Project (2021)

Bird Offal: Anonymous Benefits and Treatments

Agriculture books of medieval times were a rich source of knowledge for all the information needed by farmers to work successfully. Fertilizers were deeply discussed in agriculture books and—to help the farmer understand the role of each type of fertilizer—it was fundamental to discuss the types of soil and the characteristic features of each type. It was also essential to consider the features of each type of fertilizer and their effects on plants and trees.

I am mainly concerned with bird offal and its usage as fertilizer. I intend to use agriculture books to investigate the types of fertilizers from bird offal, how they were prepared, and when and how they were used with certain plants and trees.

Another aspect about bird offal that is worth discussing is its medical usage in treatment. It was successfully used for making treatments used in the fields of dermatology, ophthalmology, oncology, gynecology, and other fields. Although that is not directly relevant to the study of the soil and agriculture, it is related to the understanding of the features of offal and, accordingly, their effect on the human body. This aspect can also reveal a lot about the Arabs' understanding of sciences in general and medicine in particular.

The scope of my research will be focusing on the period from the twelfth to the seventeenth century, but sources from older periods could also be used, where needed, to shed light on the development of knowledge in the field of the study. A comparative analytical approach of the sources will be used.