This major new text provides an introduction to the interaction of culture and society with the landscape and environment. It offers a broad-based view of this theme by drawing upon the varied traditions of landscape interpretation, from the traditional cultural geography of scholars such as Carl Sauer to the 'new' cultural geography which has emerged in the 1990s. The book comprises three major, interwoven strands. First, fundamental factors such as environmental change and population pressure are addressed in order to sketch the contextual variables of landscapes production. Second, the evolution of the humanised landscape is discussed in terms of processes such as clearing wood, the impact of agriculture, the creation of urban-industrial complexes, and is also treated in historical periods such as the pre-industrial, the modern and the post-modern. From this we can see the cultural and economic signatures of human societies at different times and places. Finally, examples of landscape types are selected in order to illustrate the ways in which landscape both represents and participates in social change.
The authors use a wide range of source material, ranging from place-names and pollen diagrams to literature and heritage monuments. Superbly illustrated throughout, it is essential reading for first-year undergraduates studying historical geography, human geography, cultural geography or landscape history.
Table of Contents
The origins of agriculture
Early Urbanization and environment
Resources and population pressure
Environmental degradation and collapse of civilizations
Clearing the wood
Sustainable resource management
Large scale landscape change
Fields in the landscape
The transition from feudalism to capitalism
The evolution and impact of modern economic systems
The industrial revolution
Modern urban landscapes
The impact of agriculture
Frontier and wilderness
Issues of conservation
Peter Atkins, Ian Simmons and Brian Roberts are Professors in the Department of Geography at the University of Durham, UK.
An impressive breadth of vision, knowledge and abundant enthusiasm for seeking to unravel the complexities of people/environment relations collectively underpin this book. Through its careful organisation, comparative approaches and its lively text and varied illustrations, this book should appeal to undergraduates following introductory and cross-disciplinary courses.
Geographical Journal (RGS)