Time, Space and the History of Agricultural Landscapes: Environmental History Across Different Temporal and Spatial Scales in a Case Study of a Danish Agricultural Landscape

Stig Roar Svenningsen, Andreas Aagaard Christensen

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    Agricultural land use constitutes one of the main forces of anthropogenic change in most European countries, especially since the agricultural reforms in the beginning of the 19 th century. Researching the history of these landscapes is an important task in the present European environmental history, especially as the rate of changes in cultural landscapes has increased during the last 40 years as the result of the development in the agro-industrial sector. However landscape changes rarely occur as abrupt and sudden breaks, but more as gradual process over long time periods corresponding with development in farming technology, modes of production and social organization. The majority of sources material to landscape history are of geographic nature, such as cartographic material, aerial imagery, photographs and paintings and opposite to the gradual nature of changes in the landscape, most sources to the physical structure of landscapes has a fixed temporal nature depicting the landscape at time of record, often at different spatial scales. This creates a challenge for Environmental history of European agricultural landscapes to produce a framework, which can incorporate these differences in temporal and spatial scales together with traditional written sources.

    This paper investigates the potential of sources to the environmental history of the agricultural landscape across different spatial and temporal scales in a small case study of the landscape history of five parishes in Jutland, Denmark. The paper examine how the use of multiple sources of geographic character and traditional written sources can be combined to produce a very detailed insight to the landscape history of a typical agricultural landscape in Denmark.
    Original languageDanish
    Publication date25 Apr 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2013
    EventFrom Instants to Eons: Time in Environment and Environmental History - Talinn, Estonia
    Duration: 25 Mar 201326 Sept 2013


    ConferenceFrom Instants to Eons

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