About MonBones Research Project

This is an innovative, incipient and modern interdisciplinary project, structured to focus in the study of human and faunal remains recovered from four monastic houses that have been the object of archaeological excavations in the city of Barcelona in the recent past years. The results will be contrasted with those from a contemporaneous non-religious site from the same area. Although there exist a much more extensive registry, the choice of these five cases responds to the selection of sites that have a similar chronology —between the late Middle Ages (14th century) and the Modern period (the early 19th century, with the exclaustration resulting from various processes of confiscation)— but at the same time, they differ in context, behaviour, norms, liturgies and/or gender of the members of the order.

Sites under study

Santa Maria de Pedralbes

Santa Caterina

Sant Agustí Vell

Santa Maria de Jerusalem

El Born

Location of the archaeological sites

map archaeological sites

Main goals

Our project will analyse in-depth osteological remains, exploring and comparing the diverse four monastic contexts. In addition to classic archaeozoological and anthropological analyses, in both human and animal bones, taphonomic, paleopathological, geochemical, morphometric and geometric morphometrics analyses will be applied.

From the data obtained different questions will be addressed:

monjas comiendo

Furthermore, a fifth not religious site from the same chronologies and geographic area will be studied in the same terms. This will allow us to compare diet and health in secular and religious population.
Finally, documental data, such as expenses books, recipes or books of monastery rules; will also be scrutinized and used to complement and compere the results from osteological material.
Thanks to the data generated from the in-depth study of animal and human remains together with historical sources, this project will contribute to the understanding of life in monastic houses from Barcelona from 14th to 19th centuries.