HART Semineri: “Ancient and Early Medieval Rupestrian Architecture in the Iberian Peninsula. A Western Construction of Eastern Typology”, Jorge López Quiroga, 17:30 8 Mayıs 2024 (EN)

An evening lecture will be given by Jorge López Quiroga (Autonomous University of Madrid) and Natalia Figueiras Pimentel (Complutense University of Madrid)

“Ancient and Early Medieval Rupestrian Architecture in the Iberian Peninsula. A Western Construction of Eastern Typology”

On Wednesday 8 May 2024 at 17:30 in H-232 (Faculty of Humanities and Letters)

GE points will be given.

For the area corresponding to the Iberian Peninsula, architecture excavated in the rock has been present since Roman times, essentially in works of civil architecture, mining and its network of canals (well known, for example, in the northwest of the peninsula) that show a knowledge and technology in the process of excavating and working the rock. Later, throughout the Late Antiquity, rock architecture was also used for residential and cultural functions, particularly in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, with the arrival of monks and hermits from North Africa. During the Early Middle Ages, with the Islamic presence, this type of architecture was maintained and reused by small communities, for utilitarian and residential purposes, maintaining its use practically to the present day in the south and the Mediterranean area, where the presence of caves excavated in the rock is relatively abundant. With the development and consolidation of the Islamic presence, communities of hermit monks emigrated to the north, taking with them the technology and use of rupestrian architecture for funerary, cultural and residential uses. It is at this time when numerous churches, hermitages and monasteries were excavated in the rock with a notable oriental influence. From the 12th century onwards other types of constructions, expanding and changing the physiognomy of these cultural complexes, replace this rupestrian architecture. We can affirm that there exists in the Iberian Peninsula an important tradition of stonework and technology excavated in the rock, but with clear differences between the rupestrian architecture of the Roman period with respect to the late antique and early medieval ones. We therefore observe significant evidence in the Iberian Peninsula of an architecture that presents an apparently Western construction but at the same time with a precise Eastern typology, in which, maintaining local/Western tradition and influence, Eastern languages and architectural solutions are simultaneously introduced, first Byzantines and later Islamic.

Prof. Dr. Jorge López Quiroga is Full Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the Autonomous University of Madrid since 2022, having previously been Allocataire de Recherche (University of Paris IV), A.T.E.R. in Medieval History (University of La Rochelle), Research Assistant (University of Alcalá de Henares), Doctor in Medieval History (University of Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV), Geography and History (University of Santiago de Compostela, USC) and European Doctor (USC). He is former Member of the Casa de Velázquez and former Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, among other various post-doctoral research grants. He has been a visiting professor at various European and American universities. He was Director of the Spanish Archaeological Mission in Conimbriga (Portugal) and Explorer Research Grant of the National Geographic Society. He is also Member of the National Society of Antiquaries of France, based at the Louvre Museum (Paris) and Associate Member of the Michel de Boüard Center (Centre for Ancient and Medieval Historical and Archaeological Research, CRAHAM-University of Caen-CNRS). He has directed, as principal investigator, twenty national and international scientific projects. He is the author of about twenty monographs, as author, editor and/or coordinator, as well as one hundred and fifty articles, book chapters and publications in Proceedings of National and International Scientific Congresses. He was also curator of the exhibition “In Tempore Sueborum. El tiempo de los Suevos en la Gallaecia (411-585)”, held between December 2017 and May 2018. For more than thirty years his research has focused on Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages in the Iberian Peninsula.

Natalia Figueiras Pimentel is Graduate in Art History, specialty History of Medieval Art (Santiago de Compostela University, 1995-1999). Teaching Certificate (University of Valencia, 1999-2000). Specialist in “Conservation and Restoration of Historical-Artistic Heritage” (Polytechnic University of Valencia, UPV, 2001-2003). She completed a doctoral program in Fine Arts, “Conservation and Restoration of Artistic Historical Heritage” (2001-2003). She has also a transdisciplinary training in relation to the documentation, study, and enhancement of cultural heritage: “Characterization of architectural materials and Stone Conservation-Restoration” (University of Zaragoza, 2004). Superior Technique in “Plastic Arts and Design in Artistic Photography” (EASD ‘Antonio Faílde’, 2008-2011), postgraduate training in Archaeometry and Applied Techniques (Polytechnic University of Valencia, 2001-2007; University of Murcia, 2020-2021 and University of Burgos, 2021-2023). She is currently doing her doctoral thesis in History of Medieval Art at the Complutense University of Madrid, International PhD Mention, with a thesis entitled: “Hermitism in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages from the St Pedro de Rocas rupestrian complex (Ribeira Sacra, Galicia, Spain) as a paradigm: a transdisciplinary scientific study applied to the History of Art”.