The project aims to analyze the changes in the settlement, the exploitation of resources and the evolution of the historical landscape that occurred in the Catalan Pre-Pyrenees during the Late Antiquity and Medieval periods. For its realization we will combine archaeological interventions with the use of advanced survey technologies and documentary sources.

Project data

  • Title: Muntanya Viva: settlements, resources and landscapes in Medieval Catalonia (4th-13th c.).
  • Code: LT009/18/00041.
  • Promoting Institution: University of Barcelona (Research and dissemination bodies: Institute for Research in Medieval Cultures (IRCVM), MAHPA Research Group, Laboratory of Medieval Archaeology (LAMUB), ArqueoMontsec).
  • Funding institutions: Department of Culture of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Regional Council of El Pallars Jussà, Geopark Conca de Tremp-Montsec, City Councils of Tremp and Pobla de Segur.
  • Collaborating entities: Fundació Catalunya-La Pedrera,  Fem Terreta Association.

 Initial approach to the project

The scientific approach of this project starts from the results obtained in the previous project “Mountain Communities between Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Catalan Pyrenees and Pre-Pyrenees (c.V-XI)” (code: 2014/100607), developed between 2014-2017. From the geographical point of view, we focus on the demarcation defined by the World Geopark Conca de Tremp-Montsec. This includes the whole of the Pallars Jussà region as well as several adjacent municipalities of neighboring regions. The results of the research should help us to synthesize the historical-archaeological information of the period studied, to establish comparisons with the discourses of the history made from written sources and to articulate the data from both sources in a new story capable of overcoming the distance between both visions, to generate a new interpretative model as a result of this dialogue.

 Objectives of the research

  • Collection, analysis and enhancement of the historical-archaeological and heritage information of the Geoparc Conca de Tremp-Montsec territory.

  • Location, identification and study of the human settlements characteristic of the geographical and chronological area mentioned, relating them to the communication routes and the areas of resource exploitation.

  • Creation of new interpretative models on the evolution of settlement throughout the 5th-13th centuries, from the perspective of the construction of the historical landscape in mountain areas.

  • Creation of new interpretative models on the evolution of settlement throughout the 5th-13th centuries, from the perspective of the construction of the historical landscape in mountain areas.
  • Return to society of the results of the project in collaboration with the institutions and agents of the territory.

 In order to achieve these objectives we propose to carry out the following actions:

  • Review of materials and excavation memories of the studied area.
  • Creation of specific digital cartography for the area of the Geoparc Conca de Tremp-Montsec and application of GIS for the treatment of the information.
  • Location and study of areas with archaeological potential based on remote sensing methods and photographic and topographic analysis.
  • Searching and emptying of published and unpublished historical documentation.
  • Conducting archaeological interventions in several sites of the study area: Els Altimiris, Sant Martí de les Tombetes, Les Esplugues de Segur, el Pui de Segur and Vilavella de Castellet.
  • Carried out archaeological prospection tasks in the municipalities of Castell de Mur, St. Esteve de la Sarga, Tremp and Talarn.
  • Dissemination and enhancement of the results of the project through scientific and informative dissemination actions.

    Research Team

    Marta Sancho Planas


    PhD in Medieval History and Master in Medieval Archaeology (UB). Professor at the University of Barcelona and secretary of the Institute for Research in Medieval Cultures. Specialized in working with archaeological sources of the medieval period.

    Walter Alegría Tejedor

    Degree in History (UB) and Master in Methods and Techniques of Artistic and Geographical Historical Research" (UNED). Collaborating archaeologist at the University of Barcelona and PhD student in Medieval Cultures. Specialized in material culture.

    Jordina Sales Carbonell

    PhD in Archaeology and Ancient History and researcher at the University of Barcelona. Specialized in Late Antiquity, she focuses her research on the archaeological interpretation of the first Christian remains in the Iberian Peninsula.

    Sabina Batlle Baró

    Graduate in Archaeology and Master in Digital Humanities (UB). Predoctoral researcher in archaeological data management and sharing at the Faculty of Information and Audiovisual Media (Universitat de Barcelona).

    Xavier Costa Badia

    Master and PhD in Medieval Cultures (UB). Associate professor at the UB, director of excavations, specialized in the integration of information technologies, research in history and high medieval monasticism.

    Izaskun Ambrosio Arcas

    Master in Archaeology (UB), in Biological Anthropology (UB-UAB) and in Secondary Education (UNIR). Physical anthropologist and professional archaeologist. She collaborates as a physical and forensic anthropologist in several projects of the University of Barcelona.

    Júlia Coso Álvarez

    Graduate in Archaeology and Master's Degree in Teacher Training for Secondary and High School (UB). Predoctoral researcher in archaeometric analysis of ceramic materials.

    Bet Mallofré López

    Graduate in Archaeology (UAB), Master in Libraries and Heritage Collections (UB). Archaeologist, researcher specializing in monastic documentation, director of several excavations and coordinator of internships at LAMUB.

    Jordi Vallverdú Pastó

    Graduate in archaeology (UB). Director and field technician in medieval sites and assistant archaeologist and in research projects and companies. Collaborator of LAUMB in practices with archaeological materials.