Landscapes or seascapes?: The history of the coastal environment in the North Sea area reconsidered

Landscapes or seascapes?: The history of the coastal environment in the North Sea area reconsidered




This volume deals with the geographical evolution of the coastal areas adjacent to the North Sea, with a focus upon the last two thousand years. Although many articles are reworked in a fundamental way, most of them are the result of a conference which took place in 2010 at the University of Ghent (Belgium) and which was actually the third in a series of symposiums on the same broad theme. The first took place in 1958, and the second in 1978. Recognized specialists were invited to present their research in a variety of fields relating to the subject. The various disciplines in which the coastal plains are studied too often remain within their own borders, and so we have set out to thoroughly interweave them in the hope that this will spur greater interdisciplinary cooperation. This collection of texts is intended to appeal not just to experts in historical geography, but to historians and scientists working in any field who wish to gain insights into the present 'state of play'. Detailed geological research about many areas provided new data and researchers gradually gained a better understanding of the close relationship between the processes of deposition, sea-level change, and land formation taking place across multiple regions. In the same time, historical and archaeological research also evolved. Most significantly, ideas regarding the chronology of human occupation have changed a lot. This scope of the research collected in this volume is important because it has increasingly become evident that land loss and gain were the results of regional factors, including and especially human activities. Moreover, it is now clear that humans devised survival strategies, and thus organized their activities in relation to the environment, on a regional basis, which means that the causes of local changes must have been both natural and socio-historical. It has now become clearer than ever that there is no single chronological scheme capable of explaining the coastal evolution across the entirety of the North Sea area.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9782503540580
Publisher: Brepols Publishers
Publication date: 07/31/2013
Series: Comparative Rural History of the North Sea Area Series , #13
Pages: 440
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Erik Thoen is professor in rural history and environmental history at the Ghent University (B) and co-ordinator of the CORN network Guus J. Borger is emeritus professor in historical geography at the University of Amsterdam and the VU University Amsterdam (NL) Tim Soens is professor in rural history and environmental history at the University of Antwerp (B) Adriaan M.J. de Kraker is senior researcher in historical geography at the VU University Amsterdam (NL) Dries Tys is professor at the Brussels Free University (VUB) (B) Lies Vervaet is assistant specialised in rural history at the Ghent University (B) Henk J.T. Weerts is senior researcher paleogeography at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands

Table of Contents

1. Landscapes or Seascapes? The history of the coastal area in the North Sea Area revised. Introduction by the editors 2. Henk J. T. Weerts, "How regional should sea level reconstructions be?" 3. Dirk Meier, "From Nature to Culture: Landscape and Settlement History of the North-Sea coast of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany." 4. Otto S. Knottnerus, "Reclamations and submerged lands in the Ems River estuary (900-1500)." 5. J.A. Mol, "Monasteries and water management in the Frisian Coastal Plain. The reconstruction of landed property as a trigger for new research on the chronology of embankment and drainage." 6. Michel A. Lascaris, Adriaan M.J. de Kraker, "Dikes and other hydraulic engineering works from prehistory and proto history." 7. Sjoerd J. Kluiving, Michel A. Lascaris, Adriaan M.J. de Kraker, Hans Renes, Guus J. Borger and Steven A. Soetens, "Potential and use of archaeological and historical data in the coastal zone of the southern North Sea in a reconstruction of the sea level curve of the last 3000 years: results of a case study." 8. Anton M.M. van Haperen, "Natural and anthropogenic factors in the evolution of the dune landscape on the islands of the South-West Netherlands." 9. L. van der Valk, F. Beekman, "3000 years of coastal dune dynamics and human activity around the former Schelde River mouth, Schouwen Island, the Netherlands." 10. Tim Soens, "The genesis of the Western Scheldt: towards an anthropogenic explanation for environmental change in the medieval Flemish coastal plain (1250-1600)." 11. Cecile Baeteman, "History of research and state of the art of the Holocene depositional history of the Belgian coastal plain". 12. Wim Declercq, "Sea, salt and soldiers. A model of the socio-economical development of the coastal area in Northwestern Gaul (ca. 58BC-410AD)." 13. Dries Tys, "The medieval embankment of coastal Flanders in context." 14. Martyn Waller and Anthony Long, "The Holocene Coastal Deposits of Sussex: a re-evaluation." 15. Stephen Rippon, "Human impact on the coastal wetlands of Britain in the medieval period." 16. Richard Oram, "Estuarine Environments and Resource Exploitation in Eastern Scotland circa 1125 to circa 1400: A Comparative Study of the Forth and Tay Estuaries." 17. James A. Galloway, "Storms, economics and environmental change in an English coastal wetland: The Thames Estuary c. 1250-1550." 18. Michele Campopiano, "The Evolution of the Landscape and the Social and Political Organisation of Water Management: the Po Valley in the Middle Ages (Fifth to Fourteenth Centuries)."

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