Adaptation to a changing environment: the response of marshland communities to the late medieval 'crisis'
University of Exeter
Journal of Wetland Archaeology
Oxbow Books on behalf of The Wetland Archaeology Research Project (WARP) and Exeter Centre for Wetland Research.
Coastal marshlands form one of the many distinctive landscapes - or pays – within the British Isles. Their reclamation generally began during the early medieval period, and by the 12th and 13th centuries they were extensively settled and used for mixed agriculture, much like the adjacent dryland areas. It would be expected that the late medieval climatic deterioration, population decline and its associated socio-economic changes would have led to a marked decline in the settlement of such physically challenging areas but this was not generally the case. This paper examines how the communities living in coastal marshlands responded to the increase in flooding, declining population and falling profits from agriculture through a combination of increased investment and agricultural innovation, and that these cultural responses can only be understood by placing these specific landscapes within their wider context.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher. Copyright © Oxbow Books and the individual authors, 2001
Rippon, S. (2001). Adaptation to a changing environment: the response of marshland communities to the late medieval 'crisis'. Journal of Wetland Archaeology 1, 15-39.