Moeda islâmica no Olival do Parque (Alfange, Santarém) e a degradação de emissões monetárias em reinos de Taifas

Miguel Telles Antunes, Tânia Manuel Casimiro

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Excavations held at a building site at Olival do Parque (Alfange, Santarém, Portugal), just facing the Tagus river, exposed the foundations of an Islamic house (among others) besides several, nearby ditches full of detritus. One of the latter yielded a nearly complete pottery pan containing the coin described in this paper. The coin is a copper (and not billion) fractional dirham issued at Badajoz by al ‑Mutawakkil, the last king of that Taifa Kingdom. It corresponds to one of the emissions from the beginning of his reign between 460 and 461 AH (and doubtfully until 465 AH or 1073 AD). The lower time limit is quite accurate. However the coin may have been in use until somewhat later. It perhaps would be replaced during the same reign or, with stronger reason, after the fall of the Badajoz Taifa (1094 AD) and the subsequent domination by the Almoravids. Comparative study of microprobe analyses shows that dirhams issued by the Badajoz Taifa during his last ruler’s reign were entirely debased and made of nearly pure copper, this being certainly related to an important economic crisis before the same reign’s final breakdown. This is further corroborated by the debasement of gold coins (fractional dinars), at first made from high gold contents’ alloys, and later from much poorer, low gold contents’ ones. Among the former, a good specimen that was found quite nearby at Porta do Pão (Santarém) is revised and interpreted here in comparison with other specimens. The so far known, rare Islamic coins from these times are perfectly in agreement with Santarém’s integration in the Badajoz Taifa kingdom. They suggest nothing at all about the hypothetical independence of Santarém as a distinct Taifa, or on the existence of any other small Taifas in the western part of the Al ‑Andaluz
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)365-387
Number of pages22
JournalO Arqueólogo Português
Issue numbersérie V
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Fractional dirham
  • Olival do Parque
  • al ‑Mutawakkil
  • Chronology
  • Coin debasement

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