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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The differences between town and country are defined, and their changing fortunes compared from the tenth to the sixteenth centuries. Urban characteristics can be identified through dwellings, high-status buildings, and life styles. Hierarchies of towns, and the influence on the countryside of the various categories of town, can be analysed using the concepts of umland and hinterland, central place and spheres of influence, and von Thunen’s zones of land use around the city. Evidence of interactions between town and country come from the distribution of pottery, stone used for building and artefacts, and supplies of food. Agriculture, including the choice of crops and livestock, was influenced by the towns. Rural industry was not necessarily subordinated to the urban economy, but towns provided goods, services, and culture to country dwellers. There were pronounced regional differences in the degree of urbanization, and the interaction between town and country.

Keywords: town, country, urban, rural, hinterland, industry, agriculture

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