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Petrifying Wealth

Petrifying Wealth.
The Southern European Shift to Masonry
as Collective Investment in Identity, c. 1050-1300

An ERC funded project led by Dr Ana Rodriguez, Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spain (CSIC), with the collaboration of Dr Therese Martin (CSIC) and Dr Jenny Alexander, Warwick University.

Between the years 1050 and 1300 the European landscape turned to stone. It was a structural transformation that led to the birth of a new, long-lasting panorama and helped in the creation of individual, collective, and regional identities: a landscape epitomising the way we still see the space and territory of Europe today. Petrifying Wealth seeks to rewrite the social history of the central Middle Ages, emphasizing the need to reassess from an untried perspective an element that has always been present in our vision of the medieval period—the sudden ubiquity of masonry construction—but which has hardly been given the opportunity to provide in-depth explanations for complex social dynamics. This project seeks to offer novel explanations to previously unasked questions about wealth, building, and collective identity.

The city of Zamora forms the focus of this section of the project, based on the cathedral and series of Romanesque churches built between c.1050-1300. It will involve detailed study of the fabric of the buildings to investigate the means and methods of construction, the sourcing of materials and the organisation of the labour-force.

cathedral rose