Curves and squares. Late Prehistoric Landscape change and the morphology of ritual structures, B. J.  Groenewoudt

During the later Bronze Age several parts of north-west Europe saw accelerated deforestation and expansion of agricultural land. In densely populated areas the first (man-made) open landscapes came into being. Simultaneously in the Netherlands and elsewhere more stable settlement patterns appeared as well as large-scale and planned allotment of the cultural landscape. Within a short period of time the landscape became much more ‘cultural’ and planned. The dominance of straight lines and rectangles in this open, parcelled-out and compartmentalised landscape markedly contrasts with the ‘natural’ curved lines and ‘organic’ shapes of the preceding half-open ‘wood-pasture’ type landscapes. The new landscape had a distinctly different morphology and this may have influenced the way humans perceived their environment. This altered landscape perception, then, may explain the appearance of rectangular burial monuments and ritual enclosures.

 

The Landscape of Domesday Suffolk, George Barlow

This study maps the carucate and acre records contained in the Suffolk folios of Little Domesday for the first time and re-examines the body of work supporting the assumptions that the carucate represents 120 fiscal acres and had approximately the same value as statute acres before proposing further statistical evidence in support of these assumptions. The article then focuses on the detailed geographic distributions of woodland, meadow, plough teams and livestock recorded in Little Domesday proposing that these distributions reflect the varying physical landscape across the county and examining how those natural resources and challenges have influenced the agricultural practices of the Anglo-Saxons across the different regions within the county at the time of the Norman Conquest.

The earthworks at Benington Park, Hertfordshire: an exercise in dating an ‘archaeological garden’, Anne Rowe, Christopher Taylor and Tom Williamson

At first sight of this paper is an attempt to describe, analyse and date the archaeological remains of an exceptionally fine garden and park in Hertfordshire. The garden is, apparently, well documented, there being two large-scale detailed estates maps of it. But although the complex arrangements of the site and the history of the owners, their friends and relatives were quickly ascertained it has proved impossible to date it with absolute certainty. At least four separate occasions over a period of more than a century have been suggested but none can be verified. The documentation proved to be elusive with regard to date and, more importantly, the purpose of the key estate map of 1628 could not be ascertained. And the map itself bears little relation to that which survives. The paper is thus published partly as an example of methodology but primarily as a warning to garden historians and archaeologists.

 

Topography and landscape history: the role of the Victoria County History, John Beckett

This paper examines the process whereby topographical historical writing has merged into landscape studies, and asks what the role of the Victoria County History was in this process? The author, who was Director and General Editor of the VCH 2005–10, sets into context the changing nature of VCH parish topographical entries and looks at how these have altered and developed through time as a result of both practical and academic shifts in thinking. Today’s VCH still has its traditional elements, none more so than the manorial descent, which is a legacy of its antiquarian past, but also contains up to date discussions of settlement, landscape, and place names.

 

Reviews

Dan Hicks, Laura McAtackney and Graham Fairclough (eds), Envisioning Landscape. Situations and standpoints in archaeology and heritage (David Harvey)

Zoran Roca, Paul Claval and John Agnew (eds) Landscapes, Identities and Development (Della Hooke)

Jordi Bolòs (ed.) La Caracterització del Paisatge Històric (Della Hooke)

Andrew Goudie and Heather Viles, Landscapes and Geomorphology. A very short introduction (Richard Thornton Smith)

Christopher Tilley, Interpreting Landscapes. Geologies, Topographies, Identities. Explorations in landscape phenomenology 3 (Niall Sharples)

Della Hooke, Trees in Anglo-Saxon England (Nick Higham)

Paul Cullen, Richard Jones and David N. Parsons, Thorps in a Changing Landscape (Stephen Rippon)

Sarah Watt (ed.) The Archaeology of the West Midlands. A framework for research (Andy Wigley)

David Bridgland, Jim Innes, Antony Long and Wishart Mitchell (eds), Late Quaternary Landscape Evolution of the Swale-Ure Washlands, North Yorkshire (F. M. Chambers)

Jane Corcoran, Craig Halsey, Graham Spurr, Emily Burton and David Jamieson, Mapping Past Landscapes in the Lower Lea Valley. A geoarchaeological study of the Quaternary sequence (Martyn Waller)

Martin Papworth, The Search for the Durotriges. Dorset and the West Country in the Late Iron Age (John Collis)

Michael Costen, Anglo-Saxon Somerset (Simon Draper)

Margaret Murphy and Michael Potterton, The Dublin Region in the Middle Ages. Settlement, land-use and economy (Mark Gardiner)   

Derek Bright, The Pilgrim’s Way. Fact and fiction of an ancient trackway (Madeleine Gray)

Mark Bowden and Allan Brodie, Defending Scilly (Jon Berry)

Thomas Faulkner, Helen Berry and Jeremy Gregory (eds), Northern Landscapes. Representations and realities of north-east England (Jonathan Finch)

Ian Roberts, Richard Carlton and Alan Rushworth, Drove Roads of Northumberland (Brian Rich)

Andrew Macnair and Tom Williamson, William Faden and Norfolk’s 18th-Century Landscape (Mark Bowden)

Mervyn Miller, English Garden Cities (Della Hooke)

John Schofield (ed.), Great Excavations. Shaping the archaeological profession (Bob Silvester)

Journals: Landscape Research (Della Hooke)

 

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Volume 32 (2011) Issue 2