The falus was the copper or bronze coin of the medieval Islamic monetary system. Due to their low value, these coins were often lost in the course of daily life and never recovered, which explains why they are frequently found at archaeological dig sites. The lead seals of conquest, used to sign documents or seal objects, have recently attracted new interest. These artefacts provide essential information about how certain areas were conquered, as well as details regarding the distribution of plunder, the signature of agreements or the payment of tribute.
The initial hypothesis of this research project is that different methods of conquest in Al-Andalus (invasion or treaty) and different forms of settlement are reflected in a particular numismatic record in each area.
Identifying a numismatic pattern of behaviour would allow us to determine what method of conquest was used in a particular place and what kind of people settled there, as well as their degree of Arabisation and/or Islamisation. Creating a complete map of the distribution of faluses, together with the information provided by the seals, will confirm the route followed by the invading army during the conquest and how that process unfolded.
Another goal of the project is to examine unorthodox uses of early Islamic coins, for instance in the funerary world or in prophylactic building rites.
In the same way, Islamic coins in Christian settings could be used to date the first example of integration between Christian and Arab populations, especially considering that late Roman coins were still in circulation and could have been used for this purpose at the time.