Late medieval deserted settlements in Southern Germany as a consequence of long-term landscape transformations

Faculty/Professorship: Medieval and Post Medieval Archaeology  
Author(s): Schreg, Rainer  
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2023
Pages: 161-170
Source/Other editions: Settlement change across Medieval Europe Old paradigms and new vistas / Brady, Nial, Theune, Claudia (Hg). - Leiden : Sidestone Press, 2019, S. 161-170. - ISBN: 978-90-8890-806-4
Year of first publication: 2019
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-585165
Te huge number of deserted late medieval settlements in southern Germany has been explained by the consequences of epidemics, feuds, and economic crisis. However, based on an ecological perspective, we need to ask how the late medieval crisis was embedded in long-term landscape transformations. Looking back to the early medieval settlement landscape, we recognize fundamental changes in land-use practices, which were hardly visible in the written record. It can be considered a fact that the formation of the medieval village and the related introduction of an open-feld system had a major impact on the medieval landscape and the interaction between men and nature. Tis paper demonstrates the possible lines between high medieval village formation and the late medieval crisis several generations later. Even if the resulting interpretation is necessarily very hypothetical in many points, it refers to some fundamental issues in the understanding of long-term transformations of rural landscapes and challenges the current practice of rescue excavations in Germany.
GND Keywords: Siedlung; Wüstung; Geschichte 1250-1500
Keywords: deserted settlements, human ecology, open-feld system, village formation, Black Death
DDC Classification: 943 History of Germany  
RVK Classification: NM 7250   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Release Date: 27. February 2023

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