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A Century of British Geography$
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Ron Johnston and Michael Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262863

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.001.0001

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The creation of humanised landscapes

The creation of humanised landscapes

(p.166) (p.167) 5 The creation of humanised landscapes
A Century of British Geography

Michael Williams

British Academy

The historical element and human action are implicit in the idea of the landscape. Such combinations, in various guises, often go under the name of historical geography. More latterly, the meaning of ‘history’, in its broadest sense, has been scrutinised closely because of the implicit subjective meaning embedded in any account of the past. Within geography, one of the earliest and most distinctive contributions to humanised landscapes came from the ‘Aberystwyth School’ of historically oriented human geography, which had an emphasis on anthropology and human ecology, and the western parts of Britain. As the l930s wore on, two figures emerged who were to dominate the debate about history in geography — Carl O. Sauer in the United States and H. C. Darby in Britain. There are basically two approaches to understanding past humanised landscapes — the reconstruction of these landscapes from consistent and comprehensive sources, and the mapping of relict features. Increasingly, both approaches combine history, archaeology, palaeobotany, and other disciplines.

Keywords:   Britain, humanised landscapes, Carl O. Sauer, H. C. Darby, history and geography, Aberystwyth School, historical geography, human geography, archaeology, palaeobotany

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