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date: 19 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This overview examines the different units of scale at which the medieval countryside has been studied, the ‘geographies’ of the title. It discusses the application of the term pays as distinctive environmental and cultural entities, archaeological work at the scale of the parish or township and the influence of new techniques and methodologies such as LiDAR and GIS. The impact of ‘big data’ projects such as the characterization of medieval rural settlement and Historic Landscape Characterization is highlighted, though some weaknesses are identified. The importance of specialized landscapes is stressed such as those set aside for hunting, seasonal activities, and the extractive industries. Finally, a plea is made for greater attention to chronological changes at different scales of study and for the full potential of environmental archaeology to be exploited by landscape projects.

Keywords: pays, big data, atlas of rural settlement, Historic Landscape Characterization, specialized medieval landscapes, chronological change, environmental archaeology

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