Historic landscapes without history? A reconsideration of the concept of traditional landscapes

J. Renes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the recent extensive literature on European cultural landscapes, much attention is given to regional variation. Less interest seems to be given to history. Ecologists in particular often use the ‘traditional landscapes’ model, which suggests a slow and gradual development of the man-made landscape, leading to a ‘climax’ during the 19th century. In that vision, landscape change sped up around 1900, after which time most landscapes underwent a process of rapid transformation. In this paper, I criticise the distinction between a stable pre-1900 and a dynamic post-1900 history, particularly by emphasising the flawed vision of a stable past. Developments in the past could be—and have often been—quick and intensive. The paper highlights the importance of historical research in landscape studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalRural Landscapes
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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