The island used to be organised into districts or ajzà (Juz, in the singular). The district of Yartan, in other words, Juz de Yartan, covered almost all the Eastern region of Mallorca. It was one of the thirteen Muslim districts the island of Mallorca was divided into.
After the Catalan conquest, Juz de Yartan changed its name to Artà, thanks to the ‘Catalanisation’ of the term “la terra dels Iraten”, where the Ayt Iraten settled, a Berber tribe from North Africa. They lived in the Almudaina farmstead, a fortress situated at the top of the hill in the town of Artà, which is home to the Sanctuary of Saint Salvador (Santuario de Sant Salvador).
Andalusian farming communities built large infrastructures for water catchment, through an extensive network of channels and “qanats”, “safareig" reservoirs and “sínia” waterwheels for the transportation of water throughout the region. It facilitated a rapid growth of the population due to their ability to grow cereals and vegetables, and extensive farming with cattle, sheep and horses.
In the Juz de Yartan, as well as the Almudaina farmstead, there were 61 other farmsteads or ‘alquerías’ and two smaller farmsteads or ‘rafals’. The farmsteads were large areas of land that were farmed communally by a clan or large family, who lived in the houses situated within its boundaries.