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Origin and development of long-strip field patterns: A case study of an abandoned medieval village in the Czech Republic

Catena

Abstract

Long-strip and terraced fields systems form significant elements of the current cultural landscape. When evaluating their significance, it is necessary to determine their origins and to further specify their development. However, archeological researchers have encountered problems in dating field systems that were exposed to intensive agriculture in the 20th century AD. In this study, we describe a combination of approaches used to confirm the current landscape's High Medieval origin of the long-strip terrace-like field system of the former village of Malornin, which is located in the Bohemian Forest Mts., Czech Republic. The methods employed are radionuclide dating, geographic information system (GIS)-based reconstruction using old maps, historical documents, and archeological and palaeobotanical records. Our study evaluated the historical significance of field boundaries in the form of hedgerows, which have stabilized the pattern of the agricultural landscape since medieval times. The results of this study provide a basis for further land use planning and for conserving the cultural landscape. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Author(s): Houfkova, P; Bumerl, J; Pospisil, L; Karlik, P; Benes, J; Bernardova, A; Hrabalikova, M; Molnarova, KJ; Hejcman, M

Journal: Catena

Year: 2015

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