Landscapes of settlement : prehistory to the present by Brian Roberts

By Brian Roberts

A accomplished research of the background and devel- opment of rural cost in either the constructed and constructing worlds. whole with targeted case stories and entirely illustrated, this can be crucial interpreting for all geographers and archaeologists. e-book hide; name; Contents; checklist of plates; checklist of figures; creation; cost landscapes; Nucleation and dispersion; Explanatory contexts; apartment and farmstead; cost types; cost styles; cost structures: an international view; References; Index

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The second circle lists six important qualities which can affect the choice of site—aspect, shelter, flat land, free drainage, water supply and local accessibility. The relative importance of these six will vary from settlement to settlement and from region to region; thus those factors dominant in an area of marshland will differ greatly from those pursued in a mountainous region. The ideas expressed by these key words describing qualities intrinsic to settlement sites remain useful and do form a basic currency of use when considering sites.

Finally, to the north-west lies former fen and fen edge country, with nucleated settlement being restricted to favoured sites amid a landscape that before drainage and reclamation was liable to flood, a zone where stock fattening, horse-breeding and dairying were traditionally linked with fishing and fowling. These ancient antecedent landscape patterns are crucial for understanding the historic forms and patterns of settlement, for wood-pasture regions tend always to be dominated by hamlets and dispersion, the Breckland heaths by almost complete dispersion except for the occasional large nucleation, while sheep-corn country further south supported both villages and hamlets, and a re-examination of the settlement maps will show that regional divisions more subtle than the basic north-south contrast are in fact present, reflections of the historic roots.

Thus the Great Plains of the USA offered the native Indians a particularly distinctive buffalo-hunting lifestyle which reached a full flowering only when they obtained feral horses which had escaped from the Spanish conquistadores. The first white settlers initially saw these seas of grass as a ‘desert’, but once the swards were broken by the iron plough in the middle decades of the nineteenth century the Great Plains became the farmlands they now are, with rigidly rectangular boundaries and scattered dispersed homesteads.

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