Making Sense of an Historic Landscape

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Oxford University Press, Jul 12, 2012 - History - 396 pages
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Why is it that in some places around the world communities live in villages, while elsewhere people live in isolated houses scattered across the landscape? How does archaeology analyse the relationship between man and his environment? Making Sense of an Historic Landscape explores why landscapes are so varied and how the landscape archaeologist or historian can understand these differences. Local variation in the character of the countryside provides communities with an important sense of place, and this book suggests that some of these differences can be traced back to prehistory. In his discussion, Rippon makes use of a wide range of sources and techniques, including archaeological material, documentary sources, maps, field- and place-names, and the evidence contained within houses that are still lived in today, to illustrate how local and regional variations in the 'historic landscape' can be understood. Rippon uses the Blackdown Hills in southern England, which marked an important boundary in landscape character from prehistory onwards, as a specific case study to be applied as a model for other landscape areas. Even today the fields, place-names, and styles of domestic architecture are very different either side of the Blackdown Hills, and it is suggested that these differences in landscape character developed because of deep-rooted differences in the nature of society that are found right across southern England. Although focused on the more recent past, the volume also explores the medieval, Roman, and prehistoric periods.
  

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 The physical character of landscape
15
3 The most beautiful landskip in the world? The perceived character of landscape
35
the pattern and language of settlement
53
5 Houses in the landscape
87
6 The character of the fieldscape
111
7 Beyond the morphology of fieldscapes
131
8 Reconstructing early medieval territorial arrangements
151
the development of territorial structures in early Medieval western Wessex and beyond
185
documentary evidence and palaeoenvironmental sequences
205
12 Arable cultivation and animal husbandry in the medieval period
241
13 Arable cultivation and animal husbandry in the Roman period
263
14 Regional variation in landscape character during the late prehistoric and Roman periods
287
communities and their landscapes
315
Bibliography
345
Index
393

9 Early folk territories on and around the Blackdown Hills
165

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About the author (2012)


Stephen Rippon is Professor of Landscape Archaeology at the University of Exeter.

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