peasant workers.